In-coming Uganda Breweries Limited Managing Director, Mr. Mark Ocitti P’Ongom, hosted top CEOs and key stakeholders to a cocktail dinner at the Lawns Restaurant in Kololo on Thursday 28th July 2016. The event, which marked the culmination of a series of activities celebrating UBL’s 70 years of transforming lives, also paid tribute to the out-going Managing Director, Mr. Nyimpini Mabunda.
In attendance was Her Excellency, the British High Commissioner, Alison Blackburne, whose counsel and support were acknowledged by Mr. Mabunda in his farewell remarks. Also present were the Presidential adviser, Maria Kiwanuka, NSSF Managing Director Richard Byarugaba; New Vision CEO, Robert Kabushenga, Dr Martin Aliker, Former MTN CEO Brian Gouldie who flew from South Africa to attend the event, and ED PSFU Gideon Badagawa among others. Reflecting on his three year tenure, Mr. Mabunda affirmed that Uganda Breweries was one of the most reputable companies in this country.
“The privilege of leading a business that is one of the top 5 tax payers; was the 18th company to be registered in Uganda and recently named one of the two best companies to work for in Uganda, indirectly employing 22,000 people including 17 000 farmers, is immense.”
“Friends – this great business that I have led for the last 3 years has 70 years of heritage and proud history. I feel honored to have stood in the shoulders of the giants who came before me. I take pride in knowing that the work we have done as a management team in the time I have been around, has contributed to the continued success for generations to come”.
Uganda Breweries’ product portfolio includes beers, spirits, soft beverages and “ready to drinks” (RTDs) like Smirnoff Ice. The beers include Bell Lager, Guinness, the Tusker family, Senator, Pilsner and the most recent innovation, Ngule. Within its spirits’ portfolio is Uganda Waragi or “UG” as it is fondly referred to; the Johnnie Walker family, Ciroc, various single malt whiskies, Gilbeys Gin, J&B, Gordons Gin and Bond 7. Uganda Breweries also provides V&A sherry and Baileys as well as Alvaro, a premium non-alcoholic beverage.
“I am proud that we have strengthened Uganda Breweries over the last three years, with commercial successes including market share gains, record innovations and strong improvements in the quality of earnings. I know I leave a stronger business than when I took over, in the very good hands of my friend and colleague Mark Ocitti.”
UBL’s Board Chairman, Dr. Alan Shonubi commended Mr. Mabunda for his achievements over the past 3 years and praised him for his great leadership and innovations. “I thank Nyimpini for a job well done. His boundless energy and passion for the brands, coupled with the fact that he is a marketer, have revived our brands and brought great visibility to our enviable portfolio”, he said.
At the same event the top leaders of business in Uganda, took the opportunity to welcome the incoming Managing Director, Mark Ocitti. “I am proud to have a Ugandan at the helm of the most trusted and respected company in this country and I have no doubt that Mark’s arrival will propel Uganda Breweries to new heights!” Dr. Shonubi said.
Mr. Ocitti is not a stranger to the Ugandan market having previously worked with Shell International (Uganda) and Bharti Airtel International. He becomes the second Ugandan to lead Uganda Breweries Limited since International Premium drinks’ Leader, Diageo Plc, acquired majority shareholding in East Africa Breweries Limited (“EABL”), the majority shareholder in UBL.
Mr. Ocitti joined EABL in August 2014, as Managing Director for EABL International (“EABLi”), which is responsible for EABL’s business in South Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi and DRC. His strength in commercial and operational experience enabled him to successfully develop a robust distribution network in South Sudan and Rwanda, growing the Tusker brand into the number one preferred beer brand in South Sudan; as well as achieving and maintaining market leadership in premium spirits in both Rwanda and South Sudan.
“It is really exciting to come back home and it is even more exciting to be coming home to lead one of the greatest companies in Uganda”, said Mr. Ocitti..
UBL is committed to continued investments in Uganda. This is demonstrated by the level of capital investments done over the last 6 years:
In 2010 UBL invested UGX. 44 billion in a new state-of-the art bottling line. This doubled capacity and improved bottling versatility.
In 2012, UBL invested a further £1.4m for installation of a mash filter to support the use of local raw material in its process increasing brewing capacity to over 1.2 million hectoliters a year.
In 2015, UBL spent over £4.8 million pounds to improve their effluent treatment plant as well as refurbishing the office space.
Addressing the guests, Mr. Ocitti stated, “As a premier corporate citizen, Uganda Breweries has and will continue to contribute to the Ugandan economy through payment of taxes, job creation, best practice; as well as state of the art manufacturing facilities and processes.”
Mr. Ocitti said that in the coming years, Uganda Breweries focus would consolidate the wins achieved over the last years and focus on ensuring that its great products are placed closer to the consumer.
He also thanked the Government and the regulators who have worked closely with the company over the years to ensure continuity, as well as partners like the Kingdom (and Katikiro) of Buganda, the Private Sector Foundation, the Uganda Manufacturer’s Association, media partners, all Uganda Breweries’ distributors, suppliers and service providers.
“I am confident that with the continued support from everyone around us we will be around for several decades to come and we will continue to play our part in building our Uganda”.