Textile company Balaji Group gets Sh3.2Bn to boost production – Capital Business
NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 23 – Pan-African Textile company Balaji has received Sh3.2 billion ($25 million) from two investors to ramp up production capacity.
The investment came from Norwegian Investment Fund (Norfund) and Ethos Mezzanine Partners 3, a closed-ended specialist credit fund. Each firm contributed $12.5 million.
Part of the fund will be used to replace older washing machines with modern ones, increasing its manufacturing by 300 percent.
Further investments will be on sewing machines, helping expand production.
Modernization benefit will help the company cut electricity use by 20-30 percent, water consumptions (70 percent) and chemical use (60 percent).
With the investment, the seeks to create 6,000 new direct and 6,000 indirect jobs. Balaji Group already employs over 12,000 people.
“We believe that by contributing to the growth and development of the textile and apparel sector in Kenya, we can make a significant impact by delivering on our mandate of facilitating job creation at scale in order to combat poverty,” Norfund East Africa Regional Director William Nyaoke said.
In Kenya, textile and apparel sectors are relatively underdeveloped in comparison to many Asian economies.
Already, there are more than 50,000 workers, a majority of whom are women. However, remains considerable potential for further growth.
“We are excited to partner with the Balaji Group and Norfund to fund the next phase in its growth trajectory that spans 21-years since it was founded by Pankaj and Amit Bedi,” Ethos Managing Partne Phillip Myburgh said.
“This funding commitment also promotes the UN’s Sustainable Developments Goals 5 (gender equality), 6 (clean water & sanitation), 8 (decent work & economic growth) and 12 (responsible consumption and production),” he added.
Likewise, the company has already installed a 1.8MW captive solar plant to advance green ambition.
“Our story is one of resilience and commitment to our vision to create a legacy institution in the sector. We are grateful for the opportunity to have worked with Norfund and Ethos Mezzanine Partners, whose core values are development and improving people’s lives, which is directly aligned with what Balaji’s endeavour is too,” says Pankaj Bedi, chairman of the Balaji Group.
In addition to the capital injected, the funders will also support the company’s environmental, social and governance standards.