Pro Gas, a product of Proto Energy Company, hit the Kenyan market in 2017 and has since become a household name.
The gas brand has highly distinguishable pink cylinders easily identifiable by Kenyans from all parts of the country.
Some Kenyans have nicknamed it “The slay queen of cooking gases” because of their choice of brand colour.
Pro Gas gained popularity in Kenya quickly because it’s readily available at local supplier outlets in city estates and upcountry.
That factor differentiates it from other cooking gas brands that are only available at selected outlets such as petrol stations.
The brand’s catchy business slogan “The smart choice for Kenyan families”, has played a key role in endearing it to Kenyans from all walks of life.
Pro Gas Owner
Pro Gas is produced and sold by Proto Energy Company, owned by a parent company named Africa Oil & Gas Limited (AGOL).
The founder and owner of AGOL, the parent company of Pro Gas producer, is 75- year old billionaire businessman, Muhammed Jaffer.
He is an investor in various sectors in Kenya, including significant stakes in Grain Bulk Handlers Ltd and its flagship company, MJ Group.
Mr Jaffer also runs a charitable organization known as Jaffer Foundation Charitable Trust, which sponsors education, health, housing and water projects for local communities.
CEO of Pro Gas Producing Company
Despite being one of the founders, Muhammad Jaffer is not the firm’s CEO.
The firm’s CEO and Managing Director is little-known co-founder, Kameel Virjee, who has been at the company’s helm since 2016.
That was just a year before the production and distribution of Pro Gas began.
The CEO has been on the frontline, steering the brand’s market share, which has grown over the years, by establishing a solid product distribution network across Kenya.
Proto Energy Shareholders
Proto Energy shareholders may not be easily identifiable since it is a private company and not a publicly listed on the Nairobi Stock Exchange.
However, there is evidence that besides AGOL, the other significant shareholder in Proton Energy Ltd is Oterter Limited, associated with President William Ruto.
The deal between AGOL and Oterter Ltd was concluded in 2021 in Dubai, after which the latter took over as the parent company of Proto Energy Ltd on the acquisition of majority shares.
The transaction gave the Ruto-associated company the voting power to make significant policy changes in Proton, which can impact the production and sale of Pro Gas in Kenya.
In sum, it means AGOL ceased to be the Parent company of Proto Energy, with Oterter taking over as the new controlling company.
Since he became president, Ruto has shown a keen interest in the cooking gas sector and his administration has proposed a number of new changes in the sub-sector.
One of the most exciting announcements by the President was that Kenyans could start buying 6kg cooking gas cylinder at Sh.500 by June 2023.
That follows the new measures by the Kenya Kwanza government to scrap the 8% value-added tax (VAT) and other levies on cooking gas to promote the adoption of clean energy in the country.