Market Focus Competitive Strategy and Profitability of Agrochemical Companies in Kenya: A Case of Ultravetis East Africa Limited


  • Phyllis Roimen The Catholic University of Eastern Africa
  • Dr. Abraham Kiflemariam The Catholic University of Eastern Africa
  • Dr. Susan Wasike The Catholic University of Eastern Africa


Market focus, Competitive, Strategy, Product development, Customer Service, Profitability


The aim of this study was to establish the influence of market focus competitive strategy on profitability of agrochemical companies in Kenya: A Case of Ultravetis East Africa Limited. The study was guided by the following objectives; to establish the effect of focus product development on profitability of Ultravetis East Africa Limited, to establish the effect of focus marketing precision on profitability of Ultravetis East Africa Limited, to determine the effect of focus customer service delivery on profitability of Ultravetis East Africa Limited and to establish the effect of focus brand dominance on profitability of Ultravetis East Africa Limited. This study was informed by; Michael Porter's Competitive Forces Theory, Theory of Dynamic capabilities and Mathematical Theory of Games. Agro-chemical firms in Kenya have been facing a number of challenges due intense competition and entry of common and related companies from China and India thus resulting in decline in profitability per year. The study adopted a longitudinal research design. Stratified random sampling was used to sample 126 Professional staff while purposive sampling approach was used for managers and supervisors. The study used structured questionnaires to collect primary data. The collected data was analyzed using SPSS. Analysis included descriptive and inferential statistics. The specific descriptive statistics were mean, standard deviation and percentages, while inferential included correlation and regression. A multivariate regression model was used to show the relationship between the independent variables to the dependent variable. The findings revealed that focus product development and profitability are positively and significantly related (B =.211, p=0.000), focus marketing precision and profitability were positively and significantly related (B =.442, p=0.000). In addition, results showed that focus customer service and profitability were positively but insignificantly related (B =.021 p=0.717). Similarly, the results showed that focus brand dominance and profitability were positively and significantly related (B =.258 p=0.000). Based on the findings the study concluded that, the four focus competitive strategies used in the study had influence on the profitability of Ultravetis East Africa Limited. The study therefore recommended that, the managements of agrochemical companies should adopt the most effective focus competitive strategies if they want to have competitive advantage over their rivals.

Key Words: Market focus, Competitive, Strategy, Product development, Customer Service, Profitability

Author Biographies

Phyllis Roimen, The Catholic University of Eastern Africa

Graduate Student

Dr. Abraham Kiflemariam, The Catholic University of Eastern Africa


Dr. Susan Wasike, The Catholic University of Eastern Africa



Abora, D. (2011). The impact of quality customer service on the performance of some selected banks in Kumasi Metropolis (Doctoral dissertation).

Ahi, P., & Searcy, C. (2015). An analysis of metrics used to measure performance in green and sustainable supply chains. Journal of Cleaner Production, 86, 360-377.

Akinfasoye, A. J., Fagbayide, J. A., Ajayi, O. E., & Ogunniyan, D. J. (2018). Comparative Effect of Organic Fertilizers on Growth and Yield of Long Cayenne Pepper in Two Agro- Ecological Zones of Nigeria. Arab Universities Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 63(1).

Alarussi, A. S., & Alhaderi, S. M. (2018). Factors affecting profitability in Malaysia. Journal of Economic Studies, 45(3), 442-458.

Al-Tit, A. A. (2015). The effect of service and food quality on customer satisfaction and hence customer retention. Asian Social Science, 11(23), 129.

Arifianti, R. (2018). Competitive Strategy In" XYZ" Four-Star Hotel Company in Tangerang City, Indonesia. Review of Integrative Business and Economics Research, 7, 117-126.

Barney, J.B. (1991). Firm Resources and Sustained Competitive Advantage. Journal of Management, 17, (1), 99–120.

