A few weeks ago, Uganda Breweries Limited (UBL), held an internal celebration for winning the best Guinness Global Execution for the second year running. Catherine Twesigye, the outgoing Premium Beers Brand Manager at UBL led these executions. And yet a few days later, Twesigye bid farewell to the brewery to take on another challenging assignment.
“You have been a star performer and we wish you all the best in your new journey,” Juliana Kaggwa, UBL’s immediate former Marketing Director who is now Corporate Affairs Director said of Cathy, as she was fondly known at the brewery, admitting that she had tried her best to convince her to stay.
Twesigye left UBL for Yalelo Uganda to head their marketing department.
This could be the first time you as a reader are hearing about Yalelo, but with Twesigye in charge of marketing, the new company is definitely set to become a household name.
About Yalelo Uganda
Headquartered on the shores of Lake Victoria in Jinja, Yalelo Uganda is a vertically integrated aquaculture company in the business of fish farming, processing, distribution, and sales.
The company started operations in the Ugandan market a little over a year ago and they have been steadily establishing operations to become the largest fish producing company in the Central and Eastern African region.
Yalelo as a brand is not new to the Aquaculture sector. Wholly Owned by FirstWave Group; its Netherlands-registered parent company, they have operated on the African continent for 9 years with sister company Yalelo Zambia currently supplying the Southern African market with over 1000 tons of fresh and frozen tilapia per month. FirstWave Group also own a Zambian-based feed mill supplying premium quality fish feed to its own operations, as well as fish farms across Southern, Central and Eastern Africa.
Construction at Yalelo Uganda’s 78-acre production and processing facility has almost reached completion incorporating hatchery, offshore grow-out, processing, dispatch, and head office functions.
“Yalelo Uganda promises the freshest tilapia on the Ugandan market and the vision is to have 50 retail outlets countrywide on top of regional exports. Already eight outlets have been opened and plans are underway to close the year at 15 shops,” Commercial Director Martin Kasasira said.
The company employs more than 300 staff and has attracted some of the best brains across all relevant fields.
“We are growing the company by bringing the best people on board. We have eight recent aquaculture masters graduates who attained first class degrees, establishing the backbone of our trainee and fast-track leadership schemes. Many of the best performers in Uganda’s FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) and food processing industries have already joined us,” Kasasira added.
Naturally, Twesigye, a marketeer whose executions have won global recognition in the alcoholic beverages industry was a strong addition to the Yalelo team as it hits the ground running. Kasasira, who is also Twesigye’s new immediate supervisor described her as a super-hungry, focused, hardworking, and talented individual.
Twesigye on the other hand, couldn’t hide her zeal for the new task ahead. “I am always up for a challenge and I’m glad to be part of something that is going to be very big in Uganda” she said.
Over the last 18 months under Twesigye’s stewardship Uganda became a global benchmark for executions like Guinness Night Football with other markets following Uganda’s lead.
Her performance track record goes way back to when she joined UBL, since then she has risen through the ranks. Twesigye began her UBL journey in Key Accounts and after a year of excellent work in trend leading outlets, she was entrusted with the biggest contract distributor in Kampala, a task that saw the distributors revenue almost double.
She was then promoted into a Commercial Planning and Activations Manager, where she was instrumental in transforming UBL brands trade presence at scale. A little under 2 years, she was trusted with transforming the largest volume contributing brands in the UBL beer portfolio through a critical business period.
She took over the premium beer category in December 2018 where she delivered breakthrough business performance, grew volume and value share at the same time transforming brands equity for all the three core premium beer brands (Guinness, Tusker Malt and Tusker Lite).
During her tenure, Twesigye consistently drove highest standards of execution for the brands. On top of that, she built strong relationships with external and internal partners plus stakeholders specifically brand owners, media, advertising, digital, PR, promoters, specialist agencies, internal commercial, finance, supply chain and business support teams, creating a highly effective cross-functional team.
Now she is up for a new challenge, growing the Yalelo brand into a household name in Uganda, and helping FirstWave Group to achieve its vision of becoming the lowest cost producer of animal protein globally and the largest producer of animal protein in Africa while remaining environmentally and socially sustainable.