Bralirwa appoints new MD

New Bralirwa MD, Merid Demissie. Net.

Local Brewer, Bralirwa Plc is set to have a new Managing Director replacing Victor Madiela, who has held the position for the last two years.

The change, which was announced yesterday, takes effect on January 1, 2019. Merid Demissie is from Ethiopia take over.

Merid comes in at a time when the firm is seeking to expand its beer and soft brand portfolio to improve its financial performance.

He also comes in at a time when the firm is seeking to overcome challenges such as increased input costs which have continued to hold back its performance in recent years.

It faces stiff competition from Skol Brewery which has a range of beers and drinks.

Imports are also increasingly becoming popular in the local market coupled with refined consumer tastes in liqours further driving competition.

 The firm’s revenues were last year hit by a one-off excise tax correction following an audit Rwanda Revenue Authority, which revealed a discrepancy of about Rwf400 million for the years 2015 to 2017.

The Group’s recurrent operating costs were estimated at Rwf7 billion owing to higher input costs and brand investments.

The firm has in the recent months introduced a strict cost management drive.

Merid joins the firm from Heineken Ethiopia where he started in January 2014 as a Sales Director.

During the past 5 years, he has successfully built a new Sales and Trade Marketing team, grew volume and nearly doubled market share in Africa’s most competitive market.

Merid started his career in the beverage world with Coca-Cola SABCO in Ethiopia in 1999 where he spent 7 years working in different positions in Sales and Marketing with growing responsibilities.

From 2007 till 2014, Merid held several commercial regional roles in the Coca-Cola Central East & West Africa Business Unit.

Madiela, on the other hand, has been appointed to a new position a Heineken - Bralima brewery in Kinshasa, DRC as Managing Director.

Madiela came to Rwanda in September 2016 and has among other things championed and implemented an ambitious cost-saving programme as well as introduced successful innovations such as Primus Citron and Amstel malt).

The cost-cutting measures among other things saw a significant reduction in staff size, company restructuring and reduced expenditures in aspects such as sponsorships.