The fall of once mega businesses in Africa.

The fall of once mega businesses in Africa

It’s today that we have decided to take a different path for our readers here at

Unless you where born yesterday, but most of us have witnessed these Mega businesses rise and fall from stardom. You all remember the likes of Nakumatt and Tuskys, the fun places and a home to many. Did you know that Nakumatt started as a mattress store in Nakuru and later become a great supermarket.

In this article we shall take you through their background. How they started, the big names behind them, their net worth over the years and why they existed the East African markets.

First on the list:

Nakumatt Holdings Limited

Nakumatt was a Kenyan supermarket chain. It started as mattress store in Nakuru. “Nakumatt” is an abbreviation for Nakuru Mattress in 1978. Which was then under Kenyan business man Hasmukh Shah, a brother to Mangalal Shah, the father to Atul Shah, the owner of Nakumatt supermarkets now.

Atul Shah started doing business with his brother Vimal Shash, opened up a clothing store they named Furmatts, which among other things sold bed sheets which they stitched at home. With their store booming and supported by the 1970s coffee boom in East Africa the two brothers managed to buy Nakuru Mattress from their uncle Hasmukh Shah who moved to the United Kingdom.

With the new ownership and under new management, Furmatts and Nakuru Mattress decided to integrate their working operations. From two stores in Nakuru town, they diversified the list of items, selling mattress, bed sheets, saucepans, cooking pots, plastic basins, umbrellas and many other products.

From 1984 they have been able to expand in Kenya and across all major markets in East Africa. They opened their first store outside Kenya in Rwanda in 2008, Uganda in  2009 and Tanzania in 2009. The store also had plans to expand operations in Burundi and South Sudan, but we don’t have clear information of that yet here at, we promise to deliver legit info about that in the near future.

What was their net worth over the years.

Has it has always been to the mega businesses, we have not been in position to get the clear net worth of Nakumatt over the years but what we can get is dated back in 2013, it was estimated at about US$650 million.

Why did Nakumatti exit major markets.

Like it has always been. East to West, Home is the best. Nakumatt is back to its roots in Kenya. Besides the joke above, its unclear of the main reason as to why Nakumatt exited but a lot is here to be exposed.

Nakumatt Holdings collapsed due to mismanagement. 

In a court hearing in 2016, it was discovered that the company’s founder Atul Shahs was facing investigations over the loss of over US$ 100 million worth of stock. It was unable to settle its landlords, suppliers and staff. Due to that, a new administrator was assigned tasks to help it regain its financial status. However, plans didn’t go as planned and the last six branches were sold to the new booming giant NAIVAS Supermarkets in 2019, a deal that kicks Nakumatt completely out of business.

Poor safety background.

Nakumatt had a poor safety record and has faced strong criticism mainly regarding shoppers’ and employees’ safety. Main case scenario in this point is the 2009 Nakumatt fire in which over 29 people lost their lives.

Sole Sad & Invisible.

I wouldn’t leave this out, because we are yet to see a lot of this happen to many businesses (Mainly those operating online) and it will led to their down fall in the future. Reading about Sole Sad & Invisible makes no sense right now, but sure its tougher than the above. Sole Sad & Invisible is a group name to hackers in Iran who attacked Nakumatt Holdings Limited website.

Hope you have got a clear view and background of Nakumatt as a mega business that didn’t leave to meet the rest of its birthdays in Africa. Note: Get tips of how you can run a succeful business in the African markets here at next we shall bring you full insights about Tuskys

Written by 

Related posts

Leave a Comment