Rozy Rana: Leading Innovation for a Delightful Coffee Experience

What, do you think, binds nearly 30-40% of the global population? Well, it’s their love for Coffee! For many, their day is incomplete without their favorite cup of beverage that keeps them charged to handle work and life. The world of coffee is unique and exciting. Globally, coffee is a multi-billion dollar industry. Mordor Intelligence projected a compound annual growth rate for the period 2020-2025 of circa 4.22%.  The pandemic did bring about some shocks and volatility but current record prices have asserted coffee’s position as a preferred beverage by consumers globally.

A huge part of the world’s best coffee is grown and processed in Africa. In 1950, the Dormans Group started operations in Kenya with a trading and roasting entity called ‘C. Dorman Limited’. Today, they have trading, milling, agronomy, and roasting operations spanning Kenya, Tanzania, and Rwanda.

Meet the Leader

Rozy Rana joined the Dormans group of companies in 1992 as a PA to the MD and progressively rose the ranks to Administrative Assistant, Human Resource Manager, Chief Operating Officer, Finance Director, and finally to her current role as Managing Director. Rozy recently completed her Doctorate in Business Administration and feels fortunate to have had a mentor in her immediate boss and current Chairman Jeremy Block. As a woman raised in a village, she never dreamt that one day she would be a leader in a prestigious firm like Dormans.

Dormans is an ‘equal-opportunity’ employer and today Rozy is in the minority of women leaders in a C-Suite position in a male-dominated industry. “I am aware that this has resulted in my being an inspiration to other women and I have chosen to dedicate some of my spare time to developing talent. I enjoy facilitating leadership-oriented courses for my teams as well as for youth and women leaders outside of Dormans. My family has been a pillar of support throughout my career. I believe it is very important to work hard, be curious, question every norm, and keep upskilling,” says Rozy.

Brewing the Perfect Cup

Dormans Coffee Ltd (popularly referred to as ‘Dormans’) is East Africa’s premier coffee roaster and a trusted household brand. The company supplies a diverse range of freshly roasted coffee blends to hotels, coffee shops, supermarkets, and wholesalers countrywide. They are the agents of some of the world’s best brands of coffee machines and accessories.  Their product mix extends to syrups and coffee premixes which have won prestigious food awards. They also offer Barista training and other bespoke coffee courses at their training school, ‘The Nairobi School of Coffee’.

As a B2B company, Dormans supplies products and services to both the retail and hospitality industries. Their target market is predominantly Kenya. Coffee is an experiential product, and in their quest to support the customers, they provide delightful coffee experiences to their final consumers. Dormans’ model includes tastings, training, audits, and awareness campaigns at customer sites and at their Nairobi School of Coffee.

As a trusted thought leader in the coffee industry, Rozy believes they have an obligation to stay at the forefront of innovation to keep offering the best value to their customers. “Most importantly, we listen to our customers and collaborate as a team to generate solutions to meet new and changing needs and to continually elevate the customer experience. This has driven the rollout of all our products and services,” explains Rozy.

 A Cup of Care

Growing coffee and the production processes involve a lot of natural resources. Given the focus on maintaining the ecosystem, sustainability is at the forefront of all that Dormans do. They often go beyond routine business to create a positive impact in the communities. Investment in Fairtrade certification and other sustainable coffee certifications like Rainforest Alliance testify to their commitment to sustainability and community support. These global certifications offer proof to consumers that fair labour practices, optimal husbandry, and friendly environmental practices are being observed along the coffee value chain.

As a group of companies, Dormans is committed to attaining zero carbon emissions by 2050. What gets measured gets done. Current initiatives in this respect include:

– Platinum level sponsorship to the ‘Mount Kenya Trust’ whose core mission is to protect and conserve the environment, water, soils, and wildlife in Kenya.

– Clean Energy: Dormans has invested in a green facility with clean sources of energy from solar panels on the roofs.

–  The group has a farmer-facing entity, which collaborates with various global investment partners, and one of its core functions is to educate farmers on best agricultural and husbandry practices to improve their yields and adapt to climate change while improving biodiversity. For example, cultivating other crops alongside coffee and growing shade trees among other climate-smart activities to act as buffers and provide protection to coffee and the environment at large.

– Well defined best waste management systems

Guiding the new Entrants

Various opportunities exist in the industry at different levels of the supply chain from farming cherry to milling and trading green coffee, roasting, packaging, and preparing varied coffee drinks, running coffee shops, and making coffee by-products. Rozy’s advice is that these opportunities may indeed have promise but one needs to invest in learning and elevating their coffee skills first. “There are many intricacies surrounding coffee, so upskilling will serve you and not just guide you in the right selection of business or career path in coffee, but also ultimately lead to your success in your chosen line,” adds Rozy.

Ensuring the Best Brew – Always

Dormans’ success has hinged on meticulous quality control, robust food safety management systems, and keeping sustainability at the forefront of all their initiatives. These factors will continue to remain relevant, and following the pandemic are even likely to take center stage for the entire industry in the future. Rozy is also excited about how they can use their expertise to leverage the new trends and change the ‘hot beverages’ landscape because historically tea was the hot beverage of choice for the majority of the population.

Rozy believes that she has a dream team at Dormans and each member is passionate about coffee! She desires to see themselves at the forefront of the industry pivoting new trends and she looks forward to seeing team members growing as leaders in their respective areas and maintaining the culture of being passionate about what they do in the years to come.


Dormans has pioneered various initiatives, and some notable successes include:

  • Setting up the first Barista training school in Africa
  • First roaster to get Fair Trade certification label in the region
  • First and only coffee roaster to successfully pass Food Safety Systems Certification Audits since 2009 (FSSC 22000) in the region
  • Setting up the first-ever coffee premixes manufacturing line in Kenya
  • 2019 Gold Award winner at the Africa Food Industry Excellence Awards (FOODEX 2019).
  • 2019 Gold Award Winner for best new hot beverage (3-in-1 new premix).
  • 2021 Silver Award Winner in the beverage category (Syrups)
  • 2021 Platinum Award Winner in the beverage category for Cold Brew

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