Business News of 2014-07-29

We’ll revamp our business to create more jobs – Siep Heimstra

Africa and the Middle East President of Europe’s leading brewer Heineken, Siep Heimstra has disclose that his company is determined to grow with African continent including Ghana by investing in local talent to create more jobs for the teaming graduate unemployment in the country.

Mr Heimstra was speaking at the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) in Accra for the first time on a topic “Reaching More Consumers” Executive Talk programme.

According to the President, Heineken is well positioned in Africa and the Middle East to capture growth opportunities by reaching more consumers through expanded brand offerings, strong market execution and by developing talents and capabilities through local sourcing.

“Africa’s middle class is expected to grow from 355 million in 2010 (34% of Africa’s population) to 1.1 billion (42% of the population) in 2060.” Heineken is set to benefit significantly from this trend through accelerated innovation, building winning brands and activating key enablers of growth.

Heineken has set itself a goal of achieving 70% African management in African operations by 2020. To accelerate this process, we have developed a modular 2 year programme for developing competencies in key areas of their operations through classroom training and on the job training assignments”, he said.

Infrastructural problems

Mr. Heimstra in an interview emphasized that in order for the company to employ larger number of Ghanaian graduates, the country must concentrate on its physical infrastructural development to make it easy for investors to create more jobs in the country.

“Opportunities here are enormous but the bigger challenge we face here is poor infrastructure in the country, without water we will not be able to produce good beer and I think the water situation here in Accra is a big worry to us, he said.

He also noted that through strategic partnerships that are performance driven, Heineken intends to grow further by increasing its market share and also focus on cost discipline to drive profit growth in Africa.

Heineken brands

Mr. Hiemstra mentioned that Heineken has a good and quality beer brands in Ghana including Star, Gulder, Guinness and Alvaro which is currently leading Ghanaian market, besides he added that Heineken’s renewed global strategy is to build on its core strengths of unique history and family involvement, marketing excellence, truly global footprint, proven supply chain skills and above all, its passionate committed entrepreneurial employees.

Local content and CSR

He however affirmed that 46% of all raw materials used in Africa are sourced from the continent. The goal is to increase to 60% by 2020. Heineken engages in public education to encourage responsible drinking, provides healthcare for staff including HIV treatment and prevention, and provides water projects through Heineken Africa Foundation.

Heineken has been a strong supporter and sponsor of CEIBS Africa in the past. It offered sponsorship for the Osei Tutu II Center for Executive Education (OTCEER) and also supported the traditional Authorities Leadership programme. The Executive Talk programme was attended by business leaders, Alumni of the school and current students and a cross section of the press.

Source: Charles Addo/GhanaWeb
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