The mid 1990s were an exciting time for young entrepreneur Dipak Shah with a business idea that would later turn out to be a prolific endeavour. Laneeb Plastics Industries Ltd, founded in 1995 by Mr Shah, manufactures, supplies and exports polythene bags and packing tapes.

For over 20 years, the company has been committed to innovation, constantly developing new products to meet customer needs. This has seen it develop from its humble beginnings manufacturing polythene bags, tubing and carry bag, to become a household name in the regional market, now selling 80 per cent of its products as exports across East and Central Africa, with major export markets in Burundi and Congo.

Leveraging on technological expertise and streamlined facilities, the company has been able to meet all the market’s demands and keep pace with ever changing needs, with its greatest challenge coming in 2008, when the economy took a turn for the worse fuelled by political violence in the country.

It was a period that made Laneeb realise it needed a more economical way to reach customers and to focus on client needs to stay in business. As part of this focus, it achieved a noteworthy milestone in 2012, when it started production of masking tapes, packing tapes,clear tapes, printed tapes and strapping rolls, in which it has also now carved a niche in the regional market.

“As an entrepreneur focused on scaling the business heights, I realised that determination, hard work and resilience were key to staying afloat in the demanding business world. Over time, I have managed to transform the organisation from a small enterprise to a mediumsized company with a capacity of 900 tonnes per month for polythene bags and related products,” said the Laneeb Plastics Industries CEO.

Its rising presence has also created substantial employment, led by young and dynamic professionals.

“I started with just 20 employees to now employing a workforce of 380 employees who work in two shifts for 24 hours and seven days a week,” said Dipak.

The company has won Club 101 awards in both 2014/15 and 2016/17 and the KPMG top 100 mid-sized company award in Kenya, which Dipak said have further galvanized it in diversifying its product lines to include the customisation of products for customers’ specific needs.

Laneeb Plastics has also been selected by the Kenya Revenue Authority as a pilot project company for new export online systems, which are under the guidance of KRA officials.

-AFRICAN LAUGHTER