Whenever East African Breweries Limited (EABL) is mentioned, what comes to mind is a thriving brewing industry producing high quality alcoholic beverages.
Established in 1922, EABL has flourished in the alcoholic beverage industry, and is renowned for its high-quality products. While Tusker was initially the flagship brand, the company has consistently expanded its portfolio with a range of top-tier beverages, and a focus on precision and excellence. Its growth, spanning over 100 years, can be attributed to strategic focus, having the right people on board, proper marketing,
sound financial management, customer care and advanced technology, among other things.
CPA Risper Ohaga, Group Chief Financial Officer & Executive Director, EABL says they have invested well in this business and expect to continue providing their customers with both global and local brands that appeal to them and reflect global trends. She is impressed by how people have embraced EABL in Kenya and regionally and they want to continue doing it right. Their operations in Kenya currently comprise
about 70% of their revenue. They have been steadfast in their vision, and demonstrated remarkable attention to quality Ms Ohaga believes there is no substitute for experience and getting the basics
right and counsels that if you get an opportunity, deliver your best work
Q&A with CPA Risper Ohaga
- Thank you, CPA Risper Ohaga, for making time for the Accountant Journal team.
How did you start off in accounting and how has the journey you have taken in
getting to what many would regard as the pinnacle of an accounting career
I started my career in accounting at Strathmore college (now Strathmore
University) when I got a partial scholarship to study CPA when I finished high school. This enabled me to complete section 1-4 of CPA before joining University of Nairobi for a degree in BComm Accounting. This set me on the path towards an accounting career. I would complete CPA exams by second year and when I graduated was employed as an audit trainee at KPMG Kenya. I worked for KPMG for 9 years before joining Barclays Bank as Regional Internal Audit Director based in Kenya. After 3 years, I relocated to South Africa to take on a more senior role as Audit Director for Africa. After 4 years, I moved from internal audit to Finance before taking on the role of Finance Director for Barclays Bank Zambia. In 2020, I moved back to Kenya, taking on the role of Group CFO at East African Breweries Plc
- EABL has subsidiaries and distribution partners in various East African countries. Could you tell us about the financial aspects of EABL’s expansion strategy and how it impacted the company’s overall financial performance? EABL has quality growth and innovation at the core of our strategy. We have invested extensively in our business which has seen us grow at pace. We have invested in capacity in both Uganda and Tanzania and this has supported our growth ambitions with both countries growing in double digits even through covid. This has helped our business grow and we delivered our highest revenue and profit in the financial year ended June 2022 due to these investments. Further, over the years, we have invested in mainstream spirits which has grown exponentially and contributed strongly to our performance.
- Can you discuss EABL’s commitment to corporate governance? EABL has Governance as part of our ESG strategy and we expound on this extensively in our annual report. We have an independent board of directors drawn from all three East African countries as well as representation from the parent company in the United Kingdom. Our Board is well alanced in terms of mix of skills as well as gender representation. We are passionate
about doing business the right way and this is outlined in our code of business conduct that is mandatory training for all employees every year.