SUMMARY – HILTON HOTEL AND OTHER COMPANIES IN KENYA SHUT DOWN IN 2022 DUE TO ECONOMIC PRESSURE AND CHALLENGES. RISING OPERATIONAL COSTS, DIFFICULT MARKET CONDITIONS, AND CHANGES IN OWNERSHIP CONTRIBUTED TO THESE CLOSURES, IMPACTING BOTH EMPLOYEES AND THE OVERALL BUSINESS LANDSCAPE IN THE COUNTRY.
The year 2022 witnessed a wave of business closures due to global inflation and economic challenges. Hilton Hotel, an iconic establishment that has served Kenya since independence, became the latest casualty. With a history of 53 years, the hotel made the difficult decision to shut down its operations. From July 2021 to February 2022, Statista reported that more than 1,365 companies stopped operating in Kenya.
Unfortunately, some businesses closed their doors after a brief existence of fewer than five years.
Hilton Hotel (Closure Date: December 31, 2022)
Hilton Hotel, located in Nairobi, will cease operations on December 31, 2022. The closure will impact numerous employees. In May 2022, the hotel management made the announcement following extensive discussions with stakeholders. The government owns 40.57% of Hilton Hotel, and the closure is attributed to the state’s failure as a key stakeholder.
Notify Logistics (Closure Date: August 30, 2022)
On August 30, 2022, Notify Logistics, a Kenyan startup, announced the closure of its operations in Nairobi. The company cited the high cost of operation as the reason behind its decision. Notify Logistics, established five years ago, offered shelf-renting services to facilitate cost-sharing among businesses. Director Hellen Nyambura revealed that the company faced management issues due to the escalating operating costs.
We-Farm Shop (Closure Date: September 2022)
In September 2022, the Agritech company We-Farm declared the closure of its mobile application shop. The decision was driven by challenging market conditions. Sofie Mala, WeFarm’s Director of Growth, explained that the current market landscape posed significant obstacles to setting up and scaling the shop. CIO Africa quoted her as saying, “We have taken the difficult decision to discontinue one of our services: the WeFarm shop.”
NopeaRide (Closure Date: November 2022)
In November 2022, NopeaRide’s minority shareholder in Kenya, InfraCo Africa Limited, initiated the liquidation process of the company at the High Court. The taxi brand immediately took its fleet of electric vehicles off the road and informed its staff and corporate clients. The exit followed the insolvency declaration by the majority shareholder in Finland. NopeaRide extended apologies to its drivers and staff for the unfortunate circumstances.
GSK Plans Operations Transfer (October 2022)
British pharmaceutical company GSK announced in October 2022 its intention to transfer its operations in Kenya to a third party. Despite this change, GSK Kenya assured continued product supply to the East African region through a distributor-led model. The company aims to find ways to meet customers’ needs and expectations while grappling with rising operational costs. Unfortunately, this move will result in an unexpected number of employee layoffs.