By Patrick Kagenda
The Independent’s Patrick Kagenda talked to Mr. Kirumira Vincent assistant marketing manager of Crest Foam in charge of promotions on the effects of the global financial crisis on their business.
How has the global financial crisis affected your business?
We purchase all items using the dollar. The current global crisis has put our costs of production on a multiplier on the bad side. Fuel has increased and virtually everything has gone up, the cost per unit material produced has also to go up. Therefore the burden is huge because it affects us a lot.
Are you about to close shop?
We cannot get knocked out. We are cutting costs. If you had been getting two shillings; you have to forfeit one shilling, so as to remain with a shilling. Otherwise if you don’t look along those areas you can be kicked out in the long run.
If the world financial crisis persists, how do you view the manufacturing sector in Uganda?
If the dollar keeps on appreciating against the shilling, it is going to be very, very difficult for people to be in business because the cost of the raw materials will almost double. If the dollar does not stabilise and where you take your products, people cannot buy in the long run and you cannot limit all the financial obligations which the company has with banks then that is a big problem.
What about staffing?
If the situation continues worsening, companies will lay off some workers. If I am supposed to sell ten trucks of goods in a day and it happens the trend of the market has dropped, because of the increase in prices, the people on the machines will be affected if my target was to produce 4,000 mattresses a day but lower to 3,500 in a day. Why should I need people to produce 3,000 or 4, 000 mattresses every day if I can only push out 1000. Definitely the laborers and the casual workers will get affected.