The Board of Directors, Uganda Breweries Limited (“UBL”) has today announced that Mr. Mark Ocitti Ongom will be taking over as the new Managing Director with effect from 1st August, 2016.
Mark Ocitti, a Ugandan by nationality, will be the second Ugandan to lead the brewer of Bell Lager, since International Premium drinks’ Leader, Diageo Plc, acquired majority shareholding in East Africa Breweries Limited (“EABL”), the majority shareholder in UBL. The first Ugandan, Mr. Baker Magunda is the current Managing Director for Mehta Abor in Ethiopia, also a member of the Diageo family.
Mark 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.
During his tenure, Mark led the EABLi business in an extremely volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous environment. Within his first year he doubled EABLi’s contribution to the EABL Group from around 5% to over 10%. 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.
Prior to joining EABL, Mark spent eleven (11) years in the oil industry with Shell International (Uganda); eight (8) years in the telecommunications industry with Bharti Airtel International; and one (1) year consulting in ComzAfrica, an African entrepreneurial telecoms value added services firm with an operational footprint in several countries. Mark is an alumnus of Makerere University where he pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics before embarking on a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from the prestigious Herriot Watt University, Edinburgh.
Mark takes over from Mr. Nyimpini Mabunda, who has been the Managing Director for the home of Uganda Waragi for the last 3 years.
During Mr. Mabunda’s tenure, UBL returned to volume and market share growth despite the challenging trading environment. He has zealously driven a step change in Innovation resulting in the innovation Net Sales contribution to UBL quadrupling to 8% by end F16. New to world brands like Senator Stout, Uganda Waragi Flavors and Ngule Lager; and the relaunches of both Bell Lager and Uganda Waragi in their premium packs are a testament to his unwavering drive for strong performance.
It is also during Nyimpini’s tenure that UBL’s whisky offerings came to life with the opening of the “House of Walker”, the first luxury brand outlet of its kind in Uganda; the Johnnie Walker signature lounges at Liquid Silk, Sky, Panamera and Bar 9 in Entebbe; and the Whisky tasting dinners like the Symphony in Blue, which celebrate the epitome of luxury with UBL’s reserve range, including Johnnie Walker Blue Label.
“It has been an exciting time for me in Uganda! This market is full of potential and many opportunities yet to be tapped into! Ugandans are not afraid to have fun and celebrate life; and I have enjoyed sharing in your moments through our brands! I would recommend a UBL product any day and this is not only because of all the Gold awards for quality from the International Monde selections most of them have won. I simply believe that we have the best offering available today and I have enjoyed creating a range of products and shaping experiences that our Consumers can be proud of and enjoy thoroughly. I am confident Mark will thoroughly enjoy the experience as well”, said Mr. Mabunda.
Speaking to the press, Dr. Alan Shonubi, the Board Chairman said, “It has been great working with Nyimpini. 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! We are equally excited to start the new season with Mark, whose astute salesmanship will definitely drive the distribution of our brands so that more consumers can enjoy the brilliant experiences we offer.”
“We thank Nyimpini and wish him and his family all the best as he takes on his new role, the details of which will revealed to all of us in good time. I suspect the next appointment could be linked to his home in South Africa because I know he misses his family and has never passed up the opportunity to visit them!
“We welcome Mark, who we have been waiting for since 2014 when EABL decided to recruit him as a credible successor to Nyimpini. I am proud to have a Ugandan at the helm of the most trusted and respected company in this country. I boast in knowing that within EABL and Diageo we have exported Ugandan talent to countries like Ethiopia, Tanzania, Kenya and the United Kingdom. I challenge Mark to export more talent to give our Ugandan people exposure to the experiences that have allowed him become the strong leader that he is and welcome him back home!
Mr. Mabunda’s last day in office will be on 31st July, 2016.
UBL, which, according to the Federation of Ugandan Employers (“FUE”) is Uganda’s second best Employer of choice, employs (directly and indirectly) a total of 22,000 Ugandans, 17,000 of whom are farmers. Since 2012, the company has given access to clean and safe water to over 2.5 Million Ugandans around the country and restored 109 hectares of forest cover in Mpigi district. The company runs a Young Professional’s (“YP”) program that has seen many Ugandans acquire much needed skill and exposure to the corporate world upon completion of their University education. Every year, Uganda Breweries, in partnership with the EABL foundation, provides full scholarships to 4 Ugandans to pursue further education.