UCB : ACHIEVEMENTS AND PERSPECTIVES
By AUSTIN UFOMBA
Managing Director UCB
Fifty years is not fifty months nor is it fifty days. In the last 10 years, if asked to name the market leader in beer, Kadji Beer would uncontestably be top of that list. Such is the reputation that precedes UCB, a company conceived in 1972 by the founder Fu’a Touala Kadji Defosso. The company’s organic yet strategic growth over the years has opened doors to new ventures, leading this proudly Cameroonian Company to surely becoming a giant of Africa through increasing strides on the continent. As coined by the founder, “It was worth the wait!”
Starting as a then-fledgling company in the brewing sector in Cameroun, the business moved from a small operation, and a couple of hectoliters in sales, with exponential growth in the last ten years to a multi brand portfolio company operating across 3 categories; beer, carbonated soft drinks and water. Not just in some defined territories in Cameroun, but with national coverage and operations in almost all regions, from a small employer of labor to over 1600 direct employees across the country and if we are to include the distributors and partners – a significant employer in the economic fiber of Cameroun, thus one of the nation’s most solid pillars.
As part of its advocacy work, and corporate social responsibility, UCB harnesses the tremendous voice of its stakeholders to demonstrate widespread support for Fu’a Toula Kadji Defosso foundation’s goals to ensure continued excellence through education, research and development, to promote and support sustainable economic performance and act as an ethical entity vis-à-vis our employees, business partners, authorities, social infrastructure, the biodiversity but most importantly the populations with whom we share a common space. We strive and aim to always integrate the challenges and opportunities that we commit to achieving year on year into our management policy.
Alongside the many successes, UCB has also overcome major challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic, slow economic transformations, transportation infrastructure, security, the now Ukrainian crisis and continued political uncertainty. We have registered continued growth in terms of revenue and performance while ensuring our constant civil and fiscal commitments, we have re organized our business to ensure continued access to our raw materials, increasing our reliance and trust in local communities and infrastructure while innovating along the way to guarantee that we lead in a progressively stimulating market.
We are unquestionably ready for the next ten years, with evolution, transformation and expansion across the continent, forward thinking leadership, sustained innovations, with human capital and corporate culture at the core of our business. It’s the people who make UCB, who have always made all the difference, both today and most especially as we grow into tomorrow with a multicultural, gender diverse and inclusive team.
We want our people to grow and achieve their dreams; to offer a space in which one can learn and infuse new ideas and passion into the business, through providing a continued learning organization.
The focus over the next five years will be to continue to provide stronger, profitable in-demand brands, connect more with the consumers while inspiring them to love our brands, and building the best brands known to Cameroon. Through our Commercial leadership, we will aim to ensure an efficient and effective route to market and perfect execution on trade, this, to be the best example of how any FMCG company should operate in our market.
Our existence is as important as the nation, we will ensure that we continue to confirm the vision, leadership and support of the board and shareholders to strive for the pursuit and success of the Union Camerounaise de Brasseries, as a pioneer in the Cameroonian market and a giant of Africa.