Over 400 jobs are at stake after Inyange Industries announced the sacking of all independent distributors.
Rwanda’s largest food processor decided to replace 16 large distributors, who employ over 400 people with its own direct sale depots to supply products across the country.
“We would like to inform our clients and the public at large that our products are available through direct depot points. We are changing from independent distributors to Inyange direct sale depots, in order to courteously and effectively supply our customers all over the country,” Inyange said, yesterday, in a statement sent to Business Times.
In a phone interview, Rama Kant Pandy, the Managing Director of Inyange, said the move aims at improving customer confidence following failure by distributors to sale company products at a uniform price.
“Across the country, prices were different; the distributors failed to make a uniform price for our products. Now that we have our depot points, customers will be confident that prices will be uniform everywhere,” Pandy said.
Contrary to the manager’s explanation, distributors, through their chairman, Venuste Rutabingwa, told Business Times earlier this week that Inyange was inconsistent in its pricing and distribution.
The distributors also said the company informed them that the decision to continuously increase prices, since February, was induced by the intention to trim operating expenses.
“Last week, the industry called for a meeting with the distributors, where it announced that it increased prices to cover for operating costs,” Rutabingwa said on Tuesday.
The company, however ,blames the independent distributors for failure to maintain high levels of quality distribution.
“At Inyange, we take pride in our high levels of quality that we maintain right from procurement of raw materials to delivery of the final product. This has earned the company market leadership, confidence and brand loyalty from its customers,” the statement reads in part.
The independent distributors claim that they were not given early notification.