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Nzeyi hires workers of integrity

By Agnes Asiimwe

What are your management guiding principles?

I am an entrepreneur, I am not a manager. I manage by hiring managers with better brains than mine. For one to qualify to manage my enterprise, they have to be very good and outstanding, well educated and of integrity. They must be professional, of good character and with a wide outlook. When it comes to management I leave it entirely to my managers and I do not interfere.

Where do you find the biggest challenges?

At Pepsi I don’t have many challenges but I have problems at the hotel in Kabale, I have problems in Nandos and problems in Hot Loaf. These are mostly about human resource, people who are not honest.

Recently we put a new plant here [Pepsi] which is automatic, so you save yourself problems and shortcomings.

Penetrating the market is the other challenge. People that we appoint to represent us in some areas are relaxed, they don’t move as fast as I would wish. But of course being Uganda, we have a culture of slowness.

How are you resolving these challenges?

Nzeyi’s tips to successful business management?

Hard work.

Being focused.

I have been lucky but I am also a careful person, I follow plans that are workable, I don’t gamble, I double check and I am realistic.

I stay up to date, when I chair a meeting I will have read the minutes and understood the issues of what the meeting is about to get myself on board.

For dishonest workers mine is to sack them when they steal. The church people should do more to teach them.

About slowness, at Crown Beverages workers move faster, we have attained that because we sack those who cannot move fast. We train and have people who are outstanding.

How do you find it managing Ugandans?

Ugandans are very talented people but they do not use their talent, but you cannot blame them with all the years that were wasted. The industry revived the other day in the early 90s while countries like Kenya and Tanzania have never had such bad times. They [Kenya and TZ] have training institutions which we do not have and that’s why in several Ugandan hotels there have many Kenyans because they have the know-how.

In the industry sector, people leave Makerere University; they studied electrical engineering but have never practised it whereas Kenyan graduates have large industries to go to for training. I normally help universities, I have so many students from universities in the factory here [at Pepsi], they come for industrial training. I told my managers that we should offer them some knowledge.

That’s the same thing I did in the bakery, I trained so many bakers. Other bakeries were beginning to poach my bakers so I deliberately trained so many bakers and now they no longer take mine because there are very many of them around that some are redundant.


About Amos Nzeyi: He is the chairman of Crown Beverages the makers of Pepsi, Mirinda Fruity, Mirinda Orange, Mirinda Pineapple, Mountain Dew and Peak mineral water. He is also chairman of White Horse Inn Hotel in Kabale western Uganda, Nandos Fast-foods and Hot Loaf Bakery.


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