New US$32m investment for Nairobi's Garden City development
CDC Group plc, the UK development finance institution, and IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, have announced an investment of US$32m in Garden City a new mixed-use real estate development in Nairobi, Kenya.
The project, led by Actis, has been awarded Vision 2030 Partner Status by the Government of Kenya and will create more than 650 direct jobs during the construction phase and over 800 more once completed.
The investment will comprise US$25m from CDC and US$7m from IFC.
Situated off the new eight-lane Thika Super-Highway in North East Nairobi, Garden City will be built in two phases, comprising a 50,000sqm mall, 20,000sqm of office space, 420 residential units and a three-acre park.
The area is under-served from a retail perspective and is one of the fastest growing areas of Nairobi; it is estimated that 1.5 million people live within the immediate catchment, which is primarily a residential area.
CDC Regional Director Dolika Banda said: “Garden City will provide vital jobs in Nairobi, and benefit the local economy through its supply chain, infrastructure and new opportunities.
“Few investors have an appetite for green-field real estate projects in sub-Saharan Africa, so this investment sends a strong signal of our commitment to Kenya’s development and our confidence in its economic potential.”
Oumar Seydi, IFC Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, said, “Garden City opens new business opportunities and creates jobs.
“Local businesses will supply goods and services and Garden City is working with IFC and CDC to promote entrepreneurship, including a market that will enable artisans to serve local consumers without bearing the significant overhead associated with permanent retail space.”
Koome Gikunda, Investment Principal at Actis said: “Garden City will become a genuine mixed-use community and an enduring landmark that the residents of Nairobi and the region can be proud of.
“CDC and IFC are bringing their experience and expertise in backing this vision. The scale and ambition of Garden City builds Actis’ reputation as sub-Saharan Africa’s most experienced private equity real estate investor.”
Phase one of the US$250m project, which is already underway, will involve the development of 33,000sqm of retail space and 76 residential units.
The site was purchased from East African Breweries Limited (Diageo) in 2011 and the construction of phase one is expected to be finished by the end of 2014.
Game is also an anchor tenant, in what will be Massmart’s first-ever retail outlet in Kenya.
Garden City will also contribute to improving skills for workers and local firms involved in the development as it will adhere to strong construction quality standards.
Furthermore, as the first mixed-use development in Kenya, it will create a new asset class within the real estate sector – it is designed to become a hub for the whole East African region.
Actis and its partners are aiming to deliver a highly energy efficient building that will incorporate sustainability measures including: generating energy from waste heat; utilising roof space for solar collectors to generate residential hot water; and installing rainwater harvesting.
Actis brought together a consortium of local and international experts to deliver the development. Mentor Management, which has been operating in Kenya for 25 years, is the project manager.
Aspire Group is the development manager; leading Kenyan architectural practice, Triad, is working alongside Leonard Design Architects; and Nairobi-based YMR Partnership will provide quantity surveying and construction consultancy alongside Davis Langdon.
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.