Greg Meltcalf is the new managing director of
A lot of people want to know how
The economy there is obviously getting some of that benefit from oil. But in many respects some of the emerging economies that are competing for the world stage face overly similar challenges like education skills, [and] infrastructure. In terms of our business [beer], to be very honest, I spent a lot of time there trying to implement the things that were done in
So certainly on the beer business,
According to your figures, your market share is 60 per cent. How do you intend to grow it?
I am glad we [SAB Miller] are the second largest brewing company in the world. We have grown from a relatively small South African company to a world player. What made us successful is that we are ambitious and competitive and I don't think I would be working in this company if I was contented with the 60 per cent market share.
It's part of our culture that we continually strive to do better. We would not be happy if in five year's time we are sitting on 60 per cent market share.
Government has just proposed the termination of tax exemptions for most agricultural inputs and some of the people to be affected are suppliers of cereals and sorghum, a key ingredient for your business. Do you think the tax will have any impact on your business?
In terms of agricultural subsidies, I don't [want] to comment too much because obviously I am fairly new in
Tell us how the situation in
Our business here in
As far as disposable income is concerned, I am very aware
But during the course of this last quarter, I can say we have started to receive some recovery. All signs are emerging that things are turning a little better, but it is slow recovery. At this time we are at a situation where volumes are where we wouldn't expect them to be. You are aware that as a company we invested in a new plant in Mbarara and that's a massive investment. Obviously as a company, we would have wanted to have a much stronger volume demand from the time that brewery was commissioned.
Has the Mbarara plant been affected by this low demand?
At the moment, we have excess capacity between our Jinja and Mbarara plants. We didn't design the plants to meet existing capacity. We designed them to meet the future demand. That's a good thing, which means we have the capacity for future growth.
What new things do you intend to bring to the table?
When you ask what I bring differently, I don't think I would bring anything new dramatically to what my predecessor had. I believe as a company, we all tend to follow the same way of doing things. We of course have few differences - like there are things that I would emphasize more than my predecessor, but generally, we sort of walk the same [path] and there is nothing wrong with that because he was a very successful model.
What's your opinion of
The fact that we committed more than a
How do you intend to grow the low end market?
It's really a continuation of a strategy that we already have, like sourcing of local materials. Take for example, Eagle [lager] produced with local sourcing and through that, we partner with government which gives us a reduced excise duty on the beer and we pass that price to consumers.
So the strategy is that we make more affordable beer, which competes with the local liquor. Of course in getting more people to take our beer, we do generate taxes for government. We deal with some 20,000 farmers.
Lastly, what are your investment plans?
I think in the past five years we have invested some
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