Innscor Africa: its Start-Up and Scaling Up Journey

Innscor Africa: its Start-Up and Scaling Up Journey

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Having a history that dates back to 1987, starting with only one Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) Branch operating on Speke Avenue in Harare, Innscor Africa “The Conglomerate” has showcased the art of starting small, scaling up, partnership, diversifying, acquiring and investing in emerging markets.



  • Zinona (Zed) Koundournaris
  • Michael Fowler

Founded in 1987, and starting operations as Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) branded as Chicken Inn opened on Speke Avenue in Harare. It continuously grew its portfolio in QSR. In 1995, Bakers Inn came to existence after acquiring and commissioning a mechanized bread plant in Harare. In 1998 saw its penetration in the QSR African Market by opening outlets namely Chicken Inn, Pizza Inn, Bakers Inn and Creamy Inn in Zambia, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Mozambique. In 2000, Innscor Africa concluded an Innscor-Exxon Mobil deal to open Innscor branded QSR outlets on Exxon Mobil forecourts across Africa, this partnership saw the opening of QSR outlets in Nigeria and Senegal on Exxon Mobil forecourts in 2002. In that same year it opened franchised QSR outlets in Malawi and Angola. By 2005, it had QSR footprint into 12 African countries, 7 company operated and 5 franchised. In 2007, it also increased the number of franchised QSR outlets in the Nigerian Market. The QSR Franchising journey didn’t end there, in 2013, Innscor franchised Chicken Inn, Pizza Inn, Creamy Inn and Galito’s branded QSR outlets in Swaziland and Lesotho then later grew QSR network in the Zimbabwean, Kenyan & Zambian markets. Opened QSR outlets in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In 2015, Innscor later unbundled QSR operations through a dividend in-specie and listed it separately on the ZSE as Simbisa Brands Limited (, (

However, after establishing their first QSR in 1987, in 1993, Innscor Africa was already diversifying to other markets and started with Acquired Astra Crocodile Ranching & Shearwater Adventures and Distribution Group Africa (DGA). The crocodile business continuously grew and in 2005they commenced construction of a third crocodile farm in Kariba. In 2010 Innscor unbundled through a dividend in-specie, the crocodile ranching operation and listed this separately on the ZSE as Padenga Holdings Limited ( (

One of the strength of investors is in seeing emerging companies and investing in or acquiring them. Investing is one of the smartest way of having money working for you. Starting with its first acquisition 1993 of Astra Crocodile Ranching & Shearwater Adventures, it went on to acquire a mechanized bread plant in Harare in 1995. In 1998, it also acquired Capri Corporation Limited and reverse-listed Innscor on the ZSE, their market cap was now USD70m. A year, it went on and Acquired Spar Eastern Region and opened SPAR branded Corporate Stores in Harare. In that same year, it also acquired a new biscuit line for the Iris Biscuit business and new packaging machine purchased for the Snacks business. Spar was continuously grown and in 2002 Innscor opened the first SPAR Corporate store in Zambia. In 2007 Opened 2 additional SPAR stores in Lusaka and Livingstone, with a total of 6 stores now in operation in Zambia. In that same year, a new SPAR branded corporate store opened in Chawama, Zambia.

Innscor also went on for a strategy of investing in leading brands. In 2003 Innscor acquired shareholding in National Foods Holdings Limited (, a leading supplier of Zimbabwean FMCGs ( The following year, it also acquired shareholding in Colcom Holdings Limited (, a leading manufacturer of pork products in Zimbabwe (, later increased equity in Colcom Holdings Limited ( to 79.64% and in 2018 it finally acquired remaining non-controlling interest in Colcom Holdings Limited and de-listed the company. Its interests in FMCGs consciously increased and in 2016 it acquired a non-controlling interest in an FMCG manufacturing and down packing of basic commodities business, Probrands (Private) Limited, ( to 2007, Innscor Invested into a new Timber processing plant for our Bakaya Hardwoods business and in 2009 acquired shareholding in Irvine’s Zimbabwe (Private) Limited, a leading Zimbabwean poultry producer ( In 2011 it Acquired Shepperton Road property in Harare, with space to accommodate 5 breadlines and started consolidation of Bakery operations onto this site. 2016 marked Innscor’s footprints in the automotive retail business by acquiring Transerv.  That same year it commenced the re-organization of the Group into a light manufacturing business. In 2019 Innscor Restructure of Probrands (Private) Limited. Acquisition of 50.64% interest in Probottlers (Private) Limited.

