Press release: new general manager for SKOL Brewery Limited

The Board of Skol Brewery Limited is very pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Philip Mibenge as the General Manager of the company.

philip-mibengeSkol Brewery Limited consolidated its presence in Rwanda and initiated a strong export push in the surrounding countries. This is illustrated by an increased distribution of Skol and Gatanu, the launch of Virunga Mist and major capacity investments in the brewery.

Mr. Johan De Smet-Van Damme will continue to assume his overall responsibilities of overseeing Skol’s growth plans all over Africa as Commercial Director at Skol headquarters.

Mr. Philip Mibenge brings more than 15 years of professional experience in management, marketing, sales and distribution in Africa and Europe.

He joins the company at an important phase of expansion in both domestic and export markets.

The Board feels comfortable that he will continue the positive trend initiated by Mr. Johan De Smet-Van Damme, in an environment of rising incomes and a fast growing middle class.

Africa and Rwanda in particular is a strong growth market for professional brewers and Skol Brewery Ltd, will contribute positively.

About Skol Brewery Ltd: SBL is the brewer of Skol, Gatanu & Virunga Mist beer brands in Rwanda. SKOL is the world’s fourth largest beer brand in terms of volume.

For more information:


Our client, SKOL Brewery Ltd is a leading Brewery of international quality beer in Rwanda. Skol now seeks dynamic and highly result oriented professionals. INREKA & Associates Ltd was retained to facilitate the recruitment and selection of professional and highly result-oriented individuals to fill the following positions:
Reporting to the Marketing Director, the successful candidate will drive short term and long-term trade marketing plans for both brands and customers to stimulate sales. And, fostering realization of efficient trade marketing activities directed to achieve sales and distributional targets.

The successful candidate will be responsible for:

  • Leading Development of the Trade Marketing Strategy to achieve defined business objectives across all product categories;
  • Ensuring alignment across the Sales & Marketing organisations on field sales needs and marketing initiatives;
  • Assess all account specific opportunities based on goals/objectives and build plans to meet sales and marketing targets;
  • Work closely with key customers to provide category and consumer insights to drive performance through marketing research;
  • Collect and analyse sales reports and market feedback from internal sources, and customer Point of Sales in order to identify key trends and marketing opportunities;
  • Work closely with Sales Management to develop account specific promotional packs, displays and promotional planning;
  • Coordinate communication of new product launches along with brand and trade promotions to the field;
  • Maintain, control and allocate budget across diverse brand visibility mix;
  • Initiate, maintain and execute visibility contracts with outdoor companies, municipal authorities/all eligible government authorities across the country;
  • Provide inputs needed to build product/offer feasibility study such as market segments, size of market, potential demand, and price points.

Qualifications, Knowledge & Experience

  • Bachelors Degree in Business Management/Business Administration/Commerce. MBA/MSc in Marketing is a Plus;
  • Atleast 3 years experience in Sales, Customer Marketing or Category Management with FMCG industries preferably with international exposure within East African Region;
  • A strong record of creating a winning vision in an environment where there is a strong emphasis on merchandising, promotion, and partnerships;
  • Budget Management Experience;
  • Good written and spoken English;
  • Qualitative and Quantitative Research Techniques;
  • Consumer Buying Behaviour & Knowledge;
  • Good knowledge of FMCG Markets (e.g. food, alcohol,telecommunications,tobacco,soft drinks );
  • Experience leading the customer/Trade Marketing function including specific experience in evaluating the needs of the field and translating that into specific marketing programs; and;
  • Good MS Word, MS Project, MS Excel, PowerPoint Skills & Outlook.

Key Behavioral Competencies:

  • Strong Interpersonal Skills;
  • Problem Solving ,Data analysis&interpretation skills;
  • Leadership & Team Management Skills;
  • Good Planning & Organisation/Project Management Skills; and,
  • Excellent Oral and written communication and presentation skills.

