Our story

Origins

The Karimjee Jivanjee family has a long and
established history in East Africa stretching
back to 1825 when the family arrived as traders
from Cutch, in India, to the island of Zanzibar.

195

years in Africa

Karimjee Jivanjee Timeline

1823 – 2020

  •  
  •  

    1823

    Jivanjee Budhabhoy arrives in Zanzibar from Cutch-Mandvi

  •  

    1825

    Jivanjee Budhabhoy & Co Ltd formed

  •  

    1861

    Karimjee Jivanjee & Co Ltd formed

  •  

    1880-1922

    Trade exploration phase into East Asia, Europe and East African Coast by the ‘grand’ explorer Sir Yusufali Karimjee

  •  

    1920

    From trades to estates. Acquisition of land for coffee, tea and sisal estates

  •  

    1927

    International Motor Mart commenced trading

  •  

    1940

    Charitable Foundations established

  •  

    1943

    Head Offices moved from Zanzibar to Dar es Salaam

  •  

    1955

    Karimjee Hall donated to Dar es Salaam City Council

  •  

    1965

    International Motor Mart (IMM) acquires Toyota franchise. First consignment of Toyota vehicles received

  •  

    1967-1977

    KJ Estates achieves highest production of sisal and tea

  •  

    1968

    Opening of IMM head office in Tanga

  •  

    1991

    Opening of IMM Arusha Branch

  •  

    1992

    Appointed exclusive distributor for Yamaha Motors through City Motors Ltd

  •  

    2000

    International Motors Ltd changed its company name to Toyota Tanzania Ltd

  •  

    2010

    Karimjee Jivanjee Foundation officially registered. Toyota, Dar es Salaam, Sokoine Drive Brand re-developed

  •  

    2010

    Toyota Vehicle Logistics Centre, Dar es Salaam, opened. Launch of the family book at Karimjee Hall

  •  

    2012

    Salute Finance Ltd (SFL) formed

  •  

    2013

    Tech fund co-founded through the partnership of KJ Group and Aim Group

  •  

    2015

    50th anniversary as Toyota distributor in Tanzania

  •  

    2016

    Sunbeam Auto Ltd. starts operations as exclusive distributor of Bajaj Intracity

  •  

    2016

    New Toyota Dar es Salaam showroom opened. Appointed exclusive distributor for Hino Motors

  •  

    2017

    Opening of Toyota Dar es Salaam, Kariakoo Parts Branch

  •  

    2018

    Appointed exclusive distributor for Axalta/Challenger paints and Sterling Generators

  •  

    2018

    New Toyota Dar es Salaam after sales showroom opened. Salute Insurance Ltd. formed

  •  

    2019

    Toyota Automark, The Overhang and Jacaranda Residences launched, Karimjee Jivanjee Group celebrates 194 years in business

  •  

    2020

    Opening of Toyota Mbeya Branch

Timeline

1823 – 2020

  •  
  •  

    1823

    Jivanjee Budhabhoy arrives in Zanzibar from Cutch-Mandvi

  •  

    1825

    Jivanjee Budhabhoy & Co Ltd formed

  •  

    1861

    Karimjee Jivanjee & Co Ltd formed

  •  

    1880-1922

    Trade exploration phase into East Asia, Europe and East African Coast by the ‘grand’ explorer Sir Yusufali Karimjee

  •  

    1920

    From trades to estates. Acquisition of land for coffee, tea and sisal estates

  •  

    1927

    International Motor Mart commenced trading

  •  

    1940

    Charitable Foundations established

  •  

    1943

    Head Offices moved from Zanzibar to Dar es Salaam

  •  

    1955

    Karimjee Hall donated to Dar es Salaam City Council

  •  

    1965

    International Motor Mart (IMM) acquires Toyota franchise. First consignment of Toyota vehicles received

  •  

    1967-1977

    KJ Estates achieves highest production of sisal and tea

  •  

    1968

    Opening of IMM head office in Tanga

  •  

    1991

    Opening of IMM Arusha Branch

  •  

    1992

    Appointed exclusive distributor for Yamaha Motors through City Motors Ltd

  •  

    2000

    International Motors Ltd changed its company name to Toyota Tanzania Ltd

  •  

    2010

    Karimjee Jivanjee Foundation officially registered. Toyota, Dar es Salaam, Sokoine Drive Brand re-developed

