It is early morning in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, and a small independent wholesaler is doing a roaring trade.
The city’s street traders and small independent retailers have come to stock up on household products, one of which is toothpaste.
This wholesaler stocks two brands. The first, the so-called genuine article, is manufactured by Unilever, one of the world’s biggest consumer goods businesses.
The other, the wholesaler describes as “Chinese” – Unilever calls it fake.
By close of business this wholesaler is justifiably pleased. He has sold more tubes of counterfeit toothpaste than the genuine article, which is excellent news for the bottom line.
On the genuine product he has made a 13% mark-up, on the counterfeit an impressive 50%. Fair play to him, some might say – after all it is only toothpaste. Continue reading.
BBC Focus on Africa Magazine: