Sparking Family Wealth by Making Motor Vehicle Filler

According to 2020 Kenya Association Manufacturers’ report on Automobile Industry’s statistical report christened ‘Kenya Automobile Sector Profile‘ there are 3.16 million Motor vehicles registered in Kenya as at 2019. This translates to 6.6% of the human population occupancy, a big source of income for the sector’s service providers. Among the biggest beneficiary of this erstwhile lucrative market is the automobile repair kits manufacturers. Fuel dealers, and the spare parts importers top the list.

Speaking of body repair kit manufacturers, the automobile paint and Filler manufacturers smile all the way to the bank in enviable proportions. In this case, let us discus the Body Fillers business in Kenya.

Body Filler is one of the fast moving automotive repair products in Kenya, if the number of repair garages in every town is anything to go by. The few brands in the Kenyan market are manufactured by the multinational paint manufacturing corporates, however, a number of them are famous brands from Egypt, Germany and China.

Curious to know which body Filler most garages prefer, A car panel beating specialist in Kariobangi Light Industry, a Mr. Gerald once confided to me why Henkel, a German brand and a more expensive Mido, an Egyptian brand are most popular with panel beaters besides the Kenyan one Sweco. In his own words, he said that the three brands are easy to sand and more durable. Not far away, grogon, a popular car repair yard in the backstreet of the city with more than 40 garages, hundreds of kilograms of Filler putty are consumed daily. Hundreds of spare part shops lining this street stock all the 8 brands produced both locally and from outside . So, what makes Filler manufacturing business a worthwhile undertaking?

Ease of Manufacturing

Unlike paint that requires time running the mill and a little sophistication for specialized coatings, Body Filler needs a constant speed agitator, not specialized in any format but just a geared motor and stirrer blades. The process of compounding Filler putty is straightforward and minimal risks are involved.

Good Profitability

The automotive Filler putty is a well priced product. The average retail price of 4L can goes for Ksh. 1,500. The cost of producing the 4L, metallic tin included is Kshs. 880. This is if the raw materials are sourced at Wholesale prices. The actual price of the raw materials, with that of the Hardener included is 780 shillings. Overheads account for 6% of the initial cost of production. They cover labour, electricity, transport, rent and levies. Branded tin costs Ksh 85. Therefore, a producer is able to make close to 70% profits if he supplies his merchandise directly to the retail shops and 60% if he channels his product through distributors and wholesalers.

Low Initial Capital Investment

The limiting factor to many business startups is the capital and statutory demands. Not so with the body Filler. While an individual can manually mix up to 50kg, mechanized production may require use of simple electric stirrers with a capacity of mixing 50kg batch. These mechanical implements can be fabricated locally at a cost less than 30,000 shillings. This is according to a specialized construction equipment fabricator, Gilead Auto Machinery Workshop based in Kariobangi. Raw materials needed for a 50kg batch is 10,000. That is to say a 4L tin fits Raw material worth 800 Bob! It is noteworthy that all raw materials are available locally, with some mined locally from Kajiando District.

Ksh. 52k Daily Profits

A 50kg batch, mixable manually with a long wooden ladle, can produce twelve 4-Litre tins. Breaks in between, a well fed individual can run 5 batches in a single day. That’s about 62 tins worth 87,000 shillings. Assuming the manufacturer is selling 2 tins in every County daily, the daily factory production volume can be sold by the sunset. A 60% profits of the total daily sale volumes translates into 52,200 net worth income.

Getting Started

A wise way of venturing the market is to familiarize yourself with the environment and field of operation. Conducting a detailed survey, analyzing pros and cons, getting as much information as possible and getting a professional training and guidance, form adequate preparation for the challenge. As I noted earlier, the putty business does not need heavy capital investments, apart from the professional training or consultation with serious Consultancy Firms. Raising and setting aside 60k for the project is not risking too much for an undertaking that can turn around your family fortunes.

Overcoming Obvious Challenges

Since factory-branded tins may require capital commitment close to 100k, one can opt to purchase plain tins and brand them with printed labels. After all, the labels appearing in a well branded international brand from Egypt is a printed paper applied on the tin with a glue. You may not realize it unless you take a keen look at the tin! Lack training fee? Do not take shortcuts. Dealing with polymers is the trickiest part of the product manufacturing. Avoid Juakali considerations. Just purchase formulations from Cosmetics and Detergents Kenya Institute, Betty Industrial Chemicals Ltd or team up with a partner and purchase a book for Industrial Coatings formulations from accredited institutions.

The factory need not be formal. Start from the backyard of your rural home. You can also do it in your house provided children and expectant wife is not around.

Remember that KEBS certification is mandatory. It protects you and your customers. Plan for it and get help from consultants on how to manoeuvre through the process.

Important Advice

Remember that starting a business is a babystep process. Do not rush or anticipate to become a millionaire overnight. Nurture the newborn and seek advice from seniors. Do not do business as a revenge mission to outdo your former employer, or to overtake your agemates and business colleagues. Accept ups and downs as part of the learning curve. Always seek wisdom from God and walk a straight path. No short cuts. YOU WILL SUCCEED.

Our brainchild Beneficially.

Why is Hair Shampoo in the Market Cheap?

During a recent training of our most ardent client, who has so far learned over 9 products, she posed a question: Why do companies sell 5L shampoo at 250 Shillings…Is it not very cheap? My answer was yes. Hair Shampoo for Salons, usually sold in 5L gallons is among the few cheapest beauty care products in the market.

In sharp contrast, the same hair shampoo, usually sold in stylish 500ml bottles, sachets sell over 20 times costlier than the bulk 5L salon shampoo. For example, UNILEVER’S SUAVE Shampoo sells Ksh. 2,200 for a 800ml pack, while another brand TRESEMME sells their 828ml for 1,700 Shillings. Similar numerous high-end brands costing a tooth and nail can be spotted along Nairobi’s Dubois Road where we have over 2,000 shops stocking cosmetics

Few explanations can be fronted to satisfy the curiosity of this observation:

Consumer Satisfaction

Companies with a line of products in the market need to cash in from budget-conscious (low-end) consumeship albeit little net profits. This, they achieve by producing the lowest quality ever hair shampoos, provided they meet the KEBS’ mandatory minimum standards of 5% Active Matter. By this, it means that SLES, the mainstay functional ingredient in shampoos is utilised at its least amount of 7.2%. Co-surfactants that double as lather generators will be struck out of the formulation because they’re a value-adding ingredients. Therefore, this idea of getting the littlest of the poor spender’s coin is win-win situation since the customer will access the products and services while the manufacturer will gain, however little it will be

Maintenance Brand:

Companies will make cheap shampoos with very little net profits that cannot, on their own, support or maintain a functional industrial process. This, they do for various reasons: To provide continuity of their presence in the market. This has the advantage of creating market dominance. Secondly, the small net profits accrued from the shampoos they sell will take care of company overheads such as transport, electricity and oftentimes, rent.

Market Dominance

Big companies with moderately priced line of products in shopping malls, retail shops and supermarkets will want to be seen everywhere. This satisfies the ‘Dominance hierarchy’ psychology which is an animalistic behavioural expression of dominance. In our entrepreneurship lessons our learners get to understand that these dominance hierarchies can be despotic or linear. (Let’s leave this for another day). Now, with their low-priced Shampoo brands in the market, not only do they create presence all-over, but the little margin profits generated can be used to sustain that line of cheap products on their own independent accounts.

High Volume Sales Strategy

The high volume strategy allows a corporate to sell products in large volume quickly, relying on the smaller profit per item to add up due to volume. This strategy works perfectly if one’s product is relatively below the market price for similar competing items and you have a large inventory to sell.

The key with high volume sales is lowering the price (because your cost was low) to sell rapidly. For High Volume Sales strategy to work, your price needs to be below usual competitive pricing but include enough cushion so that you cover your costs and achieve profitability. Strangely, this is the practice that works very well with bigger corporates manufacturing fighter brands, e.g. Kibuyu Laundry Soap, Popcorn brand of Laundry soap etc. In some situations, fighter brands often have their lifespan and you don’t get to hear about them after some time (a story for another day)

Expensive Shampoos

While we have known the reasons why we have 5L shampoos going for Ksh. 250, often scaring and badly discouraging beginners of cottage industry, shouldn’t we explore why similar versions, or better, same products from same companies sell more as is the case with Unilever’s Suave brand or TRESEMME brand? Please save this number +25472342420 and send us a ‘Hi’ in order for us to send you full article alert.

This is the newest anti aging cream with more skin benefits such as UV protection, Anti acne and spots. Comes with a User insert Containing drug information such as pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics.


Learning How to Make Paints – Course Basics

The science of polymer reactivity and characterisation of paints is the mainstay in competitive manufacturing of paints-both Automotive and Architectural.

Our classes that last an average of 29 days enable the Trainee to understand how chemicals in Paint interact and behave in different combinations and proportions in order to bring the desired quality and performance of the paint. This is one aspect many manufacturers overlook and therefore, lack of basic understanding of the chemical reactivity will limit them in designing paint products with either better quality and performance or lower costing but better quality.

The Paint industry is awash with brands with a variety of different prices, performance and quality. This enables manufacturers of such paints compete favorably and survive in the market, especially with bigger companies preferring to have cheaper types of Paints as their fighter brands. However, it should not worry a small scale manufacturer given that in the face of stiff competition, the said small starter can vary his or her formulation to lower the costs and provide unmatchable competition with such low cost varieties.

Take for example the Matte Paint (variously going by the names Covermatt, VinyMatt etc.). The lowest costing 20L types go for Ksh. 2,500, while the highest quality goes for, 4000. A “clueless” manufacturer may find it difficult competing with the well educated manufacturer who makes the two types. But understanding the the formulation aspects of the two types of paint can enable one to design formulations with high binder capacity and low volume premium pigments. This is possible if the manufacturer understands the basics in pigment volume concentration, volume solids and sheen level adjustments. Therefore, Knowledge on basic polymer reactivity and characterisation of the different types of binders can help one manipulate and substitute the costly ingredients with cheaper ones while maintaining a better quality.

Our Chief Director inspecting production process in an undated photo

To reach us, kindly text us or call us on WhatsApp +254723 42 42 40. Books are also available for self training.

New Paint Formulation Manual

We have launched a new detailed and thoroughly revised 2121 edition of Paints and Coatings formulation manual that will offer local and international paint manufacturers a reference material for their manufacturing factories

The 120 page Manual is well edited with basic theory touching on introducing each paint in its rightful category, functions and their binder systems. The second part discusses the raw materials used in making paints in their rightful categories and grades and enables the paint manufacturer to understand quality attributes for each paint based on the raw materials, binder systems and Pigment Volume Concentrations as well as Volume solids.

The third chapter focuses on individual paint formulations for over 50 types categorized as Architectural, Motor vehicle coatings, Metal and wood surfaces. The chapter also incorporates Varnishes, Thinners and Fillers (Car repair body Filler, wood Filler, wall fillers and Hardeners. Further, Printing ink technology and formulations are featured as well as Adhesives.

Pigment Concentrates, very useful in Paint tinting is featured and the leaner is is updated on raw material sourcing, grading and use of the machinery. A free 22 page Business Plan on Architectural Paints manufacturing accompanies the book to help the owner of the manual to plan and strategize the paint factory set up, including sales projection and profits management.


The 2021 Manual is co-authored by a team of top educationists, raw material importers, paint manufacturers and polymer chemists. The piece work in the manual has been edited and re-edited, with reviews on the accuracy in the formulary values as appears in some of selected local brands such as PolyPaint, DABCO, Dalwatt etc.

Aim of Publishing the Manual

As an educational institution, our main aim to publish the book is for educational purposes and promotion of local entrepreneurship, with focus to promoting local material stockists, mentoring of TOTs, entrenching professionalism in product manufacturing among cottage industry players and promoting local business entrepreneurship spirit among the local manufacturing enthusiasts

We hope the Manual will be a standard resource and reference book for students doing their thesis on industrial chemistry, local TVETs training on paint manufacturing and paint companies wanting to diversify their product portfolio.

Special thanks to all the collaborative team and particularly the directors of the Cosmetics and Detergents Kenya Ltd Institute

Low-cost Industrial Machines that can Boost Home Manufacturing

Machines are mechanical implements designed to take up tasks that humans do manually. Besides cutting down the cost of production and waste of human energy, machines go an extra mile optimizing finesse of the finished product.


These machines are electric devices that stir or mix ingredients. They’re however, designed to rotate at both very high speed and very low speed (speed variable). Modern homogenizers are geared to increase torque (energy). The high torque helps in swirling high viscous materials such as pastes, Creams, soaps, colloidal products such as hair foods etc. without ceasing or breaking. Power consumption is lowest for geared motors because the mechanical advantages are achieved by the gears.

Since homogenizer machines can vary speeds during production, products needing high shear mixing such as emulsions, carbomer based products e.g. Hand sanitizers, hair gels and products needing low but constant speed such as grease, glues, etc. can all be done by the same machine.

Liquid Detergent systems such as Hair Shampoos, Handwash, multi purpose Detergents, Shower gels etc. often need initial high speed to disperse surfactants and lower speed during the second phase of mixing. During the last stage, these Detergent systems need lowest speed possible to avoid aeration or bubble formation. Homogenizers find home here.

Quality Homogenizer Machines

More often than not, the choice of machine to replace human labour needs forethought and thorough selection criteria.

Cheap is Expensive

Homogenizers that cost less come with a price attached while the most expensive ones come with financial burdens that may slacken funding and progress. As a good planner, choosing a middle priced machine can be likened to killing the proverbial two birds with one stone: Securing both future and immediate expenses.

