African Torch

Rakesh Rao: the Man Behind Crown Paints Kenya Which Produces 3 Million Litres of Paint Monthly!

The manufacturing sector is a million dollar industry that is largely controlled by multinational companies and wealthy individuals in the country. Crown Paints Kenya PLC is arguably the leading paints manufacturing company in Kenya. In this article, the African Torch brings you the story of the man behind the success of the company and its ownership.

Crown Paints Kenya PLC.

Crown Paints Kenya PLC was established in 1958 and has grown to a company with an annual turnover of Ksh 9 billion in 2020, employing over 1,000 staffs and producing over 3 million litres of paint per month. The company has received Triple ISO certification and Integrated Management System (IMS) certifications. The company also owns the most significant number of computerized tinting machines in the market, which can dispense up to 6,000 shades in minutes, providing clients with a higher color range and unparalleled convenience. The company is behind the paint at TRM Mall on Thika road, Aga Khan University Hospital on Parklands Avenue and the Emaara Ole Sereni hotel along Mombasa road among many others.

Rakesh Rao Background.

photo courtesy of twitter

Rakesh Rao is the Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Crown Paints Kenya PLC. He attended Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya in 1983 where he pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce. In 1984 he studied a Diploma in Costing and management accounting and in 2000 he graduated with a Master of Business Administration (MBA). He would later pursue a Doctor of Philosophy – PhD in Global Leadership and Management at the European International University in Paris, France. Before joining Crown Paints PLC, Rakesh worked with multinational companies such as Tata Group, Mitsubishi and General Electric in various management capacities.

Also read: Chebet Lesan: the Kenyan Entrepreneur who won Ksh 33 million from Jack Ma’s competition!

Success at Crown Paints Kenya PLC.

Rakesh joined Crown Paints Kenya as Group CEO in 2005 and steered the company into an NSE-Listed and industry-leading brand operating across four East African countries. Some of his achievements in the company include bolstering profitability from 0.3 million dollars to 6 million dollars year on year since 2005, raising market share from 48 percent to 65 percent and steering the company into the Ugandan market through Regal Paints, and as Crown Paints in Rwanda and Uganda. He also steered the launch of the first ever digital platforms for home décor in East Africa, including Painters’ loyalty program and mobile applications such as the Crown Color Application. Following his achievements at Crown Paints Kenya, has earned him international recognitions and awards. He was shortlisted among the top businessmen of the year between 2011 and 2016 during which Crown Paints PLC was named ‘Company of the Year.’ In other engagements, Rakesh is a philanthropist and has a keen interest om social impact, and developing the community.

Awards and Achievements.

  • In 1994, Crown Paints Kenya became the first paint company to be listed in Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE).
  • In 2008, Crown Paints Kenya a superbrands status.
  • In 2010, Crown Paints Kenya was awarded first position in the 3rd Kisumu Homes Export Aga Khan Hall Kisumu.
  • In 2011, the company was awarded ‘Home Design Interiors Winner’ at the 5th Mombasa Homes Expo.
  • In 2012, Crown Paints Kenya won the 2012 COYA ‘Financial Management Award.’
  • In 2014, it won 4 COYA awards in the ‘Leadership and Management’, ‘Productivity and Quality’, ‘CEO of the Year’ and ‘Overall Company of the Year’ categories.
  • In 2016, Crown Paints Kenya won COYA/SMOYA Awards for ‘Leadership and Management’, ‘Customer Orientation and Marketing Innovation’ and ‘ICT and Knowledge Management’
  • In 2018, the company celebrated its 60th anniversary.
  • In 2019, it was named the winner in the ‘Innovation and Productivity’ category at the Employer of the Year Awards (EYA) held by the Federation of Kenya Employees (FKE).

Also Read: David Masika: The Billionaire behind Lloyd Masika Limited!

Ownership of Crown Paints Kenya.

Crown Paints Kenya has Belize-based investment firm Barclay Holdings as its majority shareholder with a 66.68 percent according to Business Daily. This happened after the firm acquired an additional 4.63 percent amount to 6.5 million shares in the company earlier this year. The firm owns shares in Crown Paints Kenya PLC directly and through its wholly-owned subsidiary Crown Paints and Building Products Limited. The company recorded a Ksh 16.7 percent rise to Ksh 10.7 billion and Ksh 731 million net profit in 2021 from Ksh 9.1 billion and Ksh 600 million net profit in 2020.