Are you interested in starting an import business in Kenya? First, take a quick look at Kenya’s import statistics below.
- Kenya is the 79th largest importer in the world
- Kenya’s key import partners are China, India, Japan, the United Arab Emirates, and South Africa.
- As of 2016, the value of Kenya’s imports was $15.8 billion.
Now that you have the figures, check out the listing of the top import businesses in Kenya.
- Though there are several species of seafood grown in Kenya, local suppliers are not able to meet the demand from restaurants, hotels, and resorts. As a result, many people are opting to import fish, crustaceans, and mollusks from outside Kenya to meet the growing demand for these delicacies.
- Household items
- Household items like soap dispensers, dish holders, toothpaste dispensers, picture frames, and others are very popular in Kenya. Currently, though there are several people importing these items from China and the Far East, there is room for more entrants into this import market.
- Used Electronics
- Everyone knows that electronics from outside the country, especially those from Europe, are durable, efficient and of high quality. As such, many people are importing electronics that include laptops, washing machines, kettles, irons, in bulk into the country, and then selling them at retail prices.
- Beauty Products
- Women have always loved beauty products made by leading brands, especially those created specifically for black skin. If you can import beauty products in bulk from leading brands (Maybelline, MAC, etc) and resell them, you will make a killing!
- Spare Parts
- The import and sale of spare parts is one of the more lucrative import businesses in Kenya because people are buying new and used cars whose parts are not available locally. Get contacts in the countries where the more popular cars are manufactured, ascertain that the parts being sold are genuine and of good quality, and you’re in business!
- Kenyans are crazy about the smartphone, and are always looking for the best deals! Why not take advantage of this demand, and begin supplying phones directly from the manufacturers? You will be able to import the phones in bulk, sell them at a good retail price, and even supply original accessories on the side.
- The demand for good quality clothing has created one of the most profitable import businesses in Kenya. Everywhere you turn, there is a market for imported clothes, shoes, bags, etc. You can choose to deal in either new or second-hand clothes – either way, you will make money!
- Irregular weather patterns and a rising population means that the current food stocks in the country are not always sufficient. As such, there is an opportunity to import foodstuffs like maize, rice, wheat, sugar, etc. Also, food items like cheese, butter, extra virgin olive oil, breakfast cereals, etc that are not produced in sufficient quantities to meet the demand form part of the food imports.
- Used Cars
- Out of every five cars on Kenyan roads, all five are used imports! The demand for used cars mostly from Japan and some from Europe is rising steadily every year. As such, this import business is definitely one to consider. If you are able to get contacts of a dealer in Japan, for example, you can import the cars at a wholesale price, then sell them at a retail price (inclusive of duty and registration).
- The demand for fuel in Kenya is very high, as the number of cars on the roads is increasing daily. As such, importation of petrol (both crude and refined) would be a great idea. Because of the huge capital implications, though, you may need to consider combining resources with a few friends to get the import business going.
Lastly, as you decide which of the prospective import businesses in Kenya you would like to get into, remember that every business needs patience, persistence, and planning. Make sure you have all these in place before you start your import business!