Quality Work

A better competing product is the envy of every manufacturer and eye catcher to prospective customers. Suffice to say that, the texture of the final Detergent products, whether hand wash, Surface disinfectants, multi purpose liquid Detergents, etc. are defined by how well they are mixed. Some important ingredients such as EDTA, which we cannot do without, Salt which is used as an Ionic thickener and few other additives may pose initial solubility challenges. When a Homogenizer is employed in mixing the ingredients, the particle size reduction of these low-solubility ingredients can be enhanced by the shear dispersion force generated by the high speed rotations. In the final stages of mixing, low speed agitation encourages nucleation of bubbles formed by Anionic Surfactants. This ensures that less time will be taken to pass the product through the final stages of Quality control such as measuring the pH and pigment incorporation. Remember that pH stabilization is the third last procedure to making Detergents. After ensuring the pH is stable, color pigments and fragrances are next in that order. Assuming one used conventional stirrers or hand mixing, the settling of bubbles ( to allow the two last procedures) may take hours especially if the desired thickness of the product is above 2000cps. This delays processing and loss of time.

We recommend machines that add value to the work of the manufacturer. Pay keen attention to the nitty gritty details of the machines that you want them work for you, and don’t feel overburdened spending on them. It will eventually pay a thousand fold and save you money

Colour Speckles for Powder Detergents

Among the few challenges a local powder Detergent manufacturer is likely to face is sourcing of the color Speckles.

While it is likely to get NO local reliable source for the additive ingredient, many overseas dealers are willing to export it, but the cost and logistics complicate the process.

Few things can explain why nobody wants to sell the color Speckles. Firstly, the ingredient is very light and therefore bulky to handle. Secondly, it is cheap. For a manufacturer to realize good returns, they will look for a customer buying tons and tons. This huge bulk takes excess space and cargo transporters won’t ferry it at normal charges. It therefore becomes extremely expensive for the end user

Like any other product made from scratch, local cottage manufacturers can make the Speckles from the backyard of their home. It is plainly simple, convenient and affordable.

With locally available materials for the manufacture of the Speckles, it is a simple process, however, a small hand-operated machine for Extrusion of the Speckles will come in handy. The gadget can be sourced from Express Marine Engineering Corporation or Gilead Machinery

Team with us for the knowledge in making of the Speckles that will add colorful value to your powder Detergent. Our senior technician’s contact is +254723424240

Leveraging on Cleaning Products to Establish a Successful Business Empire

Without over-emphasizing, the cleaning industry is the biggest consumer of Industrial consumables, after the food industry. Therefore, manufacturers find a haven of ready market for their products without breaking a sweat.

Not every cleaning product though promises good returns since the market is segmented through the stratum of dire needs.

The following categories of cleaning products are known to have the highest market consumption regardless of consumer buying power while at the same time serving as highest net income earners

Chlorine Bleach.

We all grew up using “Jik”, a brand that has not only dominated the laundry industry but has popularized the Culture of laundry bleaching and disinfection. Since the industrial revolution in Kenya came knocking, many brands in the same category have sprouted. The Juakali sector has caught up with the popular demand of the product that has seen chemical shops busy stocking and selling the raw materials used in making it. The numerous informal manufacturers of the bleach serve the neglected (and possibly the biggest) class of low income ‘afforders’- a group of consumers whose taste of quality comes last in light of the lower prices the backstreet concoctions fetch.

The high demand for the substandard, yet medium priced chlorine bleach is a positive economic indicator that the market is ripe and ready for more and more professional manufacturers of well branded products that serve the same purpose, irrigardless of the 4 major brands whose spirited advertising rule the media airwaves.

Cost of Production

Chlorine bleach, like many other industrial consumables, has a cost of production profile. Of importance is knowing that the net profits are way above 800%. E.g. Making a 5L of chlorine bleach costs anything between 30-40 shillings. The lowest priced is 500 shillings with an average cost of branded 750ml going for Ksh 150. Ready, stable market exists with learning institutions, hotels and middle income Estates.

Liquid Antiseptic

The advent of Corona Virus Disease has heightened the popularity of hygiene practice in boarding schools, which now serve as an emerging market for the product since most schools demand that each pupil reports with the 1L of dettol Antiseptic. Elsewhere, individual home users, hospitals serve as a continuity consumer. While the average cost of making 1L of the product is about Ksh. 300, the retail value is almost 5 times. Few professional brands like Dettol, Robert’s, Famarsi etc. have had blissful business for the past 18 months, thanks to the institutional demands and heightened hygiene needs. We have noted that part of the reason why we have very few manufacturers of the product is due to lack of manufacturing skills and awareness among Kenyans who like trying a hand on anything that promises quick income. The complexity surrounding the chemical characteristics of the product (forming a white cloud upon mixing with water) deters many would-be makers of the ‘Dettol’, who are, ironically, merchants of Detergents and soaps, fearing that once concocted the casual way of mixing multipurpose Detergents, it won’t produce the ouzo effect. Worthy of note is that 4 other brands joined the market recently after their manufacturers passed through our training Institute. One of them, a Mr. Theuri, whose brand we cannot reveal for professional ethics, is overstretched with supply of his Antiseptic brand to a number of boarding schools.

Toilet Cleaner

Over 88% of bedsitters have a toilet inside them. In a related feature story, we enumerated the cost of producing an equivalent of 500ml of a common brand in the market and stated that the profit margins are a good motivation for someone willing to make Ksh 100k per month from the comfort of his home.

Big brands like Harpic, Duck, Mongoose etc. are waking up to the fact that Juakali manufacturers are inching closer to their territory however, they are not bothered since their internal market surveillance systems have not sounded any alarms of market takeover (by Juakalists) in the next few decades.

Liquid Antiseptic Disinfectant

For the general information, Disinfectants and Antiseptics are two different products when it comes to individual formulation and use. Liquid Antiseptics such as Dettol are for use on skin and they form uzo effect (clouding in water). Disinfectants do not form cloud effects in water, and are used for sanitizing benches, floors, etc.

However, a new class (combo) of a product that performs both roles was invented by Reckitt Benckiser (the owners of,Dettol brand). The good news is that this combo does not necessarily have to form white cloud on water, making it a cheaper version of the original dettol disinfectant. Even the material for its manufacture are cheaper and user friendly to the manufacturer, with not special skills to mix them up. What is required by the new manufacturer is to learn the specifics in formulation and KEBS requirements for eventual certification.

Market for Antiseptic Disinfectants

A newfound market for the hybrid product, that occasionally spots the golden yellow color and the trademark Pine smell is in the hair Salons. Since coronavirus pandemic trimmed spending power for many people, Salons, which are frequented by majority of working class women, wealthy business ladies and men are increasingly finding its use as the alternative to Dettol. The cost of producing a 500ml fully packaged and branded product is Ksh 50. It is retailing at 150 shillings for the same amount.


One common thing with the discussed products is that they are very popular and fast moving, fetch high margin profits, do not require a space larger than a a standard bedsitter in Nairobi, have lowest cost of production and do not need advertisements since the ready market is already sensitized by the predecessors.

The cons is that special skills are needed to formulate a a stable, KEBS certifiable product. We at Cosmetics and Detergents Kenya Ltd Institute are dedicated in providing exceptionally highest industrial skills that enable the learner in designing own formulations that fit a particular budget needs for the target consumers without compromising the Kenya National Bureau of Standards. You can reach the chief trainer on this No. +254723424240

Understanding Chemicals is Key to Competent Manufacturing Career

We are all familiar with “Premium” and “Economy” prefixes in most products in the market. Well, the terms describe quality. “Economy” is a polite and professional name for “Lower” quality, while “Premium” denotes higher /best quality. In Paints, “Trade” may denote “cheaper quality”.

Why do manufacturers make lower and higher quality products? Your guess is right. Not all inhabitants of the earth are economically empowered alike. We have lower income, middle and high income groups of individuals. What a rich man can afford may be out of reach of the lower income persons. Therefore, manufacturers cater for the three groups of buyers partly to meet corporate obligations of universal service and most importantly, to net income (profits) from all people around.

Being able to tweak formulations of your products to make different qualities will enable a manufacturer to accommodate all the three different classes of buyers. It is therefore mandatory for a manufacturer to master the art of formulation of a product in order to make profits and compete favorably with competitors.

One day, while carrying out a market survey for a client, I made visits in the super markets within and outside Nairobi. To my surprise, I noticed with awe that 98% of the Tissue Paper brands in the market come from one manufacturer-Chandaria Industries! Even more amazing is that each brand has its own price Tag different from the others, while the texture, packaging etc. are all unique to each brand. While narrating my experience to my colleagues, one of them stood up and pointed out that Bidco, a local multinational edible oil manufacturer has over 5 brands of Cooking oil. “All the cooking oil brands come from the mouth of one machine, and only the container changes…” he added as we all paid keen attention to his narrative. It later dawned to all of us that if you despise one brand of a product due to taste, quality or bad experience, your payment for your alternative brand is likely to go into the bank account of the same manufacturer!

The above scenario teaches us several things; That as a manufacturer, you can get money from all classes of consumers without burning your fingers; that you can stave off fierce competition from your rivals; and that you can satisfy the needs of your customers by meeting your clientele demands in terms of quality provision.

Would a quack manufacturer achieve this without knowing how to substitute chemicals and play around with formulations? No! Being able to alter formulations requires proper knowledge of the constituent ingredients in a product, and this is the basic survival tactic employed by successful manufacturing enterprises world over.

It therefore, goes without saying that training in industrial formulations at whichever level, is mandatory for successful career in manufacturing. How else would you break even when, after a short stint of nominating your local market, a competitor (from nowhere) comes with cheaper products thus “stealing” all your customers with cheaper priced products? Resign from trading? This is where applying the SWOT analysis comes in handy.

The immediate action you are supposed to take in the wake of an intruder (cheap products) is tweaking your formulation to accommodate lower sale prices without burning your fingers. For example, you can downgrade the Surface Active Matter of your Hand wash to 6% (the least acceptable by KEBS is 5%) and you will save about 13% of your total cost of production while maintaining the minimum standards as per KEBS requirements. In fact, to make the 6% Hand wash look even more appealing, you can slightly rase CDE to 1.5% and the pH to 8 so that it will look thicker and enhance the cleansing action, which is affected by the pH of the Detergent system. Other manufacturers would also slightly raise the Sodium chloride (Salt) to volumnize the consistency of the product. It should however, be noted that Salt increases the Viscosity of the Detergent system by a dedicate Ionic balance, failure to which (more or less) salt will result in thin (light) consistency /Viscosity.

A common malpractice has been observed in backstreet manufacturers of Detergents! They add Sodium Tri poly phosphate (commonly abbreviated as STPP) falsely believing that it can increase Viscosity of their products. A closer research revealed that the stockists of the chemicals also have erroneously believed that STPP is CMC.

While CMC is a cellulosic thickener preferred for thickening Detergent systems where Ionic balancing is affected by some types of fragrances (which tend to break the Viscosity upon addition), it’s use is not really necessary, and again, it can never be substituted by STPP.

It must however, be noted that, the presence of adulterants in the fragrances we purchase from most chemical stores are to blame for the thinning effects they have on Detergent systems upon addition. The only way to avoid this problem is to get pure concentrated fragrances (albeit at a cost) and incorporate them into your products. In the long run, they save cost of production because their purity and higher strength enables them to work at very minimal additions compared to the cheaper versions (whose price for 1L is Ksh. 1,600).

We encourage new industry (and even old) manufacturers to endeavor and acquire professional knowledge in basic chemical engineering or formulations from local accredited training firms or knowledgeable private individuals as this will go a long way in helping you to survive in the market.

For more advice and help, please do not hesitate to contact us on WhatsApp 0723 42 42 40 or email We also offer online training and consultation services for a reasonable fee.

Newer Business Avenues of Making More Money

The first quarter of the 2021 has been a classroom for “white collar” job employees as well as retirees, job losers and home based manufacturing newbies.

We have, for example, learned that not any business brings in millions of income overnight, however lucrative it may seem from outside. We have also learned that starting a business is a well thought out strategy. Further, we have learned that some businesses are more profitable than others. Everyone, including employers and employees has learnt that we can lose businesses, jobs and partners instantly!

While listening to numerous cases with people who have approached me for business consultation, I have come to appreciate the role counselors and mentors-alike, play in instilling hope and sense of belonging to the heartbroken, desperate and mentally fatigued people who have woken up to loss of livelihood secondary to job loss, death of the breadwinner, spousal bereavement etc. all orchestrated by the natural calamity occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic.

The need for financial security has driven many people to seek opportunities in the manufacturing industry. While there is a big hope in manufacturing ventures, careful selection of the field of specialization needs an expert’s unbiased and honest opinion.

I have come to learn that the often looked-down areas like the building and automotive industry behold a sustainable and guaranteed success for those who dare venture into manufacturing of products like Thinners, Varnishes, Grease, Wall Fillers, Putty, Body Fillers etc.

Without over emphasizing, the above cited fields are million minters. In the ongoing lockdown, Buildings continue coming up, while garages and furniture industry are expanding exponentially. These are Avenues one can gamble on without much fear. The only requirement needed to conquer these gold mine fields is thorough professional knowledge and little guidance. Foreigners who control the businesses in these areas are few, while the market is extremely big.

The following courses at a glance are capable of jump-starting your day with little capital investment; Automotive Grease and Engine oil cottage manufacturing, Body Filler, solvents (Thinners) production, paint and varnish making, Cement and wall Filler manufacturing , etc.

We at Cosmetics Kenya Institute offer professional training in industrial design and production of the above mentioned products, and we mentor newbies in all areas of concern including raw material sourcing and marketing. Reach us through our mobile phone service 0723 42 42 40

Sugar Manufacturing in Kenya by Cottage Industry

As usual our recent announcement on completion of Sugar Technology Curriculum was met with mixed reactions, with some responding to our WhatsApp status with texts congratulating us, while others wondering whether the ‘seemingly larger-than-life’ industrial exercise is capable of being carried by ‘human beings’.