Biswas, B. (2018). Impact of Capital Structure on Profitability: A Comparative Study On Some Select Public And Private Fertilizer Companies In India. Sankalpa, 8(1), 40-47.

Boamah, D. A. (2014). Addressing. The Impact Of Customer Service On The Performance Of Telecom Companies In Ghana (Unpublished dissertation)

Burke, T., Genn-Bash, A., & Haines, B. (2018). Competition in theory and practice. London: Routledge.

Ford K., Hodgkinson J. & Gerard P. (2011). Brain, Emotion and Contingency in the Explanation of Consumer Behavior. Journal of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Vol.26 (4). pp.47 – 91.

Glover, D., & Kusterer, K. (2016). Small farmers, big business: contract farming and rural development. Berlin: Springer.

Gonzalez S. & Benito J. (2010). A Study of the Role Played by Manufacturing Strategic objectives and Capabilities in Understanding the Relationship Between Porter`s Generic Strategies and Business Performance. British Journal of Management. Vol.21 (4). Pp. 1027 – 1043.

Gunawardane, N., Munasinghe, A., & Dissanayake, D. M. R. (2016). Relationship between Perceived Brand Equity and Purchase Intention of Life Insurance Brands in Sri Lanka: A Concept Paper. International Journal of Business and Management Invention, 5(12,106- 111).

Hermann A., Wentzel D. & landwehr J. (2012). The Tipping Point of Design: How Product Design and Brands Interact to Affect Consumers` Preferences. Journal of Psychology and Marketing. Vol. 29 (6). pp.422 – 433.

Hughes, P., Hodgkinson, I. R., Elliott, K., & Hughes, M. (2018). Strategy, operations, and profitability: the role of resource orchestration. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 38(4), 1125-1143.

Ihuoma, D. N., Lilly, M. T., & Ndor, M. V. (2018). The Impact of Quality Control for Profitability in a Car Brake Pad Manufacturing Industry: A Case Study. International Journal of Science and Engineering Invention, 4(12), 01-21.

Jaworski, B. J. (2018). Commentary: advancing marketing strategy in the marketing discipline and beyond. Journal of Marketing Management, 34(1-2), 63-70.

Kamau, J. W., Stellmacher, T., Biber-Freudenberger, L., & Borgemeister, C. (2018). Organic and conventional agriculture in Kenya: A typology of smallholder farms in Kajiado and Murang'a counties. Journal of Rural Studies, 57, 171-185.

Kenya Bureau of Statistics (2017). Strategic Plan for Agricultural and Rural Statistics 2015 – 2022. Retrieved on 2nd February, 2018 from agricultural-and-rural-statistics-2015-2022-2/

Knight H. (2013). Developing a Strategy. Patent Strategy: For Researchers and Research Managers. Ed.3. pp.75 – 132. London: Oxford University Press. Homewood. Irwin.

Knight J. (2013). Developing a Strategy. Ed.3. pp. 75 – 132. London: Oxford University Press.

Laari, S., Töyli, J., & Ojala, L. (2018). The effect of a competitive strategy and green supply chain management on the financial and environmental performance of logistics service providers. Business Strategy and the Environment, 27(7), 872-883.

Lamey, L., Deleersnyder, B., Steenkamp, J. B. E., & Dekimpe, M. G. (2018). New product success in the consumer packaged goods industry: A shopper marketing approach. International Journal of Research in Marketing 9(3), 163-183.

Lee, H. O., & Shin, H. D. (2018). Corporate strategy and the competitiveness of Korean electronics firms versus their Japanese and Chinese counterparts. In Strategic, Policy and Social Innovation for a Post-Industrial Korea (Unpublished dissertation).

Liu, Y., Li, K. J., Chen, H., & Balachander, S. (2017). The effects of products’ aesthetic design on demand and marketing-mix effectiveness: The role of segment prototypicality and brand consistency. Journal of Marketing, 81(1), 83-102.

