More than 100 years ago, Fulchand Gada from Jamnagar had emigrated to Kenya in 1912. He was merely 14 then and had dreams to build a great future. His family today runs Kenya’s biggest bread-making industry and are the proud owners of Broadway.
Generation after generation, the family grew and put their blood and sweat in shaping their family business. It produces a whopping 2.5 lakh bread loaves everyday and have uplifted lives of more than 400 Kenyans by providing them employment.
The family may have immense wealth but Fulchand’s grandson Bimal Shah hasn’t yet forgotten his family roots and often visits Gujarat. He says, “Gujarati never forgets his roots and the importance of qualities like compassion and dedication to community welfare.”
The company in Thika town (40 km from Capital Nairobi) began with a single deck oven to fire the burner and it had to be manually pumped in with air. Two of the first generation brothers – Ratilal Shah, who is now 84, and late Sobhagchand Shah – would go early in the morning to the upcountry to sell the first few loaves of bread daily.
What is interesting is their marketing technique. Even today, the company supports a segment of distribution system where people ride bicycles, displaying the company’s brand over their uniforms to promote sales and young Kenyans.
What initially started as a small one-oven bakery in the early 1950s has become a name recognised in every home in Kenya. What an inspirational journey of the Shah family!