The comments we received were not surprising because every time we launch a course similar comments greet our inboxes. However, one particular comment I received from one of our ardent followers was whether it can be the ‘usual sugar’ we use in sweetening tea. It reminded me of a question we received in 2018 when we announced a Course in Industrial Paint Technology by a caller from Ngong, Nairobi: ‘Hallo.., halloo?!! Am I Speaking to Cosmetics Kenya? …’  is this Paint Course you’re offering something a normal human like me can do?’ Even on answering on the affirmative, the caller expressed a lot of scepticism, citing how he once stumbled upon a YouTube video of a local giant Paint manufacturing company’s ‘sophisticated’ and ‘complex’ method of making paint that he gave up on the dream to attempt on it.

That aside, we can advise that manufacturing of anything has both a small and a big way of doing it. Technology has evolved over time thanks to scientific research on improving efficiency, quality and minimizing labour input. Therefore, prior to developments, manufacturing was going on, even with small equipment and native methodologies.

The few giant Sugar manufacturing companies in Kenya including The Mumias Sugar Company, Kakira Sugar factory (Uganda), Sony Sugar etc. were medium scale factories with smaller machines and lots of manual operations. However, with innovativeness and improvements on Technology, a visitor into one of the firms will stare with awe, wondering if a small scale ‘farmer’ can ever manage to achieve such a feat (Sugar production).

Nevertheless, just like the local and international (Uganda, Ethiopia, Rwanda, South Africa and Tanzania) manufacturing firms we have helped raise through training, mentorship and machinery provision, especially with Soap Manufacturing, we have proved scepticists wrong by demonstrating that any person can not only run a factory, but can also set up one. We have, for example, proved to the 2018 caller that Paint Manufacturing can be done from as little capital as 50,000 Shillings. This, we have done by mentoring a local client set up a brand (name withheld) that is now manufacturing Wood Coatings (Varnishes). The mere display of sophistication of big manufacturing companies in Kenya is done to instil confidence to local and international clients who make corporate business ties with such manufacturers.

Likewise, in Kenya, where the government has realised that academic papers do not define the future of a differently talented kid, and introduced CBC school program, we are proving to multitude of school leavers, the jobless people, retirees and people condemned as failures that they can do, albeit at a lower level, what the multinationals are doing. Be it Sugar manufacturing, Paint Production, Powder Milk etc. with the right understanding of the processes, small capital backing and a selfless mentor, one can become a manufacturer.

Market & Profits for Sugar

Sugar is not only the fastest moving household commodity but also the one which 89% of the entire population cannot do without! That said, we see an enormous local business gold mine that has not only been controlled by three National companies, but severely abused by the same players who have, like many other African Countries impoverished farmers and held them ransom. And well, since, in spite of them producing thousands of tons daily, the great appetite for the sweet thing in Kenya has led to sustained supply deficit, often attracting international traders who ship in the commodity in equal tonnage to the price-burdened consumers. The profits of sugar are good, however, greed, sabotage and mismanagement of the defunct companies have created an impression that the business is for government-funded projects.

Machinery & Equipment

As I said earlier, what is done by big machinery can be done by small, affordable and efficient machines. Sugar Manufacturing at home level needs a crusher to extract the Juice, which is further treated to remove gums, ash, wax and albumin by use of simple stainless steel vessels. Special heating (precipitation) vessels fitted with electric coils can be fabricated locally by Gilead Workshop off Outering Road. Of course, large scale production will need better and bigger equipment that can still be sourced locally but at a fee. Technology and expertise is what a beginner needs. And with our well established curriculum, training experience and goodwill, a person willing to set up a family income generating project, especially Sugar Cane Farmers, can always reach out to us for opinions, guidance and training. Speaking to a local fabricator, the full set of equipment for a small scale manufacturing with daily production estimated at 100kg per day can cost about 80,000. ‘Importing an equivalent from China will cost three times more and the materials are the same’ said Mr. Timmothy Kathunkumi, the Workshop Manager.

We encourage local entrepreneurship especially familial, where pooling of resources, accountability and induction of offspring will make such companies a generational legacy


Review of our Service Charges

Some adjustments in pricing of our services are due to take effect in February. Some of the few areas that will see the proposed changes are External training sessions, Consultation outside our offices and group trainings. The pricing of some product training will be adjusted downwards. The affected products are Animal feeds and Candle making techniques.

We’ve also proposed reviewal of the pricing for some industrial products like paint, Thinners and foam mattresses, whose charges will be slightly raised. For those who may not be able raise training fee for the Architectural Paints or Varnishes, he can pay for single products like Silk paint or Gloss wood varnish. Prices for the Industrial Coatings (Paints, Varnishes, etc. will be adjusted significantly higher than the former price of Ksh 54,000 per copy. However, our royal clients can still access individual formulations at the price range of 15,000 per product formulation. These changes will appear in our training list

We remain royal and professional in our services

This is the Year to Make Up for What 2020 Did Not Deliver

The just concluded year was a nasty experience for over 85% of businesses, individuals and corporates. The heavy battering by the pandemic was unexpected. Those who sailed through almost to December without feeling the ripples have concluded the year with debts

We may not know what surprises this year will bring forth, whether positive or negative. However, as if nothing happened, we should put on our usual efforts and carry on with our visions to achieve our goals

It is always advisable to explore newer areas of investments and exploit every opportunity available with whatever risk it may involve, who knows, that which you have risked may turn out to do better than others.

Having many microenterprises whose risks are lowest will always contribute to earnings and at the break of the day, money will always be available. If, for example, Liquid soap is earning Ksh 500 per day, and disinfectant is earning similar amount, then with three more similar investments an entrepreneur will be gaining 2,500 shillings a day. Now, this is similar and even more better than the popular Merry go round (“Chama”), where, 5 people contribute 500 Bob daily to every member. The good thing about micro enterprises is that the daily earnings of 2,500 ( sometimes even higher or lower) remains yours for keeps! In a month’s time, your account will be retaining slightly above 60k,which you can loan yourself to expand more.


Invest in NUMEROUS low risk, low capital business and try running them simultaneously. Rewards are great. Remember that the core of your success relies on quality of your product and some little advise on entrepreneurial skills that you need to employ in the field.

Let’s make the most out of this year and DO NOT LISTEN to failure stories: Oh, the margin profits are very low, Oh so and so tried it unsuccessfully, oh, there are no raw materials, oh oh oh….

Entrepreneurs Never Give up

This year has been a tough one, with many hopes dashed by the catastrophic Covid-19 plague. However, a visionary mind never gives up, partly because the situation affected almost everyone. Secondly, it is part of life’s ups and downs that make us even more resilient. It’s a simple matter of waking up, dusting and picking from where one left.

On the brighter side of the whole scenario, some of the heavily affected rediscovered their inner abilities. New talents were born, besides creativity that was no match. People discovered doing business in another way. Many of us discovered that online business was even more successful!

The massive loss of jobs from some of the most hit sectors made the affected persons refocus on ways of earning, obviously, opting to be self employed (producers) rather than employees

The good news is that, choosing to work as a self employed person does not need huge capital startup for business. Whether starting from zero or medium scale, a business is about naturing. It can sometimes be slow to pick up, but eventually, with correct ways of doing it, it will pick and expand. Remember we all grew from newborns, to toddlers, young adults and here we are. Everything is a process which demands patience.

We may not know about the year 2021, especially with the battered economy and similar other unforeseen calamities, which, by the way, are apocalyptic. However, we can start planning ahead. Minimize expenditure, grab opportunities, etc. Opportunities to learn, partnering, brokering, and risk taking (do not gamble).

Any form of work that can make you earn an extra coin from initial expenditure is business. I have seen people without capital (to start business) start a manufacturing business and excel by just buying and repackaging what is being sold in bulk. Approaching a manufacturer and ordering 20L of, say liquid Handwash, repackaging in 300ml and selling it (well labeled) can fetch almost tripple of profits. Re-investing the profits to take a course for the same enables you to make more profits as a manufacturer. Therefore, there is no limit to how one can start business. Mr. Wanyonyi, used to be a buyer of fragrances at a chemical outlet around OTC in Nairobi. He would hawk them alongside shampoo and laundry soap. He first came for soap making classes and recently came for Air freshener and shampoo course. He’s one of the success stories of pure determination, despite reading and writing challenge. He’s proud of himself and he makes genuine money through manufacturing and sale of what we see in the shelves of big supermarkets.

Never Despise Work

Businesses we despise while in white collar jobs are the ones that can feed your family satisfactorily. When lockdown was imposed, Kenyans watched in awe as SUVs, brand new vehicles, and well maintained family cars lined up sections of roads with their boots stacked with what “mama mbogas” used to sell in dusty road sides. This is a true testimony that we despise some jobs because we’re comfortable with our earnings,which without, even cleaning shoes can be regarded noble. After all, cobbler business earns better than some government salaries. A strategically placed shoe shiner in some of the busiest Nairobi streets (like The Agha Khan Walk) charging Ksh 40 per person needs to serve ONLY 100 people a day to pocket 4,000 Bob. That’s close to 100k per month, especially during the rainy season.

On an encouraging note, we have, in our Nairobi training center, trained University dons, salaried Engineers, Doctors and Nurses, Teachers, sons and daughters of the very rich, just to mention but a few. To us, they’re focused. Getting an extra skill besides what one has is a wise investment. It will come in hardy.

As we usher in 2021, let us remember that the best investment is industrial skills, but above all, let us trust and depend upon the LORD, for cursed is he who trusts in man (idolatry) – Jeremiah 17:5-8. Do not peg your hope on your work, experience or personal gains for that would constitute idolatry.

Paint Formulation in Kenya-Course

Architectural or industrial Paint making process is an interesting subject in Paint Chemistry

In our daily class work on Paint Chemistry, we introduce our learners to Paint Making Course by discussing various types of paint (which are more than 15 types) based on their paces of application (Metallurgy, Architectural, Automotive, Wood/timber, Marine etc.) and their characteristics (Enamel, Gloss, Satin, Eggshell, Silk, Matt etc.). We also make a quick introduction of various types of paints based on their chemical make-up besides fillers and Titanium pigments (Oil-based, Water based emulsions, Water/Oil based, Epoxy based etc.)

16 Different Ingredients

The core motive of the introduction, which takes not less than three hours, is to differentiate the different types of paints and the formulations which follow. A standard Architectural emulsion (water based Paint) has as many as 16 ingredients and as low as 13 ingredients, while the oil based as many as 10 ingredients. Learners are taken through the functionality of each ingredient one by one as the tutor explains the chemistry behind their use as well as possible replacement alternative. Whole course (in Architectural Paints) takes a week as a crush program and can extend up to a month.

Practical Skills

Formulations of various types of paints are demonstrated and the learner participates through actual formulation practical sessions where they test the samples and deliberate on their refractive index upon the surface they have been applied.

Based on the formulations, the paint is further classified as Interior, exterior, Covermatt, Silk, Weather guard Exterior, etc. Learners are taken through simple mathematical calculation that define different types of paints based on their refractive indexes (Gloss, Super gloss, Matt, Satin etc.). this, they learn simplified mathematical calculations of Pigment Volume Concentrations (PVC), Volume Solids (VS), Film Build (FB) among many others quality control parameters that are used to classify the paints in their rightful formulations.


The tutors are drawn from leading paint making companies and scholars in industrial chemistry, who are currently working to upgrade Cosmetics & Detergents Kenya Ltd. to an Industrial Research & Training Institute. Herman, a leading educationist (and retired Medical officer) is among the consultants who have an expansive experience in the field of Industrial consultancy, having helped local and international investors in building their brands successfully from paper work. He is the brain child behind three successful paint brands in Kenya which are currently experiencing rapid growth thanks to their superior and unique quality

Learners Experience

Without over-emphasizing the uniquely overwhelming expertise the learners gain, the knowledge in Raw Material (and Packaging) sourcing, Industrial Economics (Cost analysis of formulations), branding and quality control are part of the package that is offered in this very new course that is unique in the whole of Africa. Participants are also given direct connections to managers, owners and retail outlets of chemical stockists within East Africa. Those from Ghana, Nigeria, Mozambique and Sudan are given references to their local chemical suppliers.

Formulating Quality Wall Paints

Why do some paints require two or three coats? Again, why are some paint brands cheaper than others? These are are two critical points that this article will address based on formulation principles that a manufacturer of paint can rely on to make a killing in the diverse market of industrial coatings.

Quality Paints

A quality paint is usually regarded as ‘Premium’ while the lower quality type is given other palatable names like ‘Trade‘ or ‘Economy‘, ‘Soft white‘, etc. This renders the term “quality paints” obsolete since what would be “lower quality” will still find place in the shelves and may be more appreciated by the buyer who cannot afford the price tag of the more quality type.

The quality of a wall paint is characterized by, among others, a single coat application. In our next discussion, we shall look at other quality attributes of a paint, especially the hiding power.

A single coat application paint, often technically Reffered to as “Single Coat System” is a paint whose formulation is based on enough pigments and binders that constitute what we call Volume Solids, often expressed as in Percentage. Higher Volume Solids in a paint system leaves enough thick coat (measured in Microns) that negates second application. (Think of a person covering himself with one heavy blanket in a very cold night-no need to use two blankets, right? ). On the other hand, a paint that has less material in it (low volume solids) will need re-coating, probably two or more coats to achieve what a paint with high volume solids would achieve (now, think of a person needing two thin blankets to cover himself in a very cold night). In my formative years, when I was growing up, I at one time, resided in Kibra, where we would buy a loaf of bread at half price of the breads in supermarkets. Little did I know that Kibra type had more yeast that made 350g loaf as big as the 500g! In the the paint manufacturing industry, a manufacturer endeavors to satisfy low income buyers as well as their rich counterparts. Creating a single and three coat system for both types of consumers, therefore, needs a deeper understanding of the paint formulation techniques that will meet minimum KEBS requirements, while addressing the main goal of the manufacturing: Making profits!