  •  

    2010

    Toyota Vehicle Logistics Centre, Dar es Salaam, opened. Launch of the family book at Karimjee Hall

  •  

    2012

    Salute Finance Ltd (SFL) formed

  •  

    2013

    Tech fund co-founded through the partnership of KJ Group and Aim Group

  •  

    2015

    50th anniversary as Toyota distributor in Tanzania

  •  

    2016

    Sunbeam Auto Ltd. starts operations as exclusive distributor of Bajaj Intracity

  •  

    2016

    New Toyota Dar es Salaam showroom opened. Appointed exclusive distributor for Hino Motors

  •  

    2017

    Opening of Toyota Dar es Salaam, Kariakoo Parts Branch

  •  

    2018

    Appointed exclusive distributor for Axalta/Challenger paints and Sterling Generators

  •  

    2018

    New Toyota Dar es Salaam after sales showroom opened. Salute Insurance Ltd. formed

  •  

    2019

    Toyota Automark, The Overhang and Jacaranda Residences launched, Karimjee Jivanjee Group celebrates 194 years in business

  •  

    2020

    Opening of Toyota Mbeya Branch

Growth

What was once a small trading business
conducted painstakingly on annual
dhow voyages plying between India and
East Africa has blossomed into a highly
respected group.

Journey

This is tribute to our ancestors who
crossed the “black waters” in a dhow
from India to Africa at the beginning of
the 19th Century.

Determination

We owe so much to those who had the
courage to travel across an unknown
ocean to an unknown and at that time
forbidding continent. Having reached
Zanzibar our ancestors prospered in
the face of amazing difficulties through
determination, hard work and an
enterprising spirit.

Honest in
business

Our business is built on an approach which has stood the test of time, and continues to underpin everything we do. The secrets of our successes are our long term investment perspective, our high ethical standards and a reputation for honesty, a high standard of corporate responsibility and our tradition of good citizenship.

The business remains under family management even after eight generations, and two hundred years. We are held in high esteem in business and in civic circles. We are proud of our heritage and reputation. Our honour has always been and still is our measure of success.

200

years

8

generations

200

years

8

generations

Charitable work

One of the founders of the Karimjee
dynasty Sir Yusufali Karimjee had a
motto “Work, Save and Give” and so
he began the first charity foundation
in 1930. He eventually left one third
of his money to charity, applying his
motto “wealth imposes obligations”.

Charitable work

One of the founders of the Karimjee
dynasty Sir Yusufali Karimjee had a
motto “Work, Save and Give” and so
he began the first charity foundation
in 1930. He eventually left one third
of his money to charity, applying his
motto “wealth imposes obligations”.

Public service

Public service has also been a tradition
in the Karimjee family. Sir Yusufali
Karimjee (1882-1966), Sir Tayabali
Karimjee (1897-1987) and Abdulla
Mohamedali Karimjee (1899-1978)
were active in public service during
pre-Independence, and left a legacy
of philanthropy which continues today.

New phase

In 1927 International
Motor Mart (IMM) was
set up as a trading
company in Tanga and
Dar es Salaam.

The aim was to expand the fledgling East African Automotive industry. In the 1950`s IMM represented iconic British and American motor companies: Willys Jeep, Nash Rambler, Commer, The Rootes Group (Humber, Hillman, Sunbeam) and BSA Motorcycles, in addition to Michelin tyres, International Harvester, Kelvinator and Singer Corp. This eventually led to us acquiring the Toyota distributorship in 1965.

Socialism and the weak Tanzanian economy between the 1960’s and 1990’s resulted in the loss of all but the automobile business, which became the cornerstone of a new phase of growth and diversification, that continues to this day.

This was founded on the professional and philanthropic legacy built by two brothers, Hatim Karimjee and Mahmood Karimjee, embodied by their vision, determination and resilience.

Our logo is testament to our heritage.
It is taken from a detail of the grand Zanzibar door that stands at the entrance of the former Karimjee Jivanjee Offices in Stone Town Zanzibar, now the National Bank of Zanzibar.

The Karimjee Jivanjee
logo, taken from a detail
of the grand Zanzibar
door in Stone Town
Zanzibar