Magatef, S. G., & Tomalieh, E. F. (2015). The impact of customer loyalty programs on customer retention. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 6(8), 78-93.

Makini, F. W., Mulinge, W., Mose, L., Salasya, B., Kamau, G., Makelo, M., & On’gala, J. (2018). Impact of agricultural innovation platforms on smallholder livelihoods in Eastern and Western Kenya. FARA Research Reports, 2(6), 18.

Mbithi, B., Muturi, W., & Rambo, C. (2015). Effect of product development strategy on performance in sugar industry in Kenya. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 5(12), 326-341.

Moffat L., Hitchens D. & O`Farrel P. (2012). Does Strategy Matter? An Analysis of Generic Strategies and Performance in Business Service Firms. Business Strategy Review Journal. Vol.3 (1). Pp.71 – 87.

Mohan, B. C., & Sequeira, A. H. (2016). The impact of customer-based brand equity on the operational performance of FMCG companies in India. IIMB Management Review, 28(1), 13-19.

Moisescu, O. I., & Bertoncelj, A. (2010). A Comparative Study Of The Relationship Between Brand Loyalty And Market Share Among Durable And Non-Durable Products. Management & Marketing Journal, 8(1).

Mucioki, M., Hickey, G. M., Muhammad, L., & Johns, T. (2016). Supporting farmer participation in formal seed systems: lessons from Tharaka, Kenya. Development in Practice, 26(2), 137-148.

Mwangi E. & Markelova H. (2010). Collective Action for Smallholder Market Access: Evidence and Implications for Africa. Review of policy Research Journal. Vol. 27 (5). Pp. 621 – 640.

Nelson V., Opondo M. & tallontire A. (2014). Contingent Spaces for Smallholder participation in Global GAP: Insights from Kenyan Horticulture Value Chains. The Geographical Journal. Vol.180 (4). Pp.353 – 364.

Obednikovska, S., &Ilieska, K. (2016). Precision Marketing As Factor For Attracting, Retaining And Leveraging Profitable Customers. Annals of' Constantin Brancusi 'University of Targu-Jiu. Economy Series, (2).

Olsen, J., Wagner, P., & Thack, L. (2016). Wine marketing & sales: Success strategies for a saturated market. Board and Bench Publishing.

Petit, N. (2018). Innovation Competition, Unilateral Effects and Merger Control Policy (Unpublished dissertation).

Ployhart, R. E., & Vandenberg, R. J. (2010). Longitudinal research: The theory, design, and analysis of change. Journal of management, 36(1), 94-120.

Priem, R. L., Wenzel, M., & Koch, J. (2018). Demand-side strategy and business models: Putting value creation for consumers center stage. Long range planning, 51(1), 22-31.

Saif, N. M. A. (2015). How does marketing strategy influence firm performance? Implementation of marketing strategy for firm success. International Journal of Innovation and Economic Development, 1(3), 7-15.

Singh, S., Darwish, T. K., & Potočnik, K. (2016). Measuring organizational performance: A case for subjective measures. British Journal of Management, 27(1), 214-224.

Vilkaite-Vaitone, N., & Papsiene, P. (2016). Influence of customer loyalty program on organizational performance: a case of airline industry. Engineering Economics, 27(1), 109-116.

Wardell D., Verma R. &Victorino L. (2013). Script Usage in Standardized and Customized Service Encounters: Implications for Perceived Service Quality. Journal of Production 27(6), 112-118.

Wossink, G. A. A., Van Kooten, G. C., & Peters, G. H. (Eds.). (2018). The Economics of Agro- Chemicals: An International Overview of Use Patterns, Technical and Institutional Determinants, Policies and Perspectives. Routledge.




How to Cite

Roimen, P., Kiflemariam, D. A., & Wasike, D. S. (2019). Market Focus Competitive Strategy and Profitability of Agrochemical Companies in Kenya: A Case of Ultravetis East Africa Limited. Journal of Strategic Management, 3(3), 1–30. Retrieved from