Commercial Assistant (to Marketing Director & Sales Director) – (CA003)

  • Reporting to both the Marketing Director & Sales Director, the successful candidate will enhance office management effectiveness by providing information management support and coordination services.
  • The successful candidate will be responsible for:
  • Collect and collate competitive market intelligence information from internal sources and disseminate to the appropriate recipients;
  • Maintain effective appointment schedules and travel for both the Marketing & Sales departments;
  • Managing all correspondences to the Sales and Marketing Departments;
  • Maintain office supplies inventory by checking stock to determine inventory levels, anticipating needed supplies, placing orders for supplies and verifying receipt of goods;
  • Ensures operation of equipment by completing preventive maintenance requests.
  • Manage Guests and Clients: offer reception on phone and in person; and direct all inquiries accordingly;
  • Manage/follow-up on all required Local Purchase Orders and track payment of all resulting invoices; and track costs/expenses of sales and marketing; and,
  • Complete all adhoc and non-specialised tasks through assigning them to clerical staff and following up on results.

Qualifications, Knowledge & Experience

  • Bachelors Degree in Business Management/Administration, Social Sciences, Administration or any other related academic discipline;
  • Atleast 3 years experience providing executive administrative office support;
  • Strong background in Office Management;
  • Proven success working in fast paced and multicultural environments ;
  • Experience with Travel Logistics(Airline, Hotel reservations coordination);
  • Good MS Word, MS Project, MS Excel, PowerPoint Skills & Outlook; and,
  • Good Written and Spoken English.

Key Behavioral Competencies:

  • Strong Interpersonal Skills in person and by phone;
  • High professionalism;
  • Ability to Work with others;
  • Good Planning & Organisation Skills;
  • Good Administrative writing skills;
  • Excellent verbal; and,
  • Fantastic Customer Service Ethic and high expectations for quality.

Reporting to the Marketing Director successful candidate will design and manage events where the SKOL brand is involved and to evaluate sponsorship requirements aligned to the organisations brand management strategy.

The successful candidate will be responsible for:

  • Developing events and activities where SKOL brand is present, in order for the brand to be the central character of events and its presence to be the most important;
  • In collaboration with the Marketing Director evaluate all sponsorships proposals;
  • Assisting with negotiations for space contracts and book event space, arranging all logistics to meet quality expectations;
  • Developing activities/events to consolidate SKOL brand as leader in Rwanda’s Beverages Industry;
  • Conducting research, making site visits and planning resources to facilitate decision making about event possibilities;
  • Gathering information on each project to achieve quality event productions;
  • Preparing budgets and providing periodic progress reports to Marketing Director for each Event;
  • Preparing and modifying Event Contracts as required; and,
  • Managing Event Services Vendors/Suppliers within budget, Quality and Contract standards; and act as liaison between them and SKOL.

Qualifications, Knowledge & Experience

  • Bachelors Degree in Business Management/Business; Administration/Commerce/Marketing, Social Sciences, Administration or any other related academic discipline;
  • Atleast 3 years Event Management Experience in FMCGs, Media & Entertainment , Event Management Industry;
  • Good Written and Spoken English;
  • Budget Management Experience; and,
  • Good MS Word, MS Project, MS Excel, PowerPoint Skills & Outlook
  • Key Behavioral Competencies:
  • Strong Interpersonal Skills with high professionalism;
  • Positive and dynamic attitude & high integrity;
  • Problem Solving & Negotiation Skills;
  • Ability to Work with others;
  • Good Planning & Organisation/Project Management Skills;
  • Excellent Oral and written communication skills; and;
  • Fantastic Customer Service Ethic and high expectations for quality.

If you believe that you are the right candidate for the above positions, please write in confidence and hand deliver to us quoting the relevant job reference number on both hand written cover letter and envelope by 4 September 2013, 5.00pm. Enclose your CV containing an e-mail address, daytime telephone contact, certified copies of qualifications, experience, present position, current remuneration, names and addresses of three referees to:
SKOL Brewery Limited
Nzove Shyorongi 05/1147
Kigali, Rwanda

Press Release: Johan De Smet-Van Damme to be appointed as general manager of SKOL Brewerty Ltd

We wish to inform the general public that Mr. Thomas Weingarten is leaving his post of General Manager of Skol Brewery Limited as of April 15th. He will be replaced by Johan De Smet-Van Damme.

