TG: Injaro… That is an unusual name. How did that name come about? Injaro Investments Limited (IIL): Injaro derives from Kilimanjaro which, in Swahili, means ‘Mountain of Greatness’. We believe in the greatness of the African entrepreneurial spirit and in the ability of African entrepreneurs to build successful businesses that will transform Africa for the benefit of future generations. We see ourselves as a partner in helping African entrepreneurs achieve their full potential through a blend of capital, ideas and disciplined execution. TG: Intriguing. Tell us about what you do?
IIL: Injaro’s primary activity is to effectively deploy our investors’ capital through private equity and credit funds that are aligned with our vision of developing Africa’s economies through investments in high-potential businesses. The goal is to create value for both our investors and the shareholders of the businesses we partner with. We currently have two active funds. Injaro Agricultural Capital Holdings Limited (IACHL), is a fund that has deployed over US$34.6 million to about 14 companies in West Africa and has benefitted over 3.78 million people mainly comprising small holder farmers, low income persons and their families. (www.iachl.com).
Injaro is also fund advisor to the Agribusiness Capital (ABC) Fund, a €200 million impact fund which makes loans to agricultural SMEs, farmers’ organizations and financial intermediaries across Africa. ABC has invested over €6m in companies and benefitted about 23,000 smallholder farmers (www.abcfund.com). TG: How do you partner with entrepreneurs?
IIL: As a hands-on investor, our preferred investment scenario would involve a company operating in a high-potential segment, owned by an ambitious entrepreneur who has a deep desire to build a market-leading business that will survive several generations. We can, however, also get involved in different situations such as transitions/retirement of founders, management buyouts and, occasionally, start-ups. It all comes down to finding the right business and the right people to partner with. We bring to the table capital, strategic guidance and access to our networks; then we work alongside the entrepreneur patiently for several years to help the business achieve its full potential and generate financial returns in a socially responsible way. TG: Interesting. Can you cite some examples of your partnerships?
IIL: We partnered with Sekaf Ghana Ltd, a Ghanaian social enterprise that produces unrefined organic shea butter and the TAMA® range of shea-based bath and beauty products. Prior to our partnership, the company relied mainly on the sale of organic shea butter sourced from a network of women in Northern Ghana and had a small cosmetics range that sold at the Tamale airport. We supported the founder’s vision to refresh the brand, introduce new product lines and expand the distribution network. TAMA® products can now be found on the shelves of major outlets such as Kotoka International Airport, Game, Shoprite, Shell and Carrefour in Abidjan. With Agricare, a poultry feed producer, we brought in much-needed working capital, and restructured the board and management thus enabling the company to grow its revenue 24x from 2014- 2018 while increasing employment by 200%. TG: Who can partner with Injaro?
IIL: Any entrepreneur or business owner, including returning Diasporans, with a solid track record of business success and a clear vision for growing a market-leading business is a potential partner.