Paint Volume Solids

A manufacturer, aware that he/she can make paints for single or multiple applications, may rely on a criteria for the formulation of such types of paints by knowing a few things about the size (thickness) of the coat (measured in microns) that the paint will leave on the wall after it dries. The thinner the coat, the more applications it will need, while the thicker the coat the less the repeated applications. This thickness of the coat is technically Reffered to as Dry Film Build.

Volume Solids, expressed in Percentage (VS%), therefore, is a measure of the paint’s quality and measured against the Spreading Rate of the Dry Film Build (DFB) multiplied by constant 10. An experienced paint manufacturer can modify the Volume Solids of his brand by simply adding more or limiting pigments and binders, but also doing his math technically to achieve a coat that may need only one or multiple applications of the paint. For example, a paint whose Volume Solids is 50%, spreading at the standard rate of 14 square meters per Liter, will give a film thickness of 35 microns. (100 microns a coat equals 1 millimeter). Therefore, a three coat system will give a total film thickness of about 105 microns. This therefore means that an emulsion paint of 35% VS spreading at the rate of 14 square meters per litre will only give about 25 microns a coat and 75 microns for a three coat system, while an emulsion paint with 70% VS will give a coat thickness 50 microns, effectively making it a two coat system. The latter is more costlier to produce but saves the user one coat. It can therefore be given a tag that separates it from “Economy Grade”!

How does a manufacturer determine the Volume Solids?

It can be mathematically calculated by adding the Volume of pigment in the paint and volume of the solid binder, then dividing the sum by Total volume of the wet paint and multiplying the resultant figure by 100. By also knowing the dry film build (dfb) a very keen manufacturer can multiply it (DFB) with the Spreading Rate (SR) and diving by constant 10 viz VS=DFB X SR ÷10. Similarly, volume Solids can also be arrived by this equation: VS =DFB X 100 ÷WFB, where WFB is Wet Film Build, measured in microns.

The writer is a senior educationist at Cosmetics and Detergents Kenya Limited Institute, overseeing the institute’s curriculum development and programming. He’s also behind the success of Dalwatt Paint brand that was recently launched into the East African Market.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner is 200% Profitable

  • Cost of Producing 1L =74
  • Cost of an Empty Container =Ksh. 50/-
  • Cost of double-sided Label = Ksh. 10/-
  • Total cost of making 1L =Ksh. 134/-
  • Retail Price = 459 on Average
  • Net profit: 459-134=325/L

The information appearing above was pulled from our research database for our clients.  The research, conducted in March 2020, sought to know the prices of various brands, among them Harpic, Ace, Tropikal, Safisha, Hurricane, Chlorox, Pride and Domestos. Retail prices of One Litre for each of the three brands randomly picked (Ace, Harpic and Tropikal) were noted as Ksh. 374, 538 & 467 respectively. On average, the retail price was computed as Ksh. 459/-. Interestingly, the research unearthed the fact that, of all the 83 registered manufacturing companies operating locally, only 6 of them indulged in branded Toilet bowl cleaners, whose products were also present in the Major retail chain supermarkets including Ukwala, Tuskys, Naivas, Powestar (Kasarani and Zimmerman) and    

It can, therefore, be clearly seen that the Net profit, with all other expenditures (8% of the total cost) duly deducted, is Ksh. 314, per one Litre of the product. This is over 200% profit. The recent rise in the Chemicals is probably a major contributor of the recent upward adjustments of prices for some leading brands such as Harpic. A local Wholesale Chemical Company Director says the prices of raw material will drop sharply in the coming weeks, however, prospects of the commodity’s retail prices dropping are nil, meaning the manufacturers of Toilet Bowl Cleaner stand better chances of benefiting immensely

Make 100k per month

Assuming that a new entrant in the market manufacturing 1L of Toilet bowl cleaner is making a net profit of Ksh. 250 per 1L bottle, it is within safe projections that such a manufacturer can make a whopping 100,000 shillings per month by just selling 400 pieces per month. He/She needs to lay a strategy of driving daily sales of 14 pieces only! By signing up with onlinre marketing platforms like ‘Jumia’ it is possible to sell even bigger numbers. Even better, mapping out 13 major towns including Kisii, Kericho, Malindi and Kakamega, and allocating sales of only one piece per Town per day, the manufacturer can achieve 100k pure Net profit per month. Mrs. Thuranira of Betty Industrial Chemicals says that even targeting 14 big Estates in Nairobi, and making sure each Estate consumes 1L of the pricy commodity, it is enough to earn a recent retiree 100K per month.

She avers that the only pricy ingredient in the bottle of Toilet Bowl Cleaner is Hydrochloric Acid, whose current price is 170/- at wholesale price. Ms Njoki, another chemical proprietor along Komarock road, Eastlands agrees that if the rate at which Hydrochloric Acid is being bought is anything to go by, a serious manufacturer can make over 1 Million per month. Sadly, she says, most of the buyers use it plainly or with other concotions to make it thick. “ I think lack of formulation knowledge is what keeps many potential manufacturers at bay” she says.

Profitable manufacturing

A good manufacturer must meet the legal requirements, among them having a KEBS certified product. It can be tricky making a stable Toilet Bowl Cleaner given that the Acid in it destabilizes most of the thickeners in the market. Good blending of components, use of Acid Thickeners like Amacron-13®, anti infectives (disinfecting agents) and surfactants below 2% can produce a homogeneous product that has stable colour, fragrance and ability to cling on the toilet bowl wall to allow enough contact time for the Acid to act.

Dr. Herman, the director of the Institute and owner of one of the biggest Industrial coatings company in Kenya gives a parting shot: “with the closure of businesses, one cannot languish in poverty and self pity with these open opportunities all around us”.

The Business Plan

Written with clear understanding of the formulation components of a standard product, the 15 page book introduces the prospector to basic steps in planning and starting of a home based manufacturing workshop for The Toilet bowl Cleaner. The booklet points out areas of interest that a new manufacturer can leverage on to achieve a profitable venture. The late pages of the booklet detail local companies where raw materials can be sourced and their prices. A well laid out Standard Formula for the Toilet Bowl Cleaner is drawn with components and their prices well laid out. A comprehensive Budget based on the formulation, current market prices, cost of basic equipment is outlined as well as start ups tips.

Business Plans and their Benefits

The past events few months ago saw people taking a refocus on their lives as Covid 19 ran down economy. We saw a rising demand for information regarding the best types of business to do.

It is difficult trying to explain to a client the best type of business to do, because there is tendency to be biased. Remember what might be easy for one person may be difficult for the other. Nevertheless, presenting the whole portfolio of businesses, however time consuming it might, will leave the client with more information and options to choose from.

However, when a client settles for a particular product manufacturing, deeper information regarding capital requirements, sources of raw material, expected profits, etc. may be necessary.

Business plans come in handy, save Alot of your time and money when you finally settle down for an item of your own choice. A well drafted business plan will capture information on product formulation and costing, initial capital demand, expected sales and net profits.

In making financial decisions on which level to start (either small or medium scale) the Business Plan will help you to reduce your chances of making unnecessary expenditure, gross blunders and will focus you on attaining set goals without wasting time.

Our expertise in product formulation and costing, which is part of what we teach daily, helps us draw a well informed plan that can be used not only to lobby for financial help from lenders, but also provide a database for progressive financial planning, business management and reference data

Contains Formulations, costings, batch planning, startup capital, pricing, comparative market prices etc

Raw Material Scarcity bite Chemical Shops across the Country

Blame it on Corona or increased spending, especially for soap products, but according to our survey, the recent hike in the cost of raw materials has sent unwelcome message that we may be witnessing a phenomenal scarcity of raw materials.

Various retail chemical shops in Nairobi have almost doubled prices of SLES, CDE, Ufanol, ufagyl, Glycerin, Hydrochloric Acid, and even Castor oil. A spot check with retail shops in Kariobangi has revealed that the Castor oil that used to go for Ksh 400 per kg is now priced at 550 for the same quantity. Ungerol in some Retail shops is going for Ksh 300,up from 210.

We contacted a few wholesale shops based in the Industrial area and the situation is the same for almost everyone, save for giant companies like ASL, Metroplastics, Betty Chemicals and Arichem who have reserved the prices for their stocks

A local wholesale supplier, Betty Industrial Chemicals Ltd have been quoted in their interactive blog saying that the situation is temporary and norm might resume in a months time

The same situation has been witnessed in machine spare part industry, where 5HP motors and essential electrical fittings have had a month long scarcity, forcing machine repairers and assembly firms to temporarily halt their services

Following the hitch in the raw material supply across the country, we may be witnessing a rise in prices for products such as Handwash, All purpose Detergents, tile cleaner etc. Where the prices of the said items will not have been affected, customers may suffer the shock of compromised quality for the same.

Ruthless traders are feared that they may even adulterate Ungarol, an essential ingredient in all Detergent including Shampoos, All purpose liquid soap, shower gels, Handwash, etc. Adulteration may make them, especially Ungarol, seen cheaper than usual. The users may not be aware they are using half-strength Ungarol or Ufacid until their regular clients complain that the effectiveness of their products are minimal.

The techniques used by crooks in adulterating Ungarol are subtle, and only a keen sense of quality analysis is able to bust out the web. According to an expert in quality control, Ungarol, being a substance with polymerization activity upon reaction with sodium ions, smart crooks will always add water to, say 5kg of the product (Ungarol) and manipulate ionic and pH balance to increase volume and viscosity, making sure that product looks the same in its purest original form! Herman further advises that ionic manipulation of SLES can be done with use of many other materials like Amines that can make detection of such adulteration almost impossible to recognize. He reminds us of what happened a few months ago with the mad rush for selling hand Sanitisers that saw people add CMC to glycerin and scenting it with IPA and Methyl salicylate to mimic surgical spirit or original hand sanitizer!

He maintains that buyers of chemicals should be on outlook and, if possible, demand Certificate of Analysis from vendors of chemicals.

Cooking Oil Manufacturing in Kenya


  • Poorly refined oil may have soap that tastes in food
  • Juakali Machinery are the best bet in Oil Pressing
  • Raw Material is abundantly available in Kenya

A recent Local Daily, in their Business News segment, while discussing the recent buyout of Ushindi Soap brand from by a local oil refinery (from a Multinational Cosmetic Manufacturer) hinted out that the new owners of the brand started from a very small outfit, doing coconut oil pressing.

During those years, my late father was producing a lot of the popular Neem Soap (it paid and saw me through University in a foreign land) and our then ‘factory manager’ one Mr. Peter Gakuru used to buy the coconut oil from the said firm, whose outlet in the 90’s was around Bondeni-Mombasa. I also remember how one bus company (can’t really recall the name) while ferrying tens of jerry cans of the coconut oil (that Peter had ordered) decided to be a little careless and some jerry cans got lost along the way from an unlocked boot. The old man (my dad) was furious and threatened legal action against them. I can’t really tell how it ended since I was back to college from a long holiday.

Oil refinery business is definitely the biggest of all manufacturing businesses. It is one activity that generates a set of other industries including soap (from soap stock), margarines, hair oils, cooking oils, animal feeds, grease, Ugali flour, etc. Owing to the gigantic nature and the billions of shillings it churns out monthly, the few organisations doing it have the financial muzzle to import billions of litters of Crude Palm Oil from Indonesia and Malaysia annually. The refined cooking oil is consumed by over 40 million mouths daily. These companies flaunt their wealth by the long fleet of tankers delivering the crude oil from the port of Mombasa to their production site, whose factories are landmarked by towering reservoirs that would make anyone believe it is not a business for the fainted ones.

The sole purpose of this article is to highlight the fact that, without looking at Bidco, Menengai, Pwani Oil and Kapa Oil refineries, local sourcing and refining of cooking oil is possible, as evidenced by little known brands in our supermarkets. Some of these little brands (less than 5 in number) operate from backyards of residential estates. Not long ago, I knew and interacted with such one company operating from Githurai, along Kamiti road. From the looks, the company expanded rapidly and shifted site. I can’t, at this stage, tell where they relocated to.

One fact remains clear. That with access to vegetable, nuts, maize, sunflower etc. one can manufacture standard quality cooking oil. They are the raw materials! The current shelve prices of cooking oil, especially from sunflower and maize is enough evident that the activity earns handsomely. A kilogram of Crude Palm oil from vendors who source the commodity from Congo (it is sold locally to soap manufactures) goes for Ksh. 60.

Refined oil yielded from the one Kg (about 600mls), if dispensed in 500ml, retails at Ksh. 150/=. Therefore, the 600mls yield may fetch about 180 shillings. That is 100% prifit, exclusive of the expenses of processing and packaging are factored in. Since the process of converting oils from their crude form into edible form is a little bit technical, professional knowledge is of paramount importance. The latter is inexpensive compared to the former, which involves use of machinery for pressing

Raw Materials and their sources

The chief source of raw material for the manufacture of edible oil is Nuts (Coconut, Palm fruits, Macadamia Nut, etc.) and Seeds e.g. (Maize, Sunflower, Cow peas, Canola seeds, Soya seeds Sesame, etc.). Raw Palm oil, in its crude form (from Uganda, Congo, Tanzania) and the fruit Nuts harvested in parts of Western Kenya and Luciuti, Meru North near Kina National Park) present readily available. Maize is cultivated in many parts of the country. Sunflower is farmed in Kuria District near Tanzania. Coconut is cultivated in the Coastal region of Mombasa and the communities with huge chunks of land have not been empowered well enough to benefit from this green gold.

