How Profitable is Glass Making Business in Kenya

The glass industry is big, lucrative, controlled quite by only three Multinational companies.

Glass is widely used in construction industry, with office buildings consuming the largest volume. It is closely followed by the catering industry, where cutlery (drink vessels, plates, etc) takes the second position. The canning and soft drinks industry follow respectively, however, the decorative industry is the most robust of all.

One big disconnect with the juice and canning industry is that they recycle bottles and again they have their unique preferences for the supplier. Being a competitive industry, the canners and beverage producers prefer importing their glassware to cut costs of production.

Making glass locally has its own merits, for example, a small scale manufacturer of glass can sell his ware to individual home owners and contractors. And the construction being the biggest consumer of the glass, a small scale maker has a big choice market. The cutlery industry is very diverse and robust, much to the advantage of a local cottage industry.

The manufacturing of the glass is not labor intensive, nor does it need sofistcated equipment. Just Molds and furnaces, which can be locally constructed, are needed.

It is a green area for investment which many people are not aware of.

Raw Materials are locally available with many stockists. Some, like silica sand can be harvested for free from our beaches. Therefore, the cost of production for glassware is quite low

One great advantage of starting a business as an individual or small scaler is the low operational costs. Big companies, who for years have been in the business, eventually expand thus the high cost of running the business. Small managerial errors can drive the big companies into big debts, unlike the small companies.

Therefore, it comes as no surprise when news breakout that company A or B is on the verge of closing shop (collapse). A good example is the collapse of Nakumatt and Uchumi Supermarkets while small family shops expand into supermarkets themselves.

Capital requirements to run a small glass making company ranges from Ksh.30,000 to Ksh.80,000.

A starter would kick off the business by producing 1000 window panes which he/she can vend to home developers.

A batch of 1000 Water Glass can find their way to Muthurwa Market and within days, sales are over.

The local craze with decorative ceiling lights is enough to give the Egyptian imports a run for their money.

As we always tell you, there’s no marathon race that has ever been won by those who did not start the race. If you like the idea discussed above and you have what it takes to actualize it…then don’t wait to start…just do it.

By
Timothy Angwenyi
Business Consultant

Justine Nyachieo
Business Man & Mentor

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