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Bamburi Cement Sales Director Kanyi Gitonga (left), CEO Seddiq Hassani, Head of Marketing & Corporate Affairs Mary Mueni and Fidelis Sakwa, the (Innovation & Technical Services Managerr at Sarova Stanley Hotel during the launch of masonry cement ‘Fundi’ brand. [ Photo / Business Today ]

Bamburi Cement Limited has launched a new cement product into the market, increasing its portfolio of brands, to take advantage growing demand from the construction sector.

Speaking during the launch, Bamburi Cement Chief Executive Officer Seddiq Hassani said focus has been to offer innovative end-user products and services to meet more specific and unique construction needs.

Looming price war

It hopes the naming of the brand Fundi, Kiswahili for masonry, will resonate with the very people who use cement. Most brands on the market – such as Nguvu, Tembo, Powermax and Simba, among others – appeal to strength and durability.

“Our contribution has been to help reduce complexity in the building process,” Mr Hassani said, “especially for the home builder, by providing application based products that are easy to understand, chose and use”.

Even then competition in the cement manufacturing has been heightening, with Bamburi’s new product coming barely weeks after its rival, Simba Cement, opened a Ksh5.8 billion cement factory in Salgaa, Nakuru County. It reduced the price of its cement to Ksh530 in Nakuru and its environs down from Ksh750, which could touch off a price war.

The other big player, Savannah Cement have also enhanced its offering, while East Africa Portland Cement and ARM Cement have been facing cash-flow and governnance issues.

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Meanwhile, Bamburi’s Fundi is formulated with enhanced capabilities for masonry and plaster works. It is an application-based cement that can be used in brick and block laying, plastering, rendering, screed and repair works.

Mr Hassani said that Fundi, like other Bamburi products, will be manufactured under stringent processes.

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“In developing Fundi Cement, besides affordability, our key consideration is quality and technical attributes for specific use by our customers,” he added. “Fundi Cement is, therefore, the coming together of the best technological innovation and highest product quality to deliver a product that is in tandem with market and consumer needs.”

Mr Hassani noted the launch of Fundi demonstrates Bamburi’s commitment to maintaining leadership by offering innovative end user products to meet more specific and unique construction needs. Bamburi Cement has been offering application-based cement products for the last 15 years.

Affordable housing market

In addition to this new product, Bamburi Cement announced a new look and feel of their existing cement product including Nguvu, Tembo and Powermax in a bid to better communicate each brand’s value proposition (applications and benefits) with a standardization in ‘look and feel’ for all Bamburi Cement brands.

The newly launched affordable Fundi cement comes at a time the Kenya government is stepping up its affordable housing agenda that seeks to achieve the target of 500,000 affordable houses by 2022.

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