Manufacturing Edible Oil

The process is simple and straight forward. It starts with harvesting or sourcing the raw material from dealers. After cleaning and drying, the nuts or seeds are passed through pressing implements. These can be simple Juakali machines (both manual and electric driven), to complex machinery imported or locally assembled. Once the crude oil is gotten in its adequate amounts, it is then passed through 4-stage purification process that renders it fit for human consumption. Generally, the processes of purification aim at removing gums, odour and color. It primarily involves passing the oil through a series of Acids and Alkalis, special clay soil and filtering. All the Kenya Bureau of Standard procedures observed, these can be done in the kitchen if one aims at doing 50 Litters per day! The most important thing for a home based manufacturer of the cooking oil to note is that with proper training and careful handling of the expressed oil, you can participate in building the Nation through selling of home based Cooking Oil, fully certified by the KEBS. It should be noted that during the Acid and Alkali treatment stage, the waxes are converted into soap and without proper ‘washing off’ of this soap may result in your customers tasting ‘soap’ into their food after using your brand in cooking their meals. 


Juakali sector has played an important role in supplementing what Kenya has been importing from China. In 1984, while in my upper Standard 4, my father, then a school teacher, bought a brand new engine driven Posho Mill. And I could come from school early to operate it. It must have been expensive by then, because only two families had such machines in our village and around Isiolo. Nowadays, all estates in Nairobi are surrounded by Posho mills from the Sector. I have not come across complains about their performance. A popular Juakali Machine repair shop (Gilead Machine Workshop) in Kariobangi is known to offer advice and fabrication of Oil Presses. Another one based in Industrial Area, Bhogol Steel Fabricators, make equally good use of their expertise in fabricating modern food processing machinery, including Milk Powder Processing Machines. Modern imported but expensive Oil Press Machines (mainly from China) can be acquired by well moneyed families who want to venture into the cooking oil production industry


Without over emphasizing, the gains in cooking oil refinery business are extremely rewarding. The initial start-up may somewhat be hectic for a budget below 100k, however, the use of hand driven screws can serve as starter machines for market testing. Having acquired the oil impeller machinery, that is deemed a one-off expense. High profile costlier machinery can be acquired through loan capital or groups’ contributions. Daily processing of the raw material, which include sourcing and sorting, storage and cleaning can be done in stockpiles. This saves a lot of labour and time. The pressing with aid of electric driven screw presses is a simple task that consumes less energy and labour. Similarly, refining of the crude oil is the cheapest of all the processes. Fully refined, the oil can be packed in convenient plastic containers sourced from numerous companies operating in Industrial Area, Nairobi. Processing high yielding raw material is even more cheaper because energy and time consumed is less.


Our well knowledgeable trainers can take a willing person/group/corporate through the well-crafted curriculum that covers all areas in Cooking Oil Processing. Edith Atieno, our New Staff Member from Pwani University, is available for consultations and advise about our training schedule. Advise on Machinery, operation can be done by Ms Harriet (JKUAT) who is currently overseeing training on machine operations and fabrications.

Cost Reduction in Product Manufacturing Part II

In our earlier post, we explored various ways in which a manufacturer can attain maximum profits by manipulating product quality to use as little ingredients as possible

Today, we extend our insightful thoughts into quality management in production with an aim to gain more profit

As we’re all aware, many brands come with quality variants christened “Premium”, “Economy”, “Standard” blah blah…

Clever Manufacturers have always contemplated ways to maximize profits without compromising quality or making their customers feel cheated. It is against this backdrop that various brands (Premium, Economy, Standard, etc) have been born

In designing a product of low cost, quality must come first. Secondly, circumvent around the chemicals’ user rates and finishing. For example, making cheaper all purpose Detergent

How to Make Perfume More Potent and Last Longer

Perfumes are the most popular cosmetic products and their central role (as fragrant additives) in marketability of virtually anything cannot be ignored. On their own, perfumes are well marketed as independent cosmetic products, with prices varying according to the concentration. This is where we have Eau DE Toilette, Body Mist, Cologne etc.

A happy perfumer is she whose perfumes are liked due to their potency and longevity. Products with potent fragrances also tend to retain clientele loyalty, and sell more. For example; Downy and Sta Soft, the finest Fabric Softener brands in the Shelves, have their scents lingering on for days after washing. A local powder detergent brand, Sunlight, has its fragrance high in potency and also it remains on the clothes days after washing. When I was young, a fellow primary school classmate, a Mr. Lenaola (Maralal DEB Primary School) arrived one morning wearing ‘Cobra‘ perfume. To the amusement of students, everybody made fun of him and he immediately returned home. What was amazing is that the smell remained in the school compound for several days.

So, what makes the perfume potent (strong) and more longer lasting?

In our new Book ‘Essential Oil Extraction Technology‘ a technical guide detailing how to produce essential oils at home and general perfumery, the contributing author, Betty Industrial Chemicals, states that the volatility of Top Notes and Middle Notes can be amplified by the use of Smell Enhancers such as Benzyl Salycilates. The book continues to say that Fixatives such as Benzyl benzoate can make the fragrance linger for longer hours, probably days.

There is quite some chemistry involved in the mode of working for the above additives, however, their use is simple and by utilizing them, home manufacturers of Fabric Softeners, Body Mists and Colognes, a value can be added at little or no cost.

According to the book, Lavender, whose scent emanates from a terpenoid (a secondary metabolite of the Lavandula latifolia aromatic shrub) can be blended with other terpenes to arrive to some of the most unique fragrances found in Sta Soft. The hand book, yet to be launched, has detailed instructions on how Lavender Fragrance’s main constituents such as monoterpenes (linalool, cineole and camphor), as well as the main constituents in the oil from leaves (cineole and camphor monoterpenes) are derived from geranyl diphosphate molecule (GPP), by transforming GPP via cyclisation of linaloyl pyrophosphate into bornyl pyrophosphate, followed by a hydrolysis reaction that produces borneol, which finally is oxidized to camphor. These processes, done by locally fabricated extractor equipment, are critical in designing a designer perfumes that are unique.

Yogurt Making Business among Low Income Earners

Some home-based projects have grown to be big business enterprises not because of heavy financial investment, but simply because the business happens (somehow coincidentally) to be favored by huge market demand. The internet is awash with stories of some of the Biggest business empires that started as small family projects- initially meant for subsistence (bare survival).

Among the factors that lead to rapid expansion of (some) family business (into world empires) is the simplicity of operation. Businesses that require minimum capital requirements are an encouragement to the investor. Complexities associated with machine operations, breakdowns and repair notwithstanding, may curtail developmental milestones associated with business growth curve. Therefore, business that have less to do with such complexities pose less risk to invest in, and recovery after a negative eventual situation, and here, yogurt making and selling business carries the day. It is however, understandable that knowledge and skills is the common factor for any business operation.

Global statistics on yogurt consumption are mind-blowing, and anyone looking for an opportunity to emancipate self from financial quagmire may want to leave anything at hand, including a lucrative corporate post to try out the business. In Kenya alone, yogurt is consumed

5.2 Billion Litters of Milk
From respected sources, Kenya has an estimated population of over 4.5 million dairy cows, making the country well-known as one of Africa’s biggest milk producers, only third from Ethiopia and Sudan with an estimated annual production capacity of 5.2 billion litters. This contributes to 30-40% of the 5% that Africa produces into the global numbers. According to the KDB, over 30 milk processors and 67 mini dairies with a total processing capacity of about 3.75 million litters per day have been licensed to package and process milk in the country.

Rightful Skills

Armed with the right knowledge and skills in formulating and manufacturing all standard KEBS-certifiable Yogurt could, after all, be the only start-up investment that is most valuable and key to success of the business in the face of competition. Understanding well the components of the yogurt and how they function will always give you the Liberty of playing around with ingredients to boost value or to cut down cost of production. For Example; the different prices 0f different brands of yogurt in the market is as a result of different amounts of ‘Solids’ and ‘Fat content’. A competitor can make a very thick and sweet yogurt but the price is low. While premium brands may fetch more value-meaning the cost of production is equivalently higher, the manufacturer can always achieve this value with less costs. All this lies in the Solids content and the Fatty Matter Content in the yogurt. Thick creamy yogurt fetches more money because it looks rich, however, without increasing solids and fat content, you can still achieve the same physical attributes, to successfully cajole the consumer into believing you are giving them what their competitors are not able to.

Starter Machines & Equipment

Yogurt manufacturing, like any other business, needs mechanized systems for smooth, uninterrupted and concise processes. The one fascinating thing about this industry is that the machines involved (for medium and Large Scale) are non-complex. At a lower level of production, wooden sticks, thermometer, stainless steel and plastic buckets are needed. Critical implements include household (kitchen) fridge and cooker. At a much higher level (think of Brookside, Kenya Cooperative Creameries, Dalamere etc.) complex machinery such as Centrifuges, cooling plants, cold room, Quality Control Labs etc. are required.

For starters (home based) the kitchenware is enough to start with but to be more accurate and professional, investing on a KES 200 thermometer and KES. 10,000 portable Culture Oven for the starter culture incubation. The culture incubation is a technical manufacturing procedure that defines how thick and stable the yogurt will be.

Cost of Producing a Litter of Yogurt
With the current rural prices of milk (30 Shillings per Litter) and Yogurt (250-330 Shillings) a professional manufacturing process should cost a beginner Ksh 10. This means that to pack a Litter of fully processed yogurt in a Sh. 20 Plastic Container, the estimated cost of production should be 60 shillings or thereabout. Therefore, selling the commodity at 250 Shillings means that you are making over 200% profit. With gradual expansion, one can acquire a Modern Medium Yoghurt Processing Line with less than 150K, 90% cheaper from the traditional old commercial machines from Italy that went for nearly a million Shillings. Here’s the breakdown: Commercial 50L milk homogenizer /Pasteurizer from Express Marine Corporation at Ksh 80K. The Commercial Fermentation Machine 200L capacity goes for only Ksh 40,000.

Trisnol Replaces Carbomer in Kenya

Trisnol, a newly unveiled polymeric thickener has hit the Kenyan market, thanks to scarcity of the carbomer

Announcing its release, Betty Industrial Chemicals Ltd, a giant wholesale supplier of industrial raw materials, termed Trisnol as a game changer

Initially it was hiked price for the gelling agent Carbomer after coronadisease outbreak. Few weeks down the road, carbapol, whose normal price was Ksh 1,500 per kilogram, shot 100 times higher. This saw a gram of the gelling agent go for 15 shilling!

Spelt Doom

Local manufacturers of hand sanitiser lost hope in ‘minting millions’ in manufuture and sale of hand sanitiser, however, the hope has been rekindled with unveiling of Trisnol

Trisnol is available in selected chemical stores in both Mombasa and Nairobi. The new generation gelling agent has features similar to carbomer and the clarity of the final product is appealing

The General Handbook 2020 Edition

This manual is a well revised publication with 100 procedures of selected products that are commonly used in our daily lives

Breaking the tradition of strictly dealing with Cosmetic and Cleaning products, this 2020 Edition has included Food and construction Industry among other fields of interest, just to give our consumers a wide scope of selection

Newer Formulas

All previous formulations in the past Manuals have been reviewed and re written in the spirit of keeping up with the changing market formulations. Products like Lotions, disinfectants, soaps, Detergents etc have newer formulas that make them superior quality wise as well as better profitability for the manufacturer. For example; the Powder Detergent in the newer formula enables the manufacturer to make 500g at only Ksh 35,while maintaining KEBS specifications. In the face of the the current shortage of Carbomer for the Hand sanitizer, the book gives a formula with use of alternative but cheaper gelling agent to achieve the same quality and value of the product. Lotions have newer formulations that make them compete with newer products in the market such as ‘Mixa’ etc. Previous editions had Antiseptic formula that used a rare ingredient for ouzo effect, however, the newest formula has a cheaper alternative of locally available ingredients that meet absolute KEBS specifications and with powerful ouzo effect as that of Dettol. The Hair Care section has been completely overhauled with newer formulations and additional 6 types of shampoos that range from Powder, Bar, Lotion type to Ccfgfdddf type The previous editions had one type of bar soap but the 2020 Edition has both Organic, Laundry and Normal, with an industrial approach in formulation. Generally, all the formulations given are in two sections: Trial Samples and Commercial Batches.

New Formulations

The 20 or so newer formulations are picked from the areas of interest as experienced from our daily class work attendance. People who are enthusiastic about confectionery will find useful guides in making all the four types of sweets ranging from Tofees, Candies, Lollipops etc. The book exposes home learners with compitent skills in making high quality Yogurt, Tomato Ketchup and Commercial Juices like Peptang and Delmonte respectively. All formulations are explained procedurely and in tandem with Kebs standards. For more technical products, construction enthusiasts will find useful information on how to make Adhesives for shoe industry, Leather shoe Polish. Candle making, Hair detangler, Hair Serum Boosters, Perfumes (Body Cologne, Body Mists) are among the newest additions that will give the home manufacturing enthusiasts a variety. For parents whose children suffer occasional Acne and excematous outbreaks, new additional formulations such as Anti Acne and Mild soaps will find useful guides for managing the conditions at home level without incurring on expensive prescriptions of Mild soaps from the Chemist shops

Motor Vehicle and Construction Industry

Motor vehicle and construction Industry is also represented with technical instructions on how to make Engine Coolant, Automotive Grease and Engine Degreaser. Car wash Shampoo formulation is also outlined with KEBS specifications. For the builders, Window glazing putty technology is well outlined.

Minimal Errors in Formulations

Unlike the previous (2015 & 2016) editions whose formulations were pulled from some of the directors’ own brands, this 2020 Edition, just like the previous 2018, has based all the formulations from class work, whereby technicalities in minor adjustments in user rates and overall product properties have been addressed for KEBS certification among our trainees. Products like Disinfectants, All purpose liquid Detergents, Bleach etc have had their formulations revised in confirmation of Material Safety Data sheets of the common suppliers. The formulations also represent the best qualities for the competitive market dominated by imports. For example; the cost of Making the Dishwash paste like Axil is only Ksh 90 per kg. This means that a 500g Dishwash formulated and packed will cost the manufacturer only 55. The supermarket retail of the same size (500g), 149 shillings, representing over 200 percent net profits. Similar case applies to the Scouring Powder, thanks to cheaper alternatives from local mining companies.

