Editorial: Modern branding can make local products competitive

Most manufacturing plants, however big or small, tend to operate from urban centres where infrastructure and markets are more accessible.

Most manufacturing plants, however big or small, tend to operate from urban centres where infrastructure and markets are more accessible.

In rural areas, there is less skilled manpower and fewer comforts of life, therefore luring the best workers becomes an uphill task

But now that myth has been debunked by a little-known firm tucked away in one town in the Southern Province, Kibeho in Nyaruguru district to be precise.

Abanozamurimo Company Ltd started out producing leather products such as shoes, bags, belts, etc under the Made-in-Rwanda initiative.

With just 14 employees, the company is relatively small, but they think big.

Their latest venture is manufacturing sporting balls used for football, volleyball and handball.

All schools and sporting teams in their district have adopted the new balls as they see no difference with the most popular brands.

They are now seeking the backing of national sporting federations to help them get accreditation from world sports bodies.

But there is on catch; even though the balls are made of tough leather and can outlast their contemporaries, they can do much better with the branding to enhance their competitiveness.

These are the kind of businesses that could do with Rwanda Development Board’s mentorship in improving branding.

Rwandan products will not be able to compete with cheaper and more appealing imports – albeit of poorer quality ­– if they do not adopt modern and attractive branding practices.

Nothing should stop them from achieving their goal of creating a well-known brand, both locally and beyond Rwanda’s borders.

 

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