Back in 1993, Osho Chemical Industries Ltd. was founded by Manoj Shah in Kenya. The first steps in the company’s journey consisted of providing chemical inputs in the textile industry, but when Manoj found a gap in the agricultural sector, he had a vision to revolutionize the agricultural sector in East and Southern Africa. The company quickly gained momentum and steadily expanded its product portfolio, focusing on developing innovative solutions for farmers’ diverse needs.
“We started with just 6 employees in Kenya, and now we have expanded across multiple countries in East and Southern Africa, with a strong presence in Kenya, Malawi, Zambia, Uganda, Ethiopia, and Rwanda, and have 506 employees who are fondly known as Osholites! Our distribution network comprises over 500 distributors and 6,000 stockists, enabling us to reach a vast customer base, approximately 10 million farmers, with product offerings in Agro, Animal Health, Public Health, Industrial, and Sprayers. Through partnerships and investments in research and development, we continuously introducing new products and sustainable agricultural practices. We have always believed in local manufacturing and now boast the largest manufacturing facility in East and Central Africa!” Rushabh Shah of Osho proudly shares.
Osho’s impact on the market
In the past, small-scale farmers in Kenya encountered numerous obstacles while trying to access quality agricultural inputs. The multinational corporations (MNCs) that dominated the market offered only large-sized packs, which were often too expensive for small-scale farmers with limited resources and landholdings. With Osho’s approach of providing smaller and more affordable packs tailored to the needs of small-scale farmers, this changed.
“What sets us apart is that we view farmers as partners, not just customers. We believe in fostering lasting relationships based on trust, mutual respect, and support. Osho has always remained steadfast in that commitment and has implemented a robust strategy that revolves around visiting farmers directly on their fields, tailoring our solutions to their specific needs and challenges. Understanding farmers’ concerns firsthand is the key to offering effective and relevant support. Beyond that, we are also committed to empowering farmers with the knowledge and skills they need to thrive in an ever-changing agricultural landscape through workshops, training, and demonstrations,” Rushabh says.
And the introduction of these smaller packs of agricultural inputs proved to be a game-changer for small-scale farmers in Kenya. The affordability and accessibility of these products led to increased adoption rates, allowing farmers to enhance yields and improve the overall quality of their produce.
For the farmers
Despite Osho’s success, the manufacturing sector in Kenya is facing unprecedented challenges, with the Kenyan shilling having depreciated by almost 16% in one year and an increase in taxes, which has all led to an increase in manufacturing costs.
“At Osho, we deeply value the well-being of Kenyan farmers and their continued agricultural activities. Despite the cost increase, we have made a conscious decision not to impose a major price increase on our products. Our rationale is clear – we do not want to pass the financial burden down to the farmers who are already navigating difficult economic circumstances.”
Instead of raising prices, Osho focused on internal measures to mitigate the impact of rising costs and have undertaken efforts to continuously improve their processes, operations, and efficiency throughout the supply chain. By doing so, they successfully reduced their costs without compromising the quality of our agricultural inputs.
“Our unwavering commitment to the well-being and prosperity of Kenyan farmers remains at the core of our mission, and we will continue to explore innovative ways to address challenges and contribute to the growth of the agricultural sector.”
But Osho’s success is not limited to just providing quality and affordable products. They have gone a step further by implementing a robust farmer outreach program. Through this initiative, Osho actively engages with small-scale farmers, providing them with essential knowledge, training, and support. Workshops, field demonstrations, and seminars organized by Osho help farmers stay updated with modern agricultural practices, enhancing their understanding of crop management and pest control techniques.
And for the Osholites
The consideration Osho has for their clients doesn’t only extend to the farmers mentioned. Due to their transformation from being a solely product-focused company to becoming a people-centric organization, they have recognized the invaluable contribution of their workforce, and the company has shifted its focus towards investing in the development and well-being of its employees.
“Central to this transformation is the establishment of the Osho Training Academy, a testament to their commitment to nurture and empower our people. The academy serves as a platform to equip employees with essential skills, knowledge, and personal development opportunities that go beyond their professional lives. By offering comprehensive training programs and workshops, Osho strives to empower its employees to excel in their roles, foster innovation, and cultivate leadership skills. We have also implemented a goal-based performance systems and reward and recognition scheme to ensure all Osholites are aligned and working towards a common goal. This transition to a people-first approach reflects Osho’s dedication to creating a positive and fulfilling work environment, fostering a sense of belonging among employees, and driving the company’s growth and success,” says Rushabh.
Osho as a company has grown by 53% over last year, and based on their vision for 2025, they are targeting an average growth of 43% every year. They aim to expand to new countries such as Somalia, DRC, and Zimbabwe within the next two years and are focusing on growing their animal health and public health market position as well.
“Over the last two years, we have grown in the horticulture and floriculture sectors by an average of 64% and are already looking forward to providing more solutions and services to the sector!”
For more information:
Osho Chemical Industries Ltd.
Osho Complex, Sasio Rd off Lunga lunga
Tel.: +254 711 045000
Email: [email protected]