Product Pricing

A wide selection of formulations also feature pricing and relative adjustments to suit different classes of consumers. This probably explains why the 2020 Edition is slightly more expensive (at Ksh 45,000) than previous versions whose cap prices were Ksh 33,000. Products like Powder Detergent, Scouring Powder, Dishwash Paste and Handwash have their costings attached just to guide the formulators on rough costings.


Key Players in designing the formulations are cut across from local suppliers of the chemicals, teachers at Cosmetics and Detergents Kenya Limited Institute, factory workers, and owners of specific Kebs certified brands like “Sadik”. We thank Betty Industrial Chemicals Ltd, Miano and Co., Tutors at Cosmetics Kenya and Leading suppliers of raw materials such as Arichem and Soapwide International. Special thanks to Express Marine Engineering Corporation, The Dutch Civil Machinery Co. for allowing us to use their Products in illustrations in the manual. Refence contacts for all the suppliers of raw materials and machinery are found at the last page of the book

Online Classes in English Language

The current lockdown situation has led people to devise ways to manage their own businesses and affairs with minimal constraints.

Learning, as well as working from home has never been easier, thanks to internet.

Online training entails a set of arrangements that are aimed at ensuring that the learner benefits maximally, just like the one who attends physically

We offer professional online training services for people who are looking to learn from home.

A pdf document with short theory notes on raw material, user rate, formulation design for various qualities (low, medium and premium) is accompanied by raw materials for practice

Thermoplastic Technology Course in Kenya

This is a relatively new short course that will expose learners to knowledge on how to deal with chemical building blocks that make plastics. The course is aimed at imparting practical skills to the learner on numerous possibilities for manufacturing sustainable and innovative plastic products such as Pipes, Automotive and Machine body parts, Electric panels, jerry cans, roofing material etc. Further, the course will enable the learners on technical skills in Recycling of waste plastics to make shoe soles, roofing material, and numerous other applications that require plastic  bodies

Commenting on the newly designed course, our director of studies said that “Acquiring detailed knowledge of the various plastics, their properties and their behaviour during processing as well as their recycling characteristics constitutes a fundamental part of the course. The course is also open to foreigners.

Course elements

The central element structure of the course is working on thermoplastic polymeric resins by extrusion and injection moulding, but being a course unit in both undergraduate and post graduate industrial chemistry programs, the Course’s mode of delivery targets Secondary school leavers, adults who can understand English and Jua Kali Artisans who would want to add value to their creations (Machines, Equipment etc.) This will give (the local manufacturers) a competitive edge in the market.

Competitive Edge

It is understandable that modern imported machines are easily distinguished from (the often flawed upon) local fabrications because they have parts made of plastic materials which not only cuts down the cost of production but also adds aesthetic value to them. This means a local OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) will not only cut down the cost of making machines (with the often expensive 2mm metal black sheet) but will also make them look original and attractive to the buyers.   

Making Pipes

Plastics have become an integral part of our everyday lives and the Plumbing industry takes the highest consumer portion of plastics in any country. From cabling material, to ventilators and water/sewage pipes, this vast industry must be a grabs-for-all to those with a knowledge on PVC Pipe extrusions, whereby, main player in Kenya is General Pastics.

Closing Remarks

Kenyans have a passion for innovativeness and this has come out clearly after the advent of Corona Virus Disease that saw an overnight market surge in Face Masks that mimicked The Surgical Masks, Corona Testing Kits, Varsity and college students make Personal Protection Equipment and Ventilators not to mention Public Sanitizing Booths. In this regard, given a chance to learn basics in Plastic Making and Molding, local machine fabricators will give China and India a run for their money.

Course Duration: 4 Days (both theory and practicals). Machinery: Available locally

Common Problems Encountered during Formulation of Hand Sanitiser

In the wake of Corona Virus disease, many people, who did not dream of becoming manufactures, all over sudden, have become part of the vibrant industry, having been bitten by manufacturing bug.

In catching up with with the immense monetary rewards of the windfall, many people have consulted the internet and product labels to have an idea of what components are used to make the hand sanitizer.

Carbapol, a crosspolymer thickening agent has come out as the magic ingredient, and for this reason, even without considering the alcohol content that must be incorporated into the sanitizer, has helped every Dick and Harry to become a manufacturer.

It has, however, turned out to be a nightmare for those inexperienced users of carbapol especially when the product fails to thicken or becomes cloudy. At times, adding IPA to attain the minimum 60% by Weight has made the whole process frustrating to some “manufacturers”

So, What is carbapol and how should it be used?. In our daily teaching career, we attempt to demystify this Magic ingredient, which without, sends manufacturing enthusiasts lose hope of becoming overnight millionaires. To help solve some of the drawbacks realised in formulation of gels using carbapol, let us have a clear understanding of what Carbapol is.

Carbapol is a trademarked original synthetic powdered alkali swellable Carbomer. Carbomers are synthetic, high-molecular-weight polymers. They are composed of acrylic acid cross-linked with either allyl sucrose or allyl ethers of pentaerythritol, and they occur as white-colored, fluffy, acidic, hygroscopic powders with a slight characteristic odor. The molecular weight of carbomer 940 is approximately 4 ´ 106. The pH of a 0.5% to 1.0% dispersion is in the range of 2.5 to 3.5.

Formulation turning Cloudy

Carbomers are soluble in water; after neutralization, they are soluble in 95% ethanol and glycerin. When carbomers are dispersed in water, an acidic colloidal solution of low viscosity forms that will thicken when an alkaline material, such as trolamine, is added. To ease the initial dispersion process, the carbomer should be sprinkled on rapidly agitated water, with care taken to minimize the formation of lumps. This statement clearly tells us that carbapol must first be neutralized before incorporating alcohol!

Gel separating or becoming waterly

The above notes also provides us with information as to why, on addition of IPA, the gel turns waterly thin or fails to gel. We must sufficiently gel the carbapol prior to adding alcohol and avoid formation of lumps. We can achieve this by easing the initial dispersion process either by sprinkling carbapol into the water and actually soaking it for some time. We can also use acidic colloidal solution for Dispersing the carbapol

Alternative for TEA

Triethanolamine (TEA) is added to the dispersed Carbapol in order to gel. However, there are other numerous types of neutralizing agents that can can be used to thicken the gel, such as amino acids, borax, potassium hydroxide, sodium bicarbonate, sodium hydroxide (0.4 g sodium hydroxide will neutralize about 1 g carbomer), polar organic amines such as trolamine, and lauryl and stearyl amines.

Incorporation of air bubbles into the gel should be kept to a minimum. Maximum viscosity generally can be obtained in a pH range of 5 to 6

In summary, bear these points whenever you perform formulation with carbapol

  • Carbomers can easily be added to emulsions by addition to the oil phase prior to emulsification.
  • Easy to disperse powdered grades are preferred when dispersing directly into water.
  • Adding electrolyte or small amounts of acid to the water phase prior to Carbomer addition significantly improves its dispersion by reducing solution viscosity. Up to 5% dispersions of Carbomer in water can typically be made with this approach.
  • Use Triisopropanolamine (Dow Chemical) to neutralize Carbomer when gelling up to 90% ethanol.
  • Use granulated grades to reduce dusting issues during manufacturing.
  • Be very careful in qualifying new suppliers for an existing Carbomer. These rarely have the same performance characteristics.
  • Carbomers are more sensitive to shear after neutralization than before.
  • Carbomers are UV sensitive. You need to incorporate a UV absorber into gels when using clear packaging.

Quality Control:   The Kenya Bureau of Standards places a lot of emphasis on the quality of the consumer products and as such, commensurate with the minimum standards of practice, you must be able to perform some internal quality control for every batch you make. Quality-control assessment can include theoretical weight compared with actual weight, pH, specific gravity (SG), active drug assay, color, clarity, texture-surface, texture-spatula spread, appearance, feel, rheologic properties, and physical observations.

Carbomer Alternative in Making Hand Sanitiser

This week, following severe shortage and hiked prices for carbomer, Betty Industrial Chemicals Ltd unveiled Trisnol, a thickening agent used in making hand sanitizers.

Carbapol, a generic Cabomer became an instant ingredient of dependability following huge demands for hand sanitizers after Corona Virus disease outbreak. Like carbapol, Trisnol is an important gelling agent that is stable in huge amounts of alcohol, less expensive and readily available. It has been in use in developed countries for years now and the clarity of the finished product is just attractive.

Aloe Vera is not a gelling agent

Many erroneous articles online have insinuated that Aloe Vera is the gelling agent but it must be well understood that the action of gelling is polymeric process, meaning, the Polymer is the only ingredient that is stable as a gel in favorable dilutions and pH. Aloe vera is a plant and therefore its use is limited as an additive.

Trisnol, a gelling polymer is used in slightly larger quantities compared to Carbapol. At 0.8 to 1%, Trisnol achieves sufficient gelling and pure clarity of the hand sanitizer is achieved.

The Active ingredient in hand sanitizer is Alcohol, which comes as denatured alcohol or Isopropanol (Isopropyl Alcohol). Trisnol, water and Preservatives act as excipients. The Kenya Bureau of Standards require a hand sanitizer to have a minimum alcohol of 60%. For effective microbialcidal activity against Corona Virus, 70 to 80% is just reassuring.

Cost of Making Hand Sanitiser

Before the rise on the cost of Cabomer and alcohol, the 20L Jerrycan cost the manufacturer about Ksh 4000. Since the rise in ingredients, it now costs about 10k to produce a 20L Jerrycan. In turn, the 20L Jerrycan fetches approximately 80,000 Kenya shillings if a retailer sells 50ml packs at Ksh 209.

How to make Hand sanitizer in Kampala, Nairobi and Tanzania

The hand sanitizer gel has become a product of necessity in our everyday life, thankss to the advent of the Corona Virus disease

A week ago, we received overwhelming requests for individual training and this saw us restructuring our on line courses to accommodate as many students as possible. The rise in demand for ingredients also saw the course of the training slightly more from previous fee. This has promoted us to reduce the cost of learning through offering of recipes

We are currently offering standard formulas for Hand sanitizer gels, medicated Handwash etc to the general public

Our clients from Uganda, Somalia, Djibouti, Tanzania and Congo are welcome for on line courses and purchase of formulations. Please reach us through this number +254 723424240

Killer Hand Sanitizers a Major Health Time Bomb in Kenya

The advent of Corona Virus disease in Kenya has brought mixed fortunes in the Land, with both professional and quacks benefiting almost equally. At the mere announcement of a confirmed Corona case in Kenya Kenya was thrown into a panic mode and barely 10 hours, all sanitizer gels flew off the shelves.

Anxiety over sanitiser scarcity made business minded people look for ways of bridging the gap. And almost, instantly, everyone became a manufacturer. For those who cared a little, internet became their source of reference. The ignorant imagined how a ‘gel’, would be made, and imaginations went as far believing that Aloe Vera gel was the ultimate magic ingredient. The more imaginative ones went for glycerin as the ‘base’ for the gel. Well, that is not the problem. The real problem is what the low quality sanitizers can pose.

With common knowledge that sanitizers have an alcohol ingredient, quacks thought that the alcohol smell is actually a fragrance. And to them, any amount of alcohol present in their concoctions will work wonders in fighting Corona!

The greatest threat any antimicrobial agent can pose if used in irrational amounts is development of resistance to common pathogens. Take for example, Staphylococcus aureas.

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) which can survive on some surfaces, like towels, razors, furniture, and athletic equipment for hours, days, or even weeks, can spread to people who touch a contaminated surface, and MRSA can cause infections if it gets into a cut, scrape, or open wound.

When people tend to mind about making money at the expense of providing quality services, they will concoct hand sanitizer gels with Alcohol less than the recommended minimum of 60% and these will pose danger to the users.

I suggest the government, through the able Quality Control Agency, KEBS can educate the public on the dangers of using low quality hand sanitisers. The KEBS should instead provide easy access to the information on quality manufacturing of these products if the zeal with which local makers of multipurpose cleaning Detergents is to be applied on making the gels.

Carbomer Crisis in Kenya

The discovery of a Corona Virus case in Kenya sent panic across the manufacturing community with those privy to Hand Sanitizer’s formulatory ingredients rushing to purchase them in order to cash in the unfortunate turn of events

As usual, our director received numerous calls from people asking for carbapol. Strangely, None of the callers asked for Isopropanol, another major ingredient used in the production of the hand sanitizer.

After contacting our suppliers on Saturday morning, a day after Corona Virus disease made news, carbapol’s price has trippled, and by 10 Am, there was no stock! A kilogram that normally costs Ksh 1500 was selling at Ksh 4,600 and long ques in some chemical stores in Nairobi were conspicuous. Subsequent callers expressed hopelessness after learning they could not make hand sanitizers for sale.

Now, this is a clear case of internet misinformation. People rigidly rely on the scanty knowledge gained from few bloggers when it comes to formulations. We encourage self-taught formulators to make thorough research before attempting to venture into product formulation because they stand better chances of averting crises (by ingredient substitution) when a preferred ingredient is out of stock.

Carbapol, a carbomeric polymer is a thickening/gelling agent preferred for use in hygiene products because of its versatile gelling properties when it comes to formulations. However, hydrocolloids are equally good although their use needs some expertise. This means that carbapol is overrated. In fact, compared to a gelling agent like trisnol, carbapol is expensive and limited in its use, considering it needs additional ingredients to maintain it’s gelling stability

Relying too much on one ingredient and ignoring suitable or better substitutes can kill your manufacturing dreams.

This week, we are fully booked for hand sanitizer training gells by various manufacturing enthusiasts keen on setting sales for the “commodity of the moment”. We shall introduce cellulosic gelling agents alongside rightful formulation procedures and other key ingredients alternatives. Reach us on WhatsApp 0723424240 or call us

How to make Alcohol Hand Sanitizer

We have in the forefront of educating on the employment of standards in product formulation and development.

