Engineers; Mechanical Engineers at that, rarely make it to the top leadership levels, unless of course it is an engineering firm.
For brands in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) categories such as soft drinks or alcohol where the flamboyance and exuberance of the brands is one and the same with that of the brand guardians, the top jobs have often been reserved for marketers and sales people and every once in a while, CEOs with a finance background.
Not that there is anything wrong with the Engineers, but somehow, since the marketers are already customer facing, it is easy to keep it that way. In fact one, can in Jesus’ speak say, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for an engineer to become a star-performing CEO of an FMCG brand.
Such was the mythical pessimism that greeted Crown Beverages’ Paddy Muramiirah, when he was appointed Chief Executive Officer in November 2016.
But Amos Nzeyi, the Executive Chairman and one of the company’s shareholders, knew better. While announcing Muramiirah’s appointment then, he said, that he had emerged the best from a number of applicants because of his “his leadership, immense experience and knowledge” in the carbonated soft drinks industry as well as his “strong track record.”
“Mr. Muramiirah has demonstrated throughout his career the ability to work successfully, designing and leading strategies which resulted in impressive value creation. And given his credentials, I am certain he will make a significant contribution to the role and create the next chapter of CBL’s story of success; Mr. Nzeyi said.
Creating value and the next chapter of CBL’s story of success
Muramiirah, a Mechanical Engineer by training, joined CBL in 2005 as the head of operations and rose through the ranks. He has also overseen the company’s aggressive production expansion throughout the years.
At the time Muramiirah becme CEO, CBL was year in, year out, losing ground to their archrivals, Century Bottling Company Limited the bottlers of Coca Cola. For example between 2013 and 2016, while Crown Beverages’ Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) in sales turnover was 4%, Century Bottling was growing at an average 6%, thus widening the space and share of wallet gaps between the 2 cola archrivals who between them control an estimate 80% of the soda market in Uganda.
In 2013, while Century Bottling sold UGX302 billion worth of drinks, Crown Beverages sold UGX195.4 billion- a variance of UGX106.6 billion. Century made a UGX13 billion profit, while Crown made UGX15.4 billion. In 2014, the sales turnover gap widened to UGX115.1 billion, as Century sold UGX346.4 billion and Crown Beverages UGX231.3 billion. Both companies made UGX7.3bn in profit.
In 2015, Century sold UGX384.3bn while Crown turned over UGX240 billion- widening the market share gap by UGX144.3 billion. That year Crown made a trifle UGX 100 million in profit, while Century made a handsome UGX20.2 billion in net revenue- their highest in recent history, if not the highest ever!
In 2016, the year Muramiirah was appointed CEO, both companies slowed down in turnover- Century by .23% to UGX383.4 billion and Crown Beverages by 4.7% to UGX228.7- creating an even wider gap between the two companies’ sales turnover of UGX154.7 billion- the highest ever in the companies’ history in Uganda.
Crown however made a profit of UGX9.11 billion and Century UGX2.5bn.
Within the first few weeks on the job, Muramiirah oversaw the company’s biggest shakeup, letting go of several senior managers and went on to shock naysayers, by making a 28% come back in 2017 sales turnover to UGX291.8 billion while Coca Cola’s only grew 3% from UGX383.4 billion to UGX394.5- reducing the gap between the 2 companies from UGX154.7bn to UGX 102.7bn- the lowest in 5 years.
Profit also grew by 69% from UGX9.1bn to UGX15.4 billion. Coca Cola on the other hand had profits turn to losses- from a profit of UGX2.5bn in 2016 to a loss of UGX800 million.
2018 saw yet another good year for Crown Beverages- a 19% growth in turnover, from UGX291.8 billion in 2017 to UGX347.9 billion. Century on the other hand grew by 8% from UGX394.5bn to UGX426.7bn and as a result the gap between the 2 rivals further shrunk, this time to UGX78.8bn- a historic low in over 5 years.
Crown Beverages also had, their most profitable year to date- UGX29.3 billion in profit, up 90.3% from the previous year.
Thanks to this great performance, in June, 2019, the company won the PepsiCo Europe and Sub-Saharan African (ESSA) Bottler of the Year 2018 award. The company was also named the 1st Runner Up for the global PepsiCo Bottler of the Year award, beating over 200 other PepsiCo bottlers from all over the world.
Speaking at the ceremony to mark the milestones, Mr. Amos Nzeyi, the Chairman CBL commended the company’s customers, staff, shareholders, partners and the government for their contribution to the success.
“The journey has just started,” Mr. Nzeyi notified whoever cared to listen.
About Crown Beverages
Crown Beverages’ is a franchisee bottler for PepsiCo Inc. in Uganda that bottles a range of carbonated soft drinks that include: Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Mirinda Fruity, Mirinda Orange, Mirinda Pineapple, Mirinda Green Apple, 7UP and Evervess Tonic. The products are available in returnable glass bottles and plastic/PET bottles.
