You may have come across a Kibo-trademarked motorbike in Kenya and that is a product of six years of research and development according to Huib van de Grijspaarde, the brains behind Kibo Africa Limited.
Kibo is a motorcycle assembly in Kenya that offers a different feel in riding with their motorbikes designed to handle both good and bad terrains comfortably.
Van de Grijspaarde is a Dutch entrepreneur who had at first eyed the bodaboda sector but thought otherwise and invested Ksh2 billion into Kibos Africa Limited.
“We launched Kibo in 2017, and before settling down on Kenya, I visited three other countries in West Africa namely Ghana, Togo and Benin then I later came to East Africa,” he told Business Daily.
He says that Kenya was prime given its ease of shipping assorted parts from Europe and Asia for assembly in the Kenyan plant. But this came after six years of conducting product research where he decided to focus on motorbikes for the other sectors other than bodaboda.
“Initially the boda boda market is what we had set our minds on but after research, we found out that it was not viable due to cost of production.
“If we were to go into the boda boda business it meant that we would have to lower the quality of our motorcycle to compete with other players in the market and that was not possible for us,” he said.”
Kibo has established a client base with NGOs, corporates and governments who go for the Kibo K-150, Kibo K-16o brands whose main upgrades are the K-150, and the Kibo-K250.
A Kibo motorbike will cost between Ksh190,000 to Ksh390,000 void of value added tax.
The company has also diversified and is also the lead manufacture of motorbike tyres under the brand of Kenya tyres.
“We currently just have the Kenda tyres. However, we are constantly working on research and product development so maybe one day we might have something for the boda boda market,” Van de Grijspaarde notes.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic struck, Van de Grijspaarde’s business has taken a big blow due to reduced earnings.
The rising dollar has also reduced his profit margins since he buys all wares abroad in dollars and sells them in shillings.
He is proud that the firm has 60 employees having started with just him.