We are now offering technical advice, hands-on training and support on hand sanitizer, a commodity now waning off the shelves thanks to Corona Virus

Knowledge on the ingredients and their suitable substitutes is essential so as not to get stuck in case of shortage of one or two of them

Recently, the rush for the chemicals had manufacturers worried, but this is how we responded 👇👇

Glass Making Technology in Kenya

The glass industry is big, lucrative, controlled quite by only three Multinational companies.

Glass is widely used in construction industry, with office buildings consuming the largest volume. It is closely followed by the catering industry, where cutlery (drink vessels, plates, etc) takes the second position. The canning and soft drinks industry follow respectively, however, the decorative industry is the most robust of all.

One big disconnect with the juice and canning industry is that they recycle bottles and again they have their unique preferences for the supplier. Being a competitive industry, the canners and beverage producers prefer importing their glassware to cut costs of production.

Making glass locally has its own merits, for example, a small scale manufacturer of glass can sell his ware to individual home owners and contractors. And the construction being the biggest consumer of the glass, a small scale maker has big choice market. The cutlery industry is very diverse and robust, much to the advantage of a local cottage industry.

The manufacturing of the glass is not labor intensive, nor does it need sofistcated equipment. Just Molds and furnaces, which can be locally constructed, are needed.

It is a green area for investment which many people are not aware of and our initiative to deliver training and support for small scale industrialsits is geared towards empowering the community.

Raw Materials are locally available with many stockists. Some, like silica sand can be harvested for free from our beaches. Therefore, the cost of production for glassware is quite low

One great advantage of starting a business as an individual or small scaler is the low operational costs. Big companies, who for years have been in the business, eventually expand thus the cost of running the business. Small managerial errors can drive the big companies into big debts, unlike the small companies. Therefore, it comes as no surprise when news breakout that company A or B is on the verge of closing shop (collapse). A good example is the collapse of Nakumatt and Uchumi Supermarkets while small family shops expand into supermarkets themselves.

Capital requirements to run a small glass making company range from Ksh 30,000 to 80,000. A starter would kick off the business by producing 1000 window panes which she can vend to home developers. A batch of 1000 Water Glass can find their way to Muthurwa Market and within days, sales are over. The local craze with decorative ceiling lights is enough to give the Egyptian imports a run for their money.

Would you recommend a friend, Son, Spouse or Partner to try out this idea?

Freshly made glass panes

Alternative Approach in Business Startup

A business person’s ultimate goal is to own the business and have exclusive rights in decision making. Such an incentive motivates one to perform even better in order to feel more like a corporate CEO. However, there are formalities and a curve through which a business owner must pass. One of basic requirements is the start-up capital.

Startup capital at times may involve injection of hefty amount of money, depending on the type of business and the level of operation. Such money may be required for brand registration, machinery, quality control laboratory, containers and professional training.

The most practical way to circumvent the way around would be to start off the business with pre made products. Though net profits from dealing with pre processed products is usually lower compared to products made from the scratch, it is a sound idea for those who cannot afford workshops, technical know how and bulk raw materials.

Take for example a Surgical Spirit business. Building a fully functional factory, however small, could require capital input anywhere between Ksh 15,000 to 30,000. This is in assumption that the product manufacturer needs to undergo professional training, which requires about Ksh 7,000. Rental money, KEBS fee and processing equipment may push the initial capital requirements from 15,000 to 30,000.

Now, assuming that you don’t have 15,000 shillings, and you want to venture into Surgical Spirit business, experts say that you can easily purchase and repack manufactured Surgical Spirit. In such an arrangement, you can start off more efficiently and quickly. Profits accrued can aid in financing your training and other key requirements for building your factory.

The above kind of trade arrangement has been existing for as long as human civilization can be traced. Countries have built economies by trading in imported semi processed products and fully processed products, eg. Pharmaceuticals, Motor vehicles, and raw materials.

As a business starter, buying pre-proceesed products such as Perfumes, All purpose Detergents, Fabric softener, etc. can act as a spring board, besides easing Initial Startup Capital (ISC) burden.

January offer

We invite our subscribers to the following offers starting 13th to 17th January 2019

All our former trainees: Offer on Perfumery, Handwash and Sanitizer. Offer terms half price for charges

New subscribers: Offer on Soap, Nail polish remover. Offer terms: 30% off

Former trainees on bar soaps: offer Free retraining on Nail polish remover.

Ksh 6,000 is Enough to Start Soap business6

Our previous posts have generated quite some interest in the subject matter, with many respondents texting to ask us about minimum capital requirements for soap factory startup.

As industrial experts with many years of diverse knowledge on industrial economics, we can reveal that any amount of money can start up business. The question is: what level and what quality suits the least capital input.

To answer the question above, I must elaborate a few things about seed capital, through an example. For example, if farmer X germinates 5 seeds of maize (corn), he will harvest yes, but the produce will hardly fill the bucket. Now, the value of the whole (cultivation) exercise may look small (valueless) compared to farmer Y who did an acre. However, the farmer X has managed to have something he can recultivate to fill at least half of an acre.

Straight to the point. With only 6,000 shillings, you can produce Ten Dozens ( 120) bars of 800g, assuming each bar takes 50 shillings to produce. Are there any other things that you may need to make the 10 dozens?

The obvious answer is yes. But incase you have only 6,000, you can substitute the impliments to enable you beat the task.

Soap manufacturing requires the following impliments; weighing scale, thermometer, mixing vessels, source of heat and moulding equipment. Just that!

All the above impliments are substitutable. This is how. You can purchase ingredients when they are weighed. Therefore no need need for the scale at the moment. Plastic buckets and sufurias can be effectively used to process the ingredients into soap, and the moulding can be done in a carton reinforced with hard materials like old spring file covers. Skillfully, you can Gauge the temperature without the use of thermometers. In fact a skilled soap technician does not need thermometer oftentimes.

After making the batch and moulding, soap bars can be skilfully sliced out, taken to the market and with aggressive marketing, say making a sale of 10 bars every hour, two days are enough to reward you with 12,000 shillings (assuming you sold each bar for a 100 Bob. Repeat the cycle and eventually, you can purchase the impliments in the order of priority as you you buy more raw materials for expansion. Haven’t you kick-started your soap making career?

Assuming you wanted to start off the business soberly, you will need about 25,000. This amount is explained as follows: Ksh. 6,000 (raw materials), Ksh. 3,000 (good weighing scale) Ksh. 9,800 (special moulding tray), Ksh 600 (polythene wraps), Ksh 150 (cartons), Ksh. 4,500 (Professional training), Ksh. 500 (batching equipment), Ksh. 100 (thermometer). Generation of branding materials for the wraps may also incur some 3500 but that comes later, but do not forget that KEBS certification is mandatory and will cost 11,000 renewable every 3 years for three products

Now, it can be even more wiser if you have 25,000 as business start up capital. Just prioritize the things you need to start off with. You may half the money and 12,000 shilling dipped into raw materials. This is how John D. Rockefeller, (remember the Rockefeller Foundation?) the richest man in America in 19th century beat his foes.

Indeed, not soap alone but quite a big choice of products can be made with just under Ksh 10,000, and we have beautiful testimonies by those who passed through our hands, and some from the scratch, have empires to proof that indeed, any money is money when it comes to initiating a project.

For more information and free advice, call the writer on this number 0723424240

The Year of Success

The Year 2020 is here with us. We thank our God, the creator for allowing us to be alive.

We are alive simply to serve Him, He who created us. And we shall serve him with our substances (what He has given us).

Last year was a learning curve for many who aspired to own businesses. Learning curve is about the failures, inconsistencies, false starts, loses, blunders, betrayals etc. which were purposely designed by the nature to mature us, to make us learn how to behave businessewise in order to to avoid similar mishaps in the future. Therefore, no regrets about it. Remember all successful businesses and businessmen have their own stories. Some were even auctioned! Others lost their entire fortunes to brand rivalry.

Owing to the past year’s financial misnomers, this year presents the perfect chance to make for the losses: to minimize the budget, to start a fresh, to do it again in another style etc. Friends could have been a disappointment while bosses, relatives, financial institutions etc could have played a negative impact on your progression. But all that is part of your success story. No much regrets. Let’s put everything behind us and reconcile.

That false start you made in 2019 was part of your learning experience. Again, do not regret. Just forge ahead. Probably, those who never went through the same experience will have their fair share of the same. This makes you ahead of them. So, don’t worry about your new competitors overtaking you.

Focus on areas that have maximum potential for your business growth. For example, the building industry is so vast that picking an item of trade in the industry will not disappoint. Take an example of Making and selling Window putty. How many houses will have the windows fixed today in your locality? Many. Just make a putty and become a vendor of it. A kg goes well above Ksh 150, while the cost of production is barely 12 shillings. A covermatt paint sells at Ksh 1000 per gallon (4L) while the production cost is about 500, container included. The more expensive Silk paint retails at Ksh 2,000 per liter and the cost of Making it is 1,100 shillings. You need play around with figures and numbers to reap in enormous amount of money.

The cleaning industry offers the biggest field of catch. I now of a very big company in Kenya which has not been producing toilet bowl cleaner (like harpic) and now their new year resolution is to launch the product using their very famous brand-you will hear of it soon. While small family businesses had long ago introduced the same product in the market (supermarkets) (some passed through our hands) it leaves you with little imagination on the enormous amount of money they have been cashing in on this huge gold mine. The hair care industry is even more bigger! People in need of organic sulphate-free Shampoos are not stingy when it comes to giving their hair a treat. Likewise, the Human skin, which is anatomically the largest organ in the body, has 47 million people wearing it. Demand for a simple product like Petroleum Jelly makes the cosmetic industry overstretched to meet it. Consider this: For a giant soap making company based in Nakuru to realize the great deal the Petroleum Jelly market has to offer in order to for them to participate fully in exploiting it, the predecessors can only reveal the mind blowing facts on how beneficial the market is.

You really don’t need much to start. Training fee aside, raw materials for a brand startup can be as low as 5,000, depending on what you want to make. Therefore, no excuse for failing to start and own the brand.

For those willing to make a smart start, professional training is advised. You will learn the product customization tricks, trade secrets, quality control and assurance for your brand, raw material selection, inspection, quality, substitution etc. A professionally trained manufacturer is always a smart starter.

How to make Ksh 70,000 per week Selling Bar Soap

Success in business is about strategy, not fame, experience, huge capital or big risks. Strategic marketing aims at driving (selling) volumes thus huge income. A good business strategist works with mathematical figures, not hearsay, guesswork or trial n’ error. In his weekly column “The World of Figures” Mr. Kimani, a famous Nation Newspaper columnist has for many years demonstrated how the world’s problems have been scientifically solved through figures.

Like an experienced hunter or fisherman in lake Victoria prepares a bait in order net his catch, a good manufacturer will lay a bait for his clients. The bait here is the price of the commodity. And the principle employed here is highlighted here: [Low Prices➡️ High sale Volumes ⬅️Huge gains]

The hunter Lays several traps, provides baits and moves very fast. This is an exemplary scenario that can be copied by a manufacturer keen to make positive gains in business.

The trap here is regional supply outlets. The Bait here is reduced price. Moving very fast is akin to producing as much as possible (bulky manufacturing).

In the face of ‘perceived’ ‘competition’, this is how you can make Ksh 70,500 per week without breaking a sweat.

STEP 1: Supply all the 47 counties with 1kg bar soaps. The 1kg bar soap looks big and more attractive to the target client.

STEP 2. Give out the commodity at Ksh 100. (Memengai’s retail price 180/-per). Here, your net profit is Ksh 30. For costing, please click this link.

STEP 3. Ensure a target sale of 10 bars from every county each day (just ten), for 5 days in a week (probably Monday to Friday)

Now, this is how your strategy will have worked: 47 X 10 X 5 X30, whereas 47 is the number of counties or (towns), 10 is the number of pieces each county consumes in a day. 5 is the number of days in a week and 30 is the net profit for every bar. Therefore, 47x10x5x30=70,500/=

It therefore means that you need only 47 places (could even be regional market places) and only 10 bars for each of the 47 and constant supply to get 300,000 shillings every month. It may sound simple (indeed it is) but a lot of ground work must be done.

GROUNDWORK: To produce enough soap, you need a serviceable machinery. Quality is another important thing to observe. People buy quality, even where retail prices are seemingly high. A good quality bar soap means that it should be high Foaming, long-lasting and well branded. A good quality product creates royalty between your customers (and the product). Anything less becomes ‘hit-and-run’. To make a quality 1kg bar soap, it costs about Ksh 65.

Remember, you the manufacturer must make a target. Ksh 30 is your target, whether the soap retails at 100 Bob or 150. Do not be gullible. Let your suppliers also ‘eat’. By the way, the retailers are your best salesmen. Again, a one kg Quality bar will fetch good money, that’s why consumers do not complain when buying Menengai at 180 Bob. See testimonies here

Cost of Making Bar Soap is Ksh 45-55 for 800g Bar

One of the units covered in our soap making classes is Production Ecomics. This subject contains well-researched and up-to-date information about the current cost of raw materials and operational strategies that contribute directly to altering the cost of production, not only for the soap but other products as well

The formula for a standard bar soap involves at least 9 different types of raw ingredients, 4 of which are basic. Three of the four basic ingredients are used in bulk and their prices are relatively high compared to the rest of the ingredients. This, therefore, means they are the ones that contribute directly to the cost variations in producing bar soap. Oils, waterglass filler, caustic soda are available in the local market at different prices and qualities, especially for the oils.