Innscor also appreciated other brands, instead of eliminating them, it went for the franchising strategy. This saw Innscor 1998 securing Nando’s Franchise and opened the first Nando’s store in Avondale, Harare. In 1999 it secured Steers franchise and opened the first Steers outlet at Speke Avenue, Harare.  In 2011 it also secured Galito’s Franchise.

So far in its journey, Innscor has disposed some of its interests. In 2026 it disposed the Group’s interest in non-core SPAR Corporate Retail stores, Distribution operations and Tourism operations of Shearwater Adventures. Also in 2017, Innscor Disposed SPAR Zambia Limited and the River Club.

In 2016 Innscor Africa also unbundled Specialty Retail businesses and listed it separately on the ZSE as Axia Corporation Limited ( (


With now over 32 years of existence in Business, Innscor managed to establish its footprints in mill-bake, protein and other light manufacturing sectors. Below is the Group’s structure:


  • National Foods Holdings Limited (37.82%)
    • National Foods Limited (100%)
    • National Foods Properties Limited (100%)
    • Breathaway Food Caterers (Pvt) Ltd (100%)
    • Botswana Milling and Produce Company (Pvt) Ltd (100%)
    • Red Seal Manufactures (Pvt) Ltd (100%)
    • National Foods Logistics (Pvt) Ltd (associate company) (50%)
    • Pure Oil Industries (Pvt) Ltd (associate company) (40%)
    • Lolite Trading (Pvt) Ltd (Associate Company) (50%)
  • Bread Division [100%]
    • Shepperton Road Plant Harare (Division)
    • Lennard Bread Bulawayo (Division)
    • Bakers Inn Logistics (Pvt) Ltd (associate company) [50%]
  • Profeeds (Private) Limited (Associate Company) [49%]
    • 43 x Retail Stores (Division)
    • 1 x Feed Factory (Division)
    • Fish Feeds (Pvt) Ltd [66%]


  • Irvine’s Zimbabwe (Private) Limited [49%]
    • Feedmill (Division)
    • Commercial Hatchery (Division)
    • Breeders (Division)
    • Layers (Division)
    • Broilers and Abattoir (Division)
  • Colcom Division [100%]
    • Colcom Holdings Limited
    • Triple C Pigs (Division)
    • Colcom Foods Limited (Division)
  • Associated Meat Packers (Private) Limited
    • Silkchin Trading (Private) Limited [50.01%]
    • Intercane (Private) Limited* [50.01%]

*Irvine’s Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd owns 49%


  • Pangolin (Private) Limited [50.1%]
  • Probottlers (Private) Limited [50.64%]
  • Probrands (Private) Limited (Associate Company) [39.2%]
  • Prodairy (Private) Limited [50.1%]
    • Kershelmar (Pvt) Ltd [50%]
    • Mafuro Farming (Pvt) Ltd (Associate Company)
  • Natpak (Private) Limited [58.33%]
    • Alpha Packaging (Pvt) Ltd [35%]
  • Skitap (Private) Limited [50%]
    • Innscor Appliance Manufacturing (Pvt) Ltd (Associate Company) [25.05%]
      • Capri [100%]
      • Goodshow Manufacturing (Pvt) Ltd t/a WR [66.67%]
  • Paperhole Investments (Private) Limited (Associate Company) [50%]
  • Afrigrain Trading Limited [66.67]

The Group commands leading market shares across a range of its categories and over the years has grown organically, through acquisition and by venturing into new categories. The structure of the Group and the effective shareholding by Group Companies in subsidiaries and associates is illustrated herewith.

About Post Author

Denzel Chimene

Denzel Chimene is an entrepreneur with interests in different industrial sectors and a metallurgy technician in making at the Zimbabwe School of Mines. He is also the Founding President of EntreVision Org, an entrepreneurial, innovation and talent empowering organization.
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