JOINT VENTURE WITH LOCAL PARTNER WITH BUSINESS INTERESTS IN KENYA
WHILE there is a semblance of truce in Kenya after the gruesome turmoil which shook the nation with several ethnic communities on war path and left the people of Indian origin bewildered, the event has now led the Punjabis especially to ponder over the issue and do some introspection.
Kenya has nearly 2 lakh people of Indian origin mostly Gujaratis and Punjabis. A few Punjabis, with roots in Punjab, have now been touring the state to not only revive connections but to also consider in what way they could invest in Punjab for a secured future.
Both Parladh Singh Bhangra, CMD, Comecon Constructions, a well known Punjabi settled in Kenya and Parminder Singh Manku, MD, Kewal Contractors, Nairobi have now decided to set up business in Punjab.
The duo have been touring Punjab to ascertain the situation and consider avenues favourable for doing business in Punjab and the surroundings. Mr Bhangra told ET here “we have decided to come and start construction business in Punjab.” Both Comecon Constructions and Kewal Contractors together boast of a turnover of $40 million and have now chosen a local partner to set up a joint venture by floating a new company.
Mr Bhangra said their local partner would be Chandigarh based Mr Harcharan Singh Ranauta, CMD, Ranauta Properties and Investments .The Ranauta Group has business interests in Kenya and has been exporting bicycles to the African continent.Ranauta Group has also big plans up its sleeve to pump in sizable funds in the agri business primarily for exports of fresh vegetables to the UK.The group has tied up with Tesco for supplies to the British market.Fresh organic vegetables such as tomatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, green peas, cabbage, parsley and celery are proposed to be airlifted to the United Kingdom from Amritsar.
Mr Bhangra said here that a new company would be floated to enter construction business in Punjab. The new company may also venture into construction activity in Himachal Pradesh especially in hills around Kasauli. While land for residential property may have been identified the Kenyans are considering to inject anywhere up to to Rs 10 crore in the new venture.
Construction activity in Kenya due to the turmoil has received a beating and several projects have come to a standstill.”The situation will only be accessed once we go back,” said Mr Manku.
Mr Bhangra said violence in Kenya has given us a big shock and Kenya has always been a peace loving nation and a major tourist potential in Africa. However, the turmoil has changed the situation. Tourism has been badly affected with major cancellations. This will have an impact on many projects and with hotel occupancy now at a low ebb earnings from tourism would sharply dip.”
He said both Comecon Constructions and Kewal Contractors would inject a sizable amount of funds into purchase of machinery and equipment to set up construction activity in the northern region. The proposed company — Cedar Infrastructure would venture into property construction and into roads and bridges and construction of bus stations. “ These are the areas which look lucrative and we will bid for projects,” said Mr Bhangra.
When contacted, Mr Ranauta said a new company was in the offing and it would be a joint venture between the three parties.He said projects would be taken up for construction in the near future.