They also bottle Nivana water in four variants namely; Tangerine, Strawberry, Still and Sparkling.
The company is 100% Ugandan owned; by Amos Nzeyi, Chris Kayoboke and Prof Maggie Kigozi, who in 1997 bought a 51% stake from South Africa’s International Pepsi-Cola Bottler Investments and in 2001, acquired the remaining 49%.
The shareholders have since invested over $200 million (Ugx740 billion) in the business to date, creating the company into one of Uganda’s top 20 taxpayers. According to Muramiirah in a recent media interview, the company has between 2013 and 2018 paid a total of UGX284 billion in taxes.
Orient Bank’s Julius Kakeeto to head Post Bank
Julius Kakeeto, formerly Orient Bank Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, is set to head the troubled Post Bank, CEO East Africa Magazine has learnt.
Kakeeto is to replace troubled Managing Director, Steven Mukweli who is facing corruption charges at the Anti-Corruption Court. Mukweli along with 7 other senior officials at the government owned Post Bank were charged with abuse of office, causing financial loss and conspiracy to defraud their employer.
The officers are: Safina Wabuna, the Executive Director for Information and Communication Technology (ICT), David Mwesige, the Head of Information Technology, Augustine Kisitu, the Head of Business Technology and Emmanuel Mwaka, the Finance Manager. Also charged are: Alex Kayaayo (Executive Director for Credit and Business Growth), Fred Samuel Wasike (Head of Business Growth) and Gilbert Nuwamanya (Sales Manager).
CEO East Africa Magazine, understands that Kakeeto has already sent in this resignation at Orient Bank and a farewell message to staff and is serving his notice period.
A highly placed source at Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, under whose docket Post Bank falls, also confirmed to CEO East Africa Magazine that indeed Kakeeto is crossing over to Post Bank.
“Off the record, I can confirm that his name has been submitted to Bank of Uganda for approval,” said the source.
Section 54 of the Financial Institutions Act (2004) requires all bank board directors to undergo a fit and proper test, carried out by the Central Bank.
Who is Julius Kakeeto?
Little is known about the largely press-shy Kakeeto, but according to research done by this publication, he wields more than 19 years in banking.
The Alliance Manchester Business School (MBA, Finance) and Strathmore University (ACCA) alumni started his banking career at the Citi Group in London in September 2001 and rose to the VP Global Markets position in London before returning home as Finance Director at Equity Bank in September 2009, a role he did till May 2011 when he moved on to become Director of Business Development at Orient Bank. Betweeen October 2013 and July 2014, he briefly served as the Executive Director before being appointed substantive Managing Director in July 2014- a role he has served for 5 years and 2 months.
During his 5 years at the helm of Orient Bank, deposits grew by over 59% from the UGX388.1 billion he inherited to UGX618 billion by close of December 2018- a compounded annual growth rate of 10%. Lending grew by 147.5% over the 5 years from UGX135 billion in 2014 to UGX334.1 billion at end of 2018- an annual growth rate of 201%. Total bank asset book also grew by about 56% from UGX480.8 billion to UGX750 billion at end of 2019.
As a result he managed to turnaround the UGX13.3 billion losses he inherited in 2014, making a profit of UGX1.5 billion in 2015, UGX5.8 billion in 2016, UGX4.8 billion in 2017, closing 2018 with a UGX5.6 billion profit.
Little is known about his package at Post Bank but at Orient Bank, his monthly salary was a reported UGX44,580,000.
Geologist, Proscovia Nabbanja appointed as UNOC caretaker CEO
Proscovia Nabbanja, the Chief Operating Officer at the Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) has been appointed by the board as the interim caretaker CEO.
Wholly owned by the Government of Uganda, UNOC is a limited liability company whose prime purpose is to handle the Government of Uganda’s commercial interests in the petroleum sector and to ensure that the resource is exploited in a sustainable manner.
Nabbanja steps into the shoes of Dr. Josephine Wapakabulo who resigned in May this year over- what she said was the need to focus on family and pursue new opportunities.
Some insiders however say although Dr. Wapakabulo was an engineer by background, with a PhD in Information Science from Loughborough University and a Global Executive MBA from the prestigious
Institut Européen d’Administration des affaires (European Institute of Business Administration) INSEAD, she was seen by many of the oil & gas experts at UNOC, many of whom were part and parcel of oil & gas story and history, as an outsider and imposed upon them by president Museveni.
This resistance could have fast-tracked her self-ejection.
Who is Nabbanja?
Nabbanja has been in the COO role at UNOC since November 2016.
Before that, she served as a geologist at the Petroleum Exploration Development and Production (PEPD) of Ministry of Energy for 15 years, rising to the level of Principal Geologist, a role she held between April 2015 and October 2016.
A holder of Bachelor of Science in Geology & Chemistry from Makerere University, Nabbanja also holds an Msc, Petroleum Geoscience from the Imperial College London as well as a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the Imperial College Business School.
