September 14, 2015

3 years on: the journey of a Competition winner

As the old expression goes, you’ve got to be in it to win it. Herve Tuyishime, our young Rwandan entrepreneur, heeded this advice and entered into a business competition organized by SPARK and its local partner ADC-hub in Kigali, Rwanda. His vision, commitment and sound business plan impressed the judges, and saw Herve sweep the competition’s first prize: start-up capital to launch the Paniel Meat Processing Company (PMP).

But what is so special about Herve’s business in the meat processing industry? Well for a start it’s 100% local, and as such is beneficial to the local economy. From their renowned burgers and sausages which are made from locally farmed meat, to the locally made machinery they use to process and mince the meat. Most importantly in the 3 years since Herve founded the PMP Company, he has created over 11 employment positions for Rwandese youth.

Herve learned how to effectively manage his company in business management training sessions, whilst book keeping classes taught him how to efficiently supervise the finances. But it’s not all been smooth sailing. After beginning as a duo, Herve’s initial partner withdrew from the business, leaving Herve to take full responsibility, not just of his business and ambitions, but of the employees who depended on his capable management for the continuation of their livelihoods. No easy task. This challenging period led to a brief closure of the business. But was this the end to PMP?

Absolutely not! Herve used the hiatus in operations to set about modernising and improving the business’ working environment and after 4 months he succeeded in reopening PMP, employing a professional manager and an accountant along with 4 well trained salesmen.

The company now has a clean and spacious working environment where all the processing and production takes place, and the company is able to produce a range of products from smoked pork sausages, spicy beef sambosas, salted goat meat and tender fillet steak, as well as many other tasty goodies. This combination of diverse, high quality products, proficient management and a committed sales team has enabled PMP to build up a loyal client base of over 20 local supermarkets and 10 restaurants which receive up to 4 deliveries per week. A further practice which has enabled PMP to flourish is its flexible payment system; recognising that many of its customers will sell the meat in restaurants at a profit, PMP allows its customers to pay either by cash or credit, in this way more people can afford to buy the product and increases PMP’s sales.

With his eye constantly on the horizon Herve is planning further expansion by modernising its range of meat processing machines. This modernisation will allow for increased production and further product diversification. “If profits continue to rise”, says Herve “the company will invest in a larger smokehouse and maybe even open retail branches in strategic locations around Kigali city. This accessibility will enable us to attract a greater number of customers and increase our client base”.


Rwandese Entrepreneur

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