By Moses Kaketo
A few years ago, Biyinzika Poultry (now Biyinzika Poultry International- BPL) was an underdog in the poultry industry. The company operated at the tail end. The company was promising, the market was readily available, However, the business needed a ‘push’ to move to another level.
The owner of the struggling, but promising company, took a decision two years ago a to sell the company he helped find in 1990 to a private Equity Fund. The new owners have since injected in the business more capital, latest technology, above all, they have professionalized the business.
Under the slogan: You can trust us for healthy chicks, nutritious feeds, BPL has been turned around, from a struggling company to a market leader in Day Old Chicks with a market share of about 60 percent.
The Mukono based poultry company is also involved in the production of Commercial Broilers and Layers producing over 10 million Broiler Day Old Chicks and 2 Million Layer Day Old Chicks annually.
The company also owns several large farms for its poultry production. These include Layer Breeder, Broiler Breeder and Commercial Broiler operations, with two hatcheries with a total setting capacity of 1,620,000 eggs per month.
This massive transformation enabled BPL to secure forward-Linkage with a leading poultry buyer- YoKuKu. Yokuku is a major supplier of poultry and poultry products to leading fastfoods and hotels in Uganda.
The BPL has also formulated three types of revolutionary broiler pellets: Broiler starter/crumbles, broiler Grower and Broiler finisher.
To avoid stock outs and wastage- the company set up grain storage silos with capacity of 23,600 metric tonnes and a feed mill capacity of 12.5 tonnes per hour. And a continuous dryer able to dry up to 800 metric tonnes in 24 hours.
This storage facility has enabled the company to benefit from the commodity prices which are usually low at harvest time. The company purchases and stores produce to use during the off season when prices increase. The poultry company, now looks towards a fully integrated poultry company
Lessons for entrepreneurs
Biyinzika Poultry had reached a point where it needed a push to move to another level or close down. The Owner, Mr. Mukasa took the right decision, to sell shares to the investors who have since transformed the company into a leading player in the country. And who knows, one day it could be sold to global players like Rainbow. Meanwhile, Mr. Mukasa reportedly went and set up another poultry company that operates at local level- he has also ventured into other businesses.
Mr. Mukasa serves a good example to local entrepreneurs whose businesses are struggling and on the verge of collapse. However, they prefer to struggle on rather than bring on board experienced local and international investors. Hoping that one day, things would change for the better.
Forgetting one thing that: past success is not guarantee for the future. This is the thinking that is killing many of yesterday’s successful Ugandan entrepreneurs.