She also holds a Diploma in Management of Petroleum Operations and Development from PETRAD Norway.
Who is Mariam Nampeera Mbowa, the new Tullow Oil Uganda boss?
CEO East Africa Magazine, has confirmed that after 7 years at Tullow Uganda Operations Pty Limited, Jimmy Mugerwa leaves for London, where he has been reportedly appointed Group Director for Infrastructure and Organisation.
In his place, industry sources say, Mariam Nampeera Mbowa, a seasoned Ugandan oil & gas lawyer with over 24 years’ experience in the business, has been appointed as Managing Director.
Mugerwa, joined Tullow in August 2012 from Kenya Shell Ltd where had worked for 4 years and 10 months as Country Chairman/Sales Operations and GM for East Africa. Before Kenya, Mugerwa, who started his career at Shell Uganda in 1994, served in various roles in Ghana and at the Shell Africa office, rising to the Senior Regional Advisor, Sub-Saharan Africa between August 2007 and December 2009. While in Kenya he also worked as Director at the Petroleum Institute of East Africa
In Uganda, Mugerwa has been serving as Non-Executive Director at East African Breweries Limited as well as Chairman/Non-Executive Director at Dfcu Bank. His days at dfcu Bank were overshadowed by the controversial takeover by dfcu Bank of troubled lender Crane Bank- process that was recently found to be flout with several irregularities by a Parliamentary probe Committee.
Dfcu faces several multibillion shilling law suits as a result of the acquisition.
Trailblazer and one of a Ugandan few oil and gas lawyers
When CEO East Africa Magazine reached her by telephone regarding the appointment, she declined to comment.
“I can’t comment. I can’t comment for now,” she said on the phone.
Jimmy Mugerwa was unreachable by phone and he did not respond to our WhatsApp messaging inquiries by press time.
However, from industry sources, Mariam is an experienced oil and gas lawyer, very familiar with corporate and commercial law as well as the legal and regulatory issues across the oil and gas business value chain- upstream, midstream and downstream.
She is the first female chief executive in an all-male dominated oil & gas majors troika, consisting of Tullow Oil, CNOOC and Total SA- but certainly no stranger.
Until her appointment, Mariam has been working as General Counsel-East Africa since May 2015- where she headed the Tullow Uganda and Kenya legal Teams, to “enable proactive resourcing and risk management of legal issues relating to Tullow’s Uganda and Kenya Business Units”, according to her LinkedIn profile.
She was also the team leader on “all material legal and compliance risk issues impacting the Ugandan and Kenyan business units.”
In that capacity, she also doubled as a Director on the Tullow Uganda Operations Pty Limited Board.
Before that, the she was the Regional General Counsel-Uganda- from January 2011 to May 2015. In that capacity she dealt with a number of issues especially the management of the Joint Venture between Tullow, Total E&P and CNOOC.
Before Tullow Oil, she worked for over 12 years within the Shell International BV family in various capacities and in a number of jurisdictions.
At Shell she started out as Company Secretary and Legal Advisor- at Shell Uganda Limited, between June 1998 to September 2003 and then headed to Brunei where she was a Senior Legal Advisor for 2 years at Brunei Shell Petroleum Sdn Bhd. She then headed to Shell International BV headquarters in the Netherlands as Legal Counsel, Gas & Power for slightly over 3 years.
From here, she got appointed Legal Counsel at Shell International Exploration and Production BV where she was assigned to the Shell Development Kashagan BV (the entity tasked to engineer, develop and construct facilities to bring phase II of the Kashagan field in the North Caspian Sea to full commercial oil and gas production.
The Kashagan project involved a consortium of seven international oil companies and the National Oil Company of Kazakhstan. Her major role, involved managing and advising on licensing, regulatory and legal issues arising out of the North Caspian Sea Production Sharing and Joint Operating Agreements.
As Uganda moves closer to oil production, Tullow Oil will be counting on her domestic, regional and global expertise in upstream, midstream and downstream operations to bring the prize home.
Perhaps a change in management could also warm up Tullow Oil’s planned sell of their 21.57% in Ugandan exploration areas to Total SA, a move that has overly delayed.
Before Shell, she worked as Legal Officer at Uganda Petroleum Company Limited (formerly Mobil Oil Uganda), between 1994 and June 1998,
Mariam holds Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from Makerere University and Masters of Law, Commercial and Corporate Law from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She also holds a Diploma, in Petroleum Policy and Management from PETRAD-Stavanger, Norway as well as a Diploma in Legal Practice, from the Law Development Centre in Makerere.
|She went to Stella Maris Boarding Primary School, Nsuube and then Kibuli Senior Secondary School where she completed her Uganda Advanced Certificate in Education (A-level). She is married Professor Swaibu Mbowa, a Makerere University Agricultural Economics don and a Research Fellow at the Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC).|
She is an advocate of the High and Supreme Courts of Uganda.
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