Mr. Thomas Weingarten worked with great energy and success as General Manager since the founding of the Brewery in Rwanda in early 2010, first under the name Brasserie des Mille Collines (BMC) and later renamed Skol Brewery Ltd in 2012. The brand SKOL is by now well established and accepted in Rwanda offering a wider choice of beers at outstanding quality to the Rwandan consumers.

Mr. Thibault Relecom, CEO of Brussels based UNIBRA S.A, the parent company, said in a statement, “we would like to thank Mr. Thomas Weingarten for the quality of his work during the past three years and we also appreciate his intercultural competence and his professional and human qualities”.

Mr. Johan De Smet – Van Damme, currently Commercial Director SKOL Africa will act as General Manager of the Skol Brewery in the coming months. Mr. Johan De Smet-Van Damme has over 20 years experience in managing Breweries around the world.

Looking forward to excellent dynamic developments at SKOL BREWERY LTD.

SKOL Brewery welcomes new owner UNIBRA

Brasserie des Mille Collines (BMC) have officially sold their 51% stake in SKOL beer (Rwanda) to Unibra, a Belgium-based brewery, giving the latter 100% ownership. The company has also been renamed SKOL Brewery Limited (SBL). The price of the take-over has not been made public.

The takeover makes it easier for the new owners to embark on an aggressive capital expenditure plan aimed at increasing the market share of its SKOL beer and the recently introduced Gatanu.
“The brewery is undergoing a five-year Capex plan (Capital Expenditure plan) of more than US$15 million, earmarked for equipment and packaging for capacity expansion. This should see the brewer grow its output significantly,” said Unibra’s Christopher Thibaut.

Normally, the purpose of the Capex planning process is to ensure that the organization’s limited capital is spent on only those projects that maximize strategic goals of the investor to ensure profitability. For Unibra, this means focusing on equipment and packaging for capacity expansion as the way to take SKOL Brewery to the next level.

In the two and a half years they have spent on the market, BMC have managed to introduce SKOL beer as a serious competitor against Bralirwa beverages, although the latter still remain dominant. As of 2012, the Rwandan beer market was estimated at around 1.2 million hectoliters, of which SKOL contributes about 100,000 hl, or 8% of the total market. This can be explained by the fact that SKOL is still relatively new in the market (at least compared to Bralirwa’s beer brands) and that until recently the company sold only one brand.

Nonetheless, Thomas Weingarten, SKOL’s managing director, says there is an increasing demand for SKOL beer whose main strong point, he explained, is the fact that it’s “a quality brand of international repute.” He pointed out, however, that the main obstacle to its production is that its main ingredient is malt, which is difficult to find on the local market and is so far mostly import from Europe.

The brewery’s introduction of a new brand with a local feel, Gatanu, is expected to boost their market share beyond 10%.

Unibra, which owns SKOL rights in Africa and currently serves six countries, earned profits of €5,626,746 in 2011 and €6,988,563 in 2010.

Source: The Rwanda Focus; October 19th 2012

“Get connected with Skol” promo launched

On Friday evening, a huge crowd that included SKOL Malt Lager consumers and Brasserie Des Mille Collins (BMC) staff gathered at Gikondo Expo grounds to be part of the launch of the three-month “Get connected with Skol” promotion.

Prizes to be won including beers, T-shirts and caps, fully connected Tigo mobile phones, laptops, Samsung flat TV screens and the main prize, a Mitsubishi Lancer, were officially unveiled to the public.

To participate, you simply buy a Skol beer and check inside the crown to see if, and what, you have won. The grand prize of a Mitsubishi Lancer car will be announced on June 22 during a draw in which all Skol drinkers who found the image of a car inside their crown can participate.

The launch of the promotion was graced by entertainment by Dr Claude and Mr. Chips, while there was free beer for all the revelers.

“Get connected with Skol promotion is aimed at giving back to Skol customers,” said BMC managing director Thomas Weingarten, “and also away of connecting people the world over through the fourth biggest beer brand in the world.”

