Tabitha Karanja shortlisted for Africa business award

Keroche Breweries CEO Tabitha Karanja has been shortlisted for an award on transformative entrepreneurs in Africa.

Ms Karanja, who was last year named the Business Woman of the Year at the CNBC All Africa Business Leaders Awards, is a finalist for the business award in this year’s Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship (AAE).

This award fetes an entrepreneur who has improved the status of those around him or her. The annual revenue should be more than $50 million (Sh5.1 billion).

“These types of enterprises are crucial to future growth and health of Africa’s various economies and markets,” the AAE says in a statement ahead of the award ceremony slated for November 5 in Morocco.

“Home-grown African companies are increasingly seeking to innovate and push boundaries, opening up businesses and servicing markets that previously were monopolised by multinationals.”

Keroche, whose portfolio includes beer, wines and vodkas, early this year launched a Sh5 billion new plant to boost capacity and market share and has plans to list on the Nairobi Securities Exchange.

The new plant can produce 30 different brands of beer and hold up to a million hectolitres of alcohol.

“Africa is rising. We must be brave enough to get out of our comfort zones, take risks, think big, be innovative and remain focused on the big picture,” Ms Karanja said in a statement.

The Keroche CEO is up against Manoj Shankar, the CEO of Techno Brain, an IT firm which has its roots in Tanzania but is currently headquartered in Kenya.

Techno Brain has operations in 19 countries in Africa. In Kenya, the firm offers off-the-shelf ICT solutions, ICT training and business process outsourcing services to NGOs, governments and businesses.

Tapped innovation

Last year, Mr Shankar won the East Africa Entrepreneur of the year award at the CNBC All Africa Business Leaders Awards.

“I see great passion every day with the young talented individuals I work with,” said Mr Shankar.

The Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship is a tool for recognising business leaders who have tapped innovation to drive excellence while serving as role models to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs.