Okabayashi Daisuke, the man who has been instrumental in the establishment of JKUAT-Nissin Foods Ltd leaves the company after five years of serving as the Managing Director. Okabayashi has seen the JKUAT based noodles manufacturing firm gain ground since its initiation in 2008 as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activity; where locally customized, high quality instant noodles were distributed to neighbouring primary school children for free.
Daisuke will be replaced by Kenichi Nagatomi, a management and international economics professional, who until his elevation was serving as sales and marketing officer at the multinational’s headquarter in Japan.
Speaking during Okabayashi’s farewell luncheon, Prof. Victoria Ngumi, acting deputy Vice Chancellor in Charge of administration, planning and development, hailed the outgoing MD, as champion who has spearheaded production and distribution of healthy, convenient and affordable instant noodles to the Kenyan market.
“The company is set to strengthen Kenya’s economy, enhance food security, and provide employment to a number of Kenyans,” noted Victoria. “We are very proud of the facility and the university is committed to see it expand and serve the east African market.”
While welcoming the incoming MD, Prof. Ngumi who represented the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mabel Imbuga, also wished Okabayashi well in his new role at the parent subsidiary company, Nissin Foods Holdings Ltd., in Japan.
In his farewell address, Okabayashi indicated his tenure at the company and Kenya has been challenging but exciting and fulfilling. He further thanked JKUAT leadership whose support, he termed as unwavering.
“I hope to see the company grow to become an established brand like Coca-cola and Unilever,” averred the outgoing MD. “I will miss Kenya; the cuisines like nyama choma and ugali.”
The joint venture, JKUAT Nissin Foods Limited, is the first of the Japanese firm’s investment in Africa, conceived and implemented under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP).
The farewell luncheon was also addressed by Prof. Esther Kahangi, deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of research, production and extension; and Prof. Simon Muhoho of Nissin Foods Ltd.