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• Company grows sales volumes by 900% percent over 20 years of Ugandan ownership
• Sales grow from 2million raw cases (2.4m 8 oz cases) of soda in 1993 to 20million raw cases (25m 8 oz cases) in 2013.
Kampala, April 15th 2013- 20 years after the ownership of the former government-owned Lake Victoria Bottling Company was transferred to Crown Beverages Limited- a company owned by 3 local shareholders, there is cause to celebrate, thanks to years of investments and stable management that has seen the company grow and is on course to become an industry leader in the heavily competitive Carbonated Soft Drink (CSD) industry.
Lake Victoria Bottling Co. Ltd started production in 1951 as the franchisee bottler for PepsiCo, but was in 1993 privatized to a consortium of local investors, who renamed it Crown Bottlers Ltd. In 1997, International Pepsi-Cola Bottler Investments, a South African firm acquired a 51 percent stake in the company and renamed it Crown Beverages Ltd. In 2001, the 3 local shareholders, Amos Nzeyi, Chris Kayoboke and Dr Margaret Kigozi re-acquired 100 percent control of the company.
Following decades of investment that has seen 4 new glass bottling lines and 1 plastic packaging line added to the Nakawa-based plant and several new products introduced, the company today has witnessed unprecedented growth and is today one of the leading employers and tax payers in the country.
“Over the last 20 years, we have made significant investments into new products, bottling lines thereby creating more demand and loyalty for our brands. The market has rewarded us with more loyalty, allowing us to grow our sales volumes from by 900% from 2milllion raw cases (2.4m 8 oz cases of soda) in 1993 to 20m raw cases (25m 8 oz cases) in 2013 6, ” said Amoz Nzeyi, Crown Beverages Executive Chairman.
Nzeyi, who was speaking at stakeholder dinner to mark the 20th anniversary, held at Kampala Serena Hotel, said that following 20 years of solid and profitable performance, the company, had set a foundation for a more robust growth.
“The last 20 years have been such a great experience. We believe, we have set a more solid foundation on which we shall build an even greater company over the next 20 years so as to leverage growth opportunities within Uganda. I have no doubt that with the support from PepsiCo, a dedicated local team as well as the huge love from our consumers; the next 20 years, will be even greater,” he said.
The dinner was attended by among others Rt. Hon Amama Mbabazi, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Uganda, Saad Abdul-Latif, PepsiCo Chief Executive Officer for Asia, Middle East and Africa (AMEA) and Mr Sanjeev Chadha, PepsiCo President for Middle East and Africa (MEA) region.
Simon Lugoloobi, CEO Crown Beverages, attributed the growth of the company to consistent investments into the right product mix that has offered consumers more choice as well as the brands’ unswerving engagement with their consumers, which has increased loyalty and created stronger relationships.
“One of our major success stories in the past 20 years has been our ability to not only grow the strength of our existing brands but the ability to bring new brands to life and oversee their successful growth into key brands,” he said, adding: A case in point is Mountain Dew that was launched in the market 4 years ago but has grown to become one of Uganda’s most loved Soda brands appealing to consumers all over the country. This plus the staying power of Pepsi and Mirinda have helped catapult us to a position where our brands are some of the most highly rated in the market.”
The company’s brand portfolio includes: Pepsi-Cola, the flagship brand, Mountain Dew Mirinda (Fruity, Orange, Pineapple and the recently launched Mirinda Green Apple), 7UP and Evervess. These are available in 300ml returnable glass bottle, 500ml, 1 litre and 2 litre recyclable plastic bottles. The company also bottles mineral water under the Peak brand.
Saad Abdul-Latif, reiterated PepsiCo’s growing interest in Africa and said that the global foods and drinks giant, is committed to consolidating its recent gains in Uganda and elsewhere on the continent, as the next drivers of growth.
“Africa is the next Asia. The continent is the developing world’s next great success story and at PepsiCo we want to be right at the centre of that success story, working with local teams to leverage our years of best practices and the world’s best brands so we can together match to a great future,” he said, adding: “We are very committed, to continue building Crown Beverages into an outstanding business and given our achievements over the last 20 years and the tremendous potential we see in Uganda, nothing is going to stop us.”
Mbabazi, praised the staff, management and directors of Crown Beverages for their resilience, hard work and setting a good example to other Ugandan entrepreneurs.
“I am proud to stand along with the board, management and staff, but most importantly, millions of your consumers and thump my chest and say- We have made it; because the success of every Ugandan business is ultimately a success for all of us.
He also said that the success of Crown Beverages is a national treasure and an opportunity for all Ugandans to learn about the importance of resilience, honesty and hard work as key elements of success.
“The Crown Beverages story is one of those inspiring stories that should be shared with many of our entrepreneurs and owners of start-ups who are still struggling. They need to understand that success is not an overnight affair and nor is it a smooth road- but rather a result of hard work, resilience and personal sacrifices – all towards a common vision,” he said.