Source: The Rwanda focus; 25th February 2012

Tight market leaves Brewers with no choice

In a market of dwindling fortunes, players within the country’s beer industry have been forced to involve in new campaigns in an effort to capture a territory from a competitor.
Brasserie des Mille Collines (BMC), brewers of SKOL beer has announced the launch of their first ever promotion dubbed ‘Get Connected with SKOL’ promo, days after Bralirwa unveiled the second edition of ‘Primus Guma Guma Superstar’ promotion.

“It’s meant to let people test SKOL and also consolidate our existing consumers,” Mark Mugarura, Marketing manager for SKOL told Business Times on Tuesday.

SKOL currently controls around 25 percent of the premium beer market. The move is expected to help create a budge from seedy competitions that dominated the industry last year.But brewers will have to give back to customers to prove their loyalty.

The country’s beer market is currently dominated by Bralirwa, selling over 1.3 million hectolitres per year, while SKOL that follows with over 100,000 hectolitres. The East African Breweries Ltd-EABL is still importing.

“We believe that this is a way for us to reward our consumers for their loyalty to our brand,” Mugarura said, adding that the lucky winner will walk away with a brand new Mitsubishi Lancer, while cell phones, laptops, TV screens will also be won.

Mugarura noted that the US$0.5 million promotion, which will give a chance to consumers to win a variety of other prizes by checking under the crown, will help increase Skol’s growth. Experts say that with Bralirwa’s ‘Guma Guma Superstar’, which aims to promote local music – currently in its second edition this year – will test Skol’s ability to carve a market share dominated by Bralirwa.

While unveiling this year’s Guma Guma Superstar competition, early this month, Jan van Velzen, Bralirwa’s Commercial Director, said that the promotion is expected to be bigger and better, with contestants taking part in corporate social responsibility.

“Last year, we saw an improvement in our local music and this time we want also to share joy with our loyal consumers,” Freddie Nyangezi, Bralirwa’s Corporate Affairs manager, said. Nevertheless, the success of these promotions in wooing many customers will entirely depend on the consumer’s perceptions.

“I may drink much of SKOL because I know I can win at least a mobile phone,” Elias Nkubito, a carpenter told our reporter.

While Nkubito prefers promotions where he is expected to benefit directly, Uwera Keza believes that the promotion geared towards helping the needy, or promoting talents would be the best way for companies to give back to its consumers.

Source: The new Times; 22nd February 2012

Skol to cut energy costs, increase production

Brasserie Des Mille Collines (BMC) Ltd, brewers of SKOL beer plans to trim waste and improve production efficiency to step up its effectiveness through the use of lesser fuel and power consumption.

Thomas Weingarten, SKOL’s Managing Director said, last week, that with the current expansion, there is need to be effective in production processes by producing at minimum costs.

“We want to reduce as much as possible the waste water and everything we do now is focused on reducing energy consumption which we have so far reduced by 18 percent for the last six months,” he said, during the launch of the first phase of the modern waste water treatment plant.

He added that that energy accounts for the largest fraction of the brewing costs, hence narrowing the profit margins and hindering the company’s investment plan.

BMC announced that it is installing new equipment to boost its capacity to meet its targeted 25 percent of the premium beer market from the current 16 to 17 per cent market share.

Mark Mugarura, its Marketing Manager, is optimistic that such initiatives will step up the brewery’s competitiveness.

The planned US$1.5m waste water treatment plant that is remote controlled via internet exceeds the current and future production requirements that will see the brewery step up its production capacity by 50 percent from the current 100,000 hectalitres annually.

Weingarten noted; “They clearly demonstrate leadership in employing modern technology to reduce not only organic and inorganic waste, but also reducing their carbon footprint,’ he said, adding that the plant also indicates BMC’s commitment to safeguarding the environment in which it operates.

Geoffrey Kyatuka, environmental expert at Kigali City Council (KCC) told Business Times that BMC’s move to build a waste water plant will assist in ensuring that industrial wastes are not disposed of in drainage channels that would in turn affect the environment and human lives.

“We are looking at industries setting up waste water treatment plants as their responsibility to protect their clients who buy their products and the environment they work in.”

Source: The new times; 31st January 2012


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