A standard bar soap has approximately 54. 75% of oils. Quality attributes for various bars largely depend on the type of oil used. A blend of various oils, eg. Palm oil+Coconut oil +Beef Tallow will result in a higher quality soap, like the “Mengai” type whose cost of production is equally higher. Single oils like Palm result into medium quality with a slightly lower cost of production when compared to the former. The price of palm oil is slightly higher compared to beef Tallow and used salad oils, therefore, combining salad oil and beef Tallow at technical proportions will result in not-only cheaper soap but a good quality bar compared to the Palm-only soap. An addition of coconut oil (to the Tallow/Salad oil blend) will make even a better quality but with slightly higher in cost of production.

The above are mechanistics employed in producing various brands that are seen in supermarkets. An experienced soap maker will, therefore, observe the current market demands, evaluate the value of the product he intends to provide and weigh the benefits of the suitability of the intended product based on the cost of production. The street value of the oils in the market at any particular season will influence the cost of production.

With price fluctuations for the oils and other ingredients used in the soap production, the soap maker has to maintain the cost of production so as not to interfere with the overall retail price. This again calls for proper formulation and management skills in the manufacturing industry. Such is the orientation we give to our trainees.

The art of blending various oils in soap manufacturing processes will ensure that the quality remains the same in case there lack of one type of oil or price surge whereby, a suitable substitute will be employed.

Earlier on, we observed that the oils take 54.7% of a standard bar soap. Assuming that the application of other raw materials in an 800g bar soap remains constant with a price tag of Ksh 12/= the cost of the variant raw materials, namely the oils, whether used singularly or in blend form, will influence the final price of the bar as follows;

Palm oil-only-soap, will cost Ksh 35.58 + 12 =47.58 assuming the retail price of the said oil (palm) at Ksh 65 per kg

Beef Tallow/Salad oil blend-soap oil will cost Ksh 32. 85+12 =45.85 assuming the cost of the blended oil (beef Tallow and Vegetable salad oil) cost Ksh 60 per kg

Beef Tallow /Salad oil/coconut oil blend soap will cost Ksh 37. 23+12 =49.23 assuming that the cost of the blended oils (coconut/vegetable salad /Tallow) will cost Ksh 68 per kg

Palm/Tallow/Coconut blend soap will cost Ksh 43.80+12=55.80 assuming the blended oil costs Ksh 80 per kg

From the calculations above, it can be concluded that the highest costing bar is the one with Ksh 55.80 as the cost of production. This is a premium quality (the equivalent of Memengai) given that coconut oil is blended with beef Tallow and palm oil. Retail value for this type in the market is Ksh 150 per 800g. It can further be expertly concluded that the soap made of palm oil only is costlier (@47.58) than the one with Beef Tallow and Salad oil blend (@45.85). This is due to the fact that Beef Tallow and salad oil are both cheap. The blend also improves the soap quality compared to the palm-only soap.

The availability of used imported salad oil is available in bulk supplies from an importer. Unlike the Kenyan hotel type that is characterized by black smelly mess, the imported one does not need bleaching. A kg goes for Ksh 45 only. The current price for Palm oil is 65 per kg while the beef fat (Tallow) goes for 50/- per kg. Crude coconut oil is currently retailing at Ksh 190 per liter. Kindly note that the price quoted above is for wholesale purchase only. Small scale starters for soap whose capital cannot accommodate the budget of wholesale prices cited above can add 20% of the total cost of production (800g bar) to the quoted cost of production as appears above.

In the month of April, we shall look at oil blending techniques employed by a qualified formulist in an attempt to maintain same quality, same cost of production in the event of absence of one oil or the other. We shall also engage our blog fans in complex calculations aimed at reducing cost of production as much as possible whilst keeping a sound quality of the final product.

To wind down this long post, we remind our readers that it is only by laying sound strategy that you can succeed in marketing your bar soap. For example, you need to choose an upper market path adopted by the bigger soap companies for soap with prices retailing Ksh 100 and above for an 800g bar. This, you are assured of making a break-even. Don’t follow the Lower market path whereby the retail prices for such big companies’ products are retailing at 70 per bar. It is like an hyena following the trail of a Lion who has killed a Buffalo and the other who has killed a gazelle. The latter won’t be able salvage any left overs!

Writers’ Commentary on the Industrial Paint, Adhesives and Solvent Manual

As the year comes to a close, we find pleasure to cap our earlier promise (to introduce more relevant Industrial skill courses in 2019) by making available this knowledge to all people who have been interested in starting an income generating activity.

The publishing and launch of the Industrial Coatings, Adhesives and Solvent Technology Manual is a Six-month project whose selfless effort by top industrial chemists namely P. Waweru (Technical University of Kenya), G. Miano (Kenyatta University), and resource contributors namely M. Marete (Express Marine Engineering Corporation) K . Herman (Cosmetics and Detergents Kenya Limited Institute) a number of chemical shops namely Chafa Ind. Chem, Betty Industrial Chemicals Ltd etc has yielded the finest resource book in Kenyan history.

The 120 page manual has a 20-page introductory theory focusing on Standard formularies for 50 different types of products in the following 8 categories: Automotive Coatings, Architectural Coatings such as Covermatt, Silk, Gloss, Eggshell, Oil based paint etc, Thinners and Solvents, Adhesives manufacturing, Automotive Body Filler putty and Spot putty, Powder Coatings , Window Putty and Wall fillers. The theory expounds on each product formulation design, quality control, raw materials grading and usage and correct procedures.

The succesful completion of the Manual is overwhelmingly attributed to contributions by Mr Waweru, who has vast experience in putty and adhesive formulations in a number of factories in Kenya while Mr Miano, a Senior chemist has vast experience in product design and development, paint and adhesives and chemical engineering. Chafa chemicals are among the biggest distributors of paint Raw materials in retail packaging while Mr. Marete is a qualified construction technician with vast experience in architecturual BOQ analysis. Mr. Herman is a Technical Consultant in industrial chemical processes and the lead editor.

Every detail in the manual has been checked and cross checked to rule out any obvious faults in formulation quantifications. The formulations are up to standard in accordance with The Kenya Bureau of Standards. The last page has appendix of 5 major raw material importers-all located in the Industrial Area and 3 retail stockists for the same. For buyers of the Manual who would wish to start off the project at a relatively bigger scale, Mr Waweru will be at hand for hands-on set-up.*

Our Terms

The pricing for the manual has been set to accommodate the budget of an average common man with an understanding that this is an empowerment program by the Cosmetics and Detergents Kenya Limited Institute. It must also be strictly understood that the classroom facilitation is charged differently with the current fee being Ksh 50,000 for Architectural Paint manufacturing training ONLY. However, upon purchase of the Manual, our technicians will take the buyer through a 4 hour practical formulations of two products of our choice. To learn all the 35 products in the book through classroom facilitation, a fee of Ksh 1.2 Million (12,000$) fee will be payable and the course will run for 9 weeks. A full one week Architectural Paint class and the Manual will cost the learner Ksh 75,000 ($750)

*Some fee may be applicable upon agreement

Industrial Coatings & Adhesives Formulation Manual

Our on-class training experience on paint (Motor Vehicle paint and Architectural paint) has identified a variety of ways to help would-be paint manufacturers achieve their dreams of placing their competitive brands in the shelves. This follows realization that the mandatory 5 day training program (for paints only) is so demanding, especially for a person working. Elsewhere, we also discovered that the ksh 50,000 ($500) we charge for the (paint technology) training is way above the reach of the common man without a steady source of income.

We have, therfore, compiled an 120-page standard procedure book with 50 different types of industrial coatings ranging from Architectural and motor vehicle formulations, wall Primers, Motor vehicle Base coats, Undercoats, top coats, wall masters, decorative interior paints such as Gloss, Silk, Matt, eggshell, enamel, exterior silicon paints, window putty, spot putty, wall putty, distemper, Powder Paints, Powder coatings like Polyfiller, Motor vehicle body filler, Contact Adhesives, Roofing Paints, Pigment Concentrates, Thinners etc.

The manual comes with the first 20-page theorical introduction to paint, Thinners and glue making concept to prepare the new industrialist to have a clear understanding of the raw material used in coatings, solvents and Adhesives. The theory is written in an easy to understand model from experience with teaching people with different levels of understanding. This therefore ensures that the self-teaching learner grasps the concept easily.

We, however, will demonstrate one or two types of procedures free of charge upon purchase of the book. This will further orient the learner with procedures in formulation skills.

We hope the manual will transform the user in a big way. For more information and purchase or training, please talk to us on WhatsApp 0723424240 or call us. We are located in the city center NYOTA building along Accra road-Dubois road junction near Tea Room Dubois and Accra road junction near Tea Room. First floor room 105 and third floor room 309. The cost of the Manual is Ksh 38,500* only ($390). Ms Kemboi, our administration officer will help you once you come. The buyer of the Manual will be linked with all the suppliers of raw materials (both retail and wholesale) and packaging containers, printers of the containers (labels). We shall also link you with a Mr. Waweru and Miano, who are seasoned paint technologists with more than 15 years of experience in paint manufacturing with local giant paint making factories.

*Please note that the price was an introductory offer in 2019 by the time of pressing this post. The current price is 64,000

Content includes Tile adhesives (Grout), Automotive and Architectural Paints, Thinners, Car body filler and Spot putty, Window Putty, Polyfiller, Powder Coatings and fillers and adhesives

Shoe Sole Making Course now on Offer

In keeping with the promise to expose more Kenyans to the deep secrets of industrialization concepts, the long awaited course, the Rubber technology, is now on Offer.

This follows a successful completion of the the course curriculum, comprised of 5 major Topics and 13 subtopics that capture all aspects of the Rubber Chemistry.

The Course, will prepare the learner to apply his or her skills in designing any elastomeric product including Shoe Soles, Roller wheels, Seals, Silicon Moulds etc. to suit her preference.

The Course takes 7 hrs to complete. This duration can be subdivided into two or three sessions, meaning that the learner can decide to take it in two or three days depending on her schedule.

To learn more about the course, please talk to us on WhatsApp 0723424240 and we will be glad to help you with your needs. We are located in the city center NYOTA building along Accra road-Dubois road junction near Tea Room Dubois and Accra road junction

Online Training is available for the interested persons who may not be able to make it our training center.

Continue reading

Soap Plodder SSP 230

Home Soap Factory

Here’s the industrial bulldozer that you desire to have for your soap production needs. For Enquiry please talk to Ms Carolyn Kemboi of Express Marine Engineering Corporation 0771130070 or 0722201340 /0723424240

Liquid Soap Making in Kenya

Cleaning industry has experienced a boom in the recent past, thanks to diverse culture of hygiene. Liquid soap, correctly termed as liquid Detergent is nevertheless a basic requirement for hygiene. The raw ingredients are abundant in Nairobi and major towns however stockists have taken advantage of the disperation of the Kenyans seeking cheap prices.

The quality of the raw materials, prices and expertise in mixing the ingredients will greatly influence the quality of the final product. We approached different raw materials outlets in Nairobi and we can say that much needs to be made on the customer education and awareness

Creating and Owning a Brand

Waking up in the morning and going to bed daily in the evening has every person’s one thought in mind: Whom am I in the society, place of work or home.

Naturally, in the human race, people are conscious of how they are viewed or rated in the society. And it is everyone’s dream that they take a superimposed place in peer groups, village or even Estate where they reside.

People have the crave for superiority and celebrity status. This is what motivates them to work even more hard to get promotion, make more money or get associated with a development that serves as a reminder to the society of whom they are.

To a majority few, owning a company is the epitome of fulfillment of their career goals. To these classes of people, owning a company is not just enough, but have a company that goes with colossal titles like “corporates”, names that end with “Limited”, “PLC” or to the more elaborate “manufacturers blah blah…”. Like me, they imagine people whispering things like “.. ssh….that’s the owner of….. ‘” whenever they pass through the corridors of banking halls or streets.

But did you know that having a company and being referred to by people as a CEO is as easy as one can imagine? What hinders many dreamers to achieve their life desires is lack of mentorship (right information, motivation and dedication on the part of the mentor). Many dreams die at the stage of implementation while others abort immediately after they are conceived in the minds of dreamers.

The Paint Industry in Kenya is Untapped

Of course, the contractor will ask about the quality of your product and KEBS certificate will come in handy. Next, the contractor will summon his paint man and he will instruct him to test the product. If the paint man gives your sample a clean bill of health, the contractor, knowing that he can save a surmountable cash by buying directly from a ‘Sole Proprietor ” (you), he will pull you aside and start the “business talk”.

Step 4: Make a healthy bargain. The contractor may have made a budget of say 2,000,000, for the paint. The actual cost of this amount of paint could be about 400,000. Have the contractor see the benefit of saving by buying from you and on your side, evaluate your profit share. Let him give you a down payment and make your way to raw material stockist (along Enterprise Road). Purchase the raw materials and do the mixing. Deliver it in time and have your cheque.

Of course a lot of discipline is needed as a manufacturer, especially when doing a startup. All in all, remember that quality, timely delivery and astute professionalism (paperwork) is key to success. With a million shillings from the first deal, scout for more upcoming buildings and make the steps. I am sure tomorrow on your way to town you will see more than one new upcoming buildings. They will need paint from the giant manufacturers but you can be the substitute.

Betty Industrial Chemicals Officially Launch Life stock Feed Formulation & Compounding Manual

Announcing the new development, Betty, a trainer and author of industrial procedures revealed that the new book, with over ten animal and poultry feeds formulas will benefit young school and college leavers with kin interest in becoming manufacturers and not employees.
She cited animal feed industry as the latest money minting business. “Besides human beings, Kenya has a good population of livestock- over 3 million cattle, chicken, camel, goat and sheep not included” she added. ” Even the farmers who struggle with animal feeds for their zero grazed cattle can make their own compound feeds for their livestock without necessarily buying local feeds”  she added.

“Anyone thinking of investing in a business with quick bucks should consider trying a hand in ventures with few competitors, animal feed manufacturing being a good example”