Coca-Cola, REHORE sign MoU to empower women in refugee settlements
Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA) Uganda has signed an MOU with REHORE, a local NGO that will see over 10,000 women refugees in Bidi bidi, Kiryandongo and Nakivale camps empowered for improved livelihoods. This initiative is one of the several that Century Bottling Company in Uganda has embarked on under the global 5by20 Coca-Cola pronouncement over the years.
5by20 is the Coca-Cola Company`s global commitment to enable the economic empowerment of 5 Million women entrepreneurs across the Company`s value chain by the year 2020. “Women around the World are already pillars of our business system and as part of our Women Economic Empowerment Program; we shall this time round empower refugees in camps in partnership with REHORE which will be the NGO that will actually do the day to day running of the project in the camps. By doing this, we affirm our need to build both our business and the communities in which we operate”. Conrad Van Niekerk, Managing Director, Coca-Cola Beverages Africa Uganda.
“In Uganda, running successful businesses is mainly a male domain. Through 5by20, we address the most common barriers women face when doing business which include; Lack of basic business skills, Lack of financial services or assets and lack of access to peer networks and mentorship. This initiative offers women access to business skills training, linkages to financial services and connections with peers and Mentors, along with the confidence that comes along with building a successful business. I am glad that we are able to support women through this initiative and our value chain.” Conrad added.
This program through REHORE will identify women refugees in Kiryandongo, Nakivale and Bidi Bidi Settlement Camps who will be beneficiaries of a skilling program using locally available resources within the camps in addition to retailing Coca-Cola products and establishing plastic collection initiatives in the camps. The activities will include bee keeping, backyard gardening, echo bag production, candle making, hair and beauty skills, catering, sewing and tailoring, soap making, colouring and painting as well as art and craft.
“We are pleased that together with our partner the Coca-Cola Beverages Africa, we are making an important contribution towards realization of the government vision 2020,” Joseph Rwamihigo, the Founder of REHORE stated.
MTN Uganda to unveil Sponsorship of the Nyege Nyege Festival
MTN Uganda is expected to announce sponsorship of the Nyege Nyege Festival, an annual non-stop musical extravaganza that takes place along the shores of the River Nile.
Nyege Nyege Festival, which means “The irresistible urge to dance”, brings the most cutting-edge musical acts from around Africa and beyond in a magical setting on the shores of the river Nile in Jinja Uganda. This year it is set to take place from Thursday 6th September to Sunday 9th September 2018.
Speaking ahead of the official launch the MTN Chief Marketing Officer Mr. Olivier Prentout was ecstatic about the partnership and the role the festival plays in the hearts of Ugandans.
“Since its inception, the Nyege Nyege Festival has been revered for its work in exploring, producing and releasing outsider music from around the region and beyond. Ugandan artistes will enjoy a unique opportunity to showcase their music and arts on the same stage with other 100 foreign artists and thousands of audiences attending the event and viewing it online. Through this partnership, we look forward to celebrating culture, booting tourism and creating a platform for people from all walks of life to enjoy and celebrate all kinds of music; as you know, music is food for the soul!”, Prentout said.
Details of the sponsorship will be announced today, Wednesday 21st February 2017 at The Square, Industrial Area.
Last year, a host of artists from Uganda, East Africa, Africa and Europe descended in Jinja along the banks of River Nile for a three-day festival of music and dance. So successful that the rain couldn’t take away the enjoyment of the attendees.
MTN announces new data rates
MTN Uganda has revised data rates to continue the drive towards ensuring offering affordable internet to Ugandans. The reduction in data is expected to drive further internet connectivity, facilitate business growth and enable communication through internet-based channels.
The rate reduction, according to Wim Vanhelleputte the MTN Uganda CEO is an indication that as uptake and internet usage continues to grow, the internet rates will also continue to fall. “What we are currently witnessing is data revolution coming into full swing. The reduction in pricing is by over 100%, indicating our commitment towards internet connectivity and affordability for all,” he said.
The revised data bundles are not just price based but also include increased volumes for a lower price. For instance, the lower data bundle threshold has been increased to 15MBs from 10MB at a price of Shs250. For Shs5000, a customer would get 325MB but with the new rates, a customer gets 1GB for that price. This is more value for the customer at the same price.
For Shs100,000, you can now get Shs30GB for a month. In the old rates, a customer had to pay Shs285,000 to get 30GB.
“It is important that our customers not only get lower rates, but also experience a good quality network – where we are keen to continuously invest; everywhere. MTN Uganda over a two year period of 2017 and 2018 has budgeted over Ugshs 400 Billion invested in network upgrades in order to improve customer experience. This will increase our 3G sites and 4G/LTE sites to deliver a bold digital world to our customers,” he added.
According to Wim, MTN Uganda’s planned investment will upgrade the network in order to ensuring quality, good coverage and better experience. Further investment in the network also means the internet speeds continue to improve, which will facilitate business growth and innovation.
“In the world right now, the internet is driving innovation to unprecedented levels. We are seeing this in our numbers and data continues to be one of the fastest growing sources of revenue and subscriptions for MTN Uganda. We expect this trend to continue,” Wim pointed out.
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