Case | HBS Case Collection | December 2013

VP Group: Vegpro Grows Beyond Kenya

by Jose Alvarez and Natalie Kindred

Abstract

In 2013, Kenyan horticulture producer and exporter VP Group is weighing potential expansion opportunities against the growing risks in its production and export markets. With $121 million in 2012 revenues, VP Group has grown rapidly in recent years by expanding its vegetable and flower production beyond Kenya into Ethiopia and Ghana; exploring new products such as sugar; and vertically integrating by bringing marketing and logistics operations in-house. The company's leadership is excited about future growth opportunities but also concerned about the impact of VP Group's growth on its entrepreneurial culture. The company also faces increasing cost pressures due to rising costs in Kenya and flat prices in U.K. supermarkets, its main buyers. VP Group's size, vertical integration, and focus on sustainability leave it well positioned as a long-term partner to U.K. supermarkets, but changes to the overall operating environment might require the company to rethink its strategy.

Keywords: James Cartwright; Bharat Patel; Umang Patel; Vegpro; VP Group; Kenya; Nairobi; Africa; vegetables; flowers; Marks & Spencer; Sainsbury's; horticulture; sugar; Growth; diversification; freighting; Agribusiness; Plant-Based Agribusiness; Trade; Marketing; Marketing Strategy; Vertical Integration; Supply Chain; Employees; Growth and Development Strategy; Agriculture and Agribusiness Industry; Shipping Industry; Kenya; Nairobi; Africa; United Kingdom; Europe; Ethiopia; Ghana;

Citation:

Alvarez, Jose, and Natalie Kindred. "VP Group: Vegpro Grows Beyond Kenya." Harvard Business School Case 514-055, December 2013.