Ryce East Africa Limited: A pioneer in the Leasing Industry


The company banks on its rich history and wealth of experience to remain at the top

In recent times, the leasing industry has been experiencing steady growth. On one hand, it is characterized by many players who want to take advantage of the existing and available opportunities. The industry has become competitive, especially with the entry of banks. On the other hand, many corporates, SMEs as well as government institutions have started leasing as opposed to buying assets.

Ryce East Africa Limited is one of the companies that have entered into the leasing industry. “We were only selling motor vehicles and in 1995, we decided to diversify as we looked at the different ways we could expand the business,” says V.N. Srinivas, group managing director at Ryce.

“Having dealt with vehicle dealers for a long time, we were looking at the current trends and how corporates are changing their policy in terms of purchasing vehicles,” he explains. In most of the developed countries, people prefer to lease as opposed to buying assets. Africa is also slowly accepting this development, evidenced by the establishment and success of many leasing companies in the continent.

With this understanding, Ryce decided to venture into the leasing industry. The Ryce leasing division was launched in 2007, after identifying the benefits that current customers could get by leasing vehicles instead of buying. They were among the first players in the Kenyan market, something that gives them an edge over new entrants.

Since its establishment, the leasing division has grown tremendously. “We basically lease vehicles to corporate clients, and today, we have more than 350 units leased to various companies,” reveals Mr. Srinivas. This has been achieved through the company’s partnership with large corporates, FMCG distributors, banks, financial institutions and international schools.

Founded in 1944, Ryce East Africa Limited is a pioneer member of the Sameer Group of Companies, which also includes Sameer Africa, Spire Bank, Sasini Tea and Nandi Tea Estates Ltd.

Initially known as Ryce Motors, the company primarily operated as a garage, and later diversified into selling both second hand and new vehicles including Isuzu and Chevrolet.

In 1974, Ryce Motors rebranded into Ryce East Africa Limited, giving the company an opportunity to diversify further.

Today, Ryce has four fully fledged divisions – motor vehicles, leasing, motor bikes and engineering.

“In the motor vehicles division, we are the authorized dealers of Isuzu commercial vehicles in Kenya,” says Mr. Srinivas, adding that “We have been selling Isuzu vehicles for the last 30 years. The company has vast experience in the automotive industry spanning over 50 years.

Ryce has been the franchise distributor for KOHLER-SDMO power generators in Kenya since 1995 and sold over 2500 Dg sets to the private clients and more than 1200 Generators to the telecom network operations. “We have a good reputation of supplying generators in the market, especially when it comes to projects and high capacity generators,” offers Mr. Srinivas.

“We are also one of the platinum distributors in Africa.” This is a major milestone considering that there are only two platinum distributors in the whole of Africa.

In 2013, Ryce also felt that the motor cycle industry is among the fastest growing in the country. It therefore started assembling and distributing Hero Motorcycles in Kenya. Located in India, Hero MotoCorp Limited is the world’s largest manufacturer of two – wheelers, and manufacturers over 7 million units every year.

With many years of experience and a rich history, Ryce has differentiated itself to become one of the leading companies in the different sectors that it serves. “Basically, we are in a market where we feel there is growth and opportunities,” notes the group managing director.

The company has grown steadily year after year, with a current annual turnover of Ksh. 3 billion, up from 400 million in 1994.

“We look forward to proactively expand our activities to remain ahead of competition.”

Why lease at Ryce?
According to Mr. Srinivas, Ryce has been in the market for many years, which gives it wealth of experience and ability to provide quality products and services, as well as customer satisfaction.

The company is also ISO Certified. Each division is guided by auditable quality processes based on the ISO 9001:2008 Standards, giving assurance of the quality of service delivered.

Furthermore, Ryce has a variety of motor vehicles from which clients can choose from. It also has the capacity to provide whatever number of vehicles required by its clients. “We provide a complete solution in all our four divisions.”

To lease with Ryce, clients must provide essential information including the type of vehicles needed, approximate kilometres driven in a month and number of years to lease. Based on these parameters, the company provides a complete package including monthly rentals.

Benefits of leasing
Mr. Srinivas says that companies that lease vehicles are able to concentrate on their main business, since operational issues like fleet management and maintenance are handled by the lessor. In this case, Ryce Leasing insures and maintains the vehicle as per the lease agreement. Vehicles are also branded as per the lessee company’s logo.

In addition, the lessee enjoys corporate tax benefit since leasing monthly rentals can be expressed on the balance sheet.

By leasing, companies get an opportunity to utilize their capital to grow and expand their business. Leasing does not tie one’s capital compared to outright purchase.

Finally, the lessee does not bear the burden of disposing the vehicles. After the lease period, the vehicles go back to the lessor as per the agreement.