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Kenyan entrepreneur who started business during pandemic sets sights higher

Tei Mukunya Oundo is the CEO and co-founder of the company NatureLock, which is a Nairobi-based instant meal company that was started in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic. Picture: Tei Mukunya Oundo/Facebook

Tei Mukunya Oundo is the CEO and co-founder of the company NatureLock, which is a Nairobi-based instant meal company that was started in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic. Picture: Tei Mukunya Oundo/Facebook

Published Jan 20, 2022

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A KENYAN entrepreneur who started up a company selling nutritious instant meals during the Covid-19 pandemic says she is determined to take her products to the next level and target a mass market in the East African country.

Tei Mukunya Oundo is the CEO and co-founder of the company NatureLock, which is a Nairobi-based instant meal company, started in 2020.

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Oundo studied at Cornell University in New York, as well as for an MBA in Strategic Management at the United States International University.

Oundo says her company is seeking to address the gap in the market for quick, healthy food at a price point affordable to the mass market.

NatureLock processes 100 percent field-fresh produce which it turns into affordable nutritious products.

In 2021, her company was awarded with the Africa Food Industry Excellence Award for best product 2021, Naturelock StewsDay, instant Ndengu stew.

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After winning the award, Oundo said: “We want to feed Kenya and eventually all of Africa with healthy, convenient and affordable products produced and distributed in a sustainable manner. We care for our employees, our suppliers our customers, our consumers and our beloved environment.”

According to a report by How We Made it in Africa.com, since healthy instant meals are not yet common in Kenya, NatureLock has had to build its market from the ground up.

The company says its strategy has been to launch a marketing campaign in a specific area of Nairobi known as Eastlands.

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“Selling the packet stews in local shops and on street corners, the company has put advertisements on billboards in the area to try and familiarise customers with the product,” writes How We Made it in Africa.com.

“At NatureLock we are fighting food waste throughout Africa by preserving fresh produce naturally into tasty, nutritious and affordable foods for all, right at the source. We preserve by drying 100% field-fresh produce to create healthy, affordable ready to eat food that fits in people’s everyday lives. Our products have an ambient shelf life of up to two years and are rich in essential nutrients and natural taste,” Oundo said.

Furthermore, the company says it is revolutionising the supply chain by saving fresh produce, which otherwise would have gone to waste. Drying right at the source creates more effective transport and warehousing by 70 percent, and lowers the climate footprint.

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In addition, she said the company seeks to increase the income of farmer communities by providing a scalable system that minimises post-harvest losses and adds value at the source. She said: “We guarantee steady demand and team up with our partners to train farmers in sustainable agricultural practices.”

African News Agency (ANA)

Related Topics:

Covid-19

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