Amos Nzeyi is a successful Ugandan Businessmen, Entrepreneur and Industrialist, He is best known for the position he holds and has held in a number of successful companies and organisations, namely;
- Chairman – Crown Beverages Ltd (Franchise holder for Pepsi in Uganda)
- Owner – Hot Loaf Bakery Ltd
- Owner – White Horse Inn Kabale
- Chairman – Innscor Uganda Ltd (Retail fast food chain)
- Owner – Palm Valley Golf & Country Club (Uganda)
- Founding Member & Chairman of National Bank of Commerce
- Chairman – Uganda Manufactures Association (Current)
- President – Uganda Golf Union (Former)
- Board of Directors – Uganda Development Bank (Former)
Amos Nzeyi hails from Kabale District in the South Western region of Uganda. His Career in Business began at a very early age as he was from a humble background. With not enough money in the family to support his education, Amos realised he would need to help himself and began selling eggs to primary schools and teachers. As this small business grew, he used the money he had raised from selling poultry to start producing and selling Mandazi (Scones) which was far more profitable. This enabled him to finance his Primary education.
The Cost of Secondary education was considerably higher though and without any means of financing his studies, Amos knew that entering employment would be his best option.
His first Job was in an Israeli Company called WRD which had won a tender to build a tarmac road from Kabale town to Ntungamo, he was employed there as a Spanner boy. Being the hard worker that he is, it didn’t take long before he was promoted to higher positions within the company working on many different road construction projects between Central and Western Uganda.
A few years later, Amos had saved enough money to go into business for himself. He quit his job, purchased a pick-up and went into Business supplying various goods to schools. It was while he was engaged in this business that he discovered a large Timber Mill in the Western Region that had stocks of Timber but no Market. Amos seized this opportunity and using the additional vehicles he had purchased as his business grew, he started supplying Timber to Kampala to be used in the construction industry. Before he knew it, he was the biggest supplier of Timber to the National Housing and Construction Corporation (NHCC). This business grew and led to him acquiring agencieswith Chillington Tool Company and the Madvani Group where he bought commodities that he supplied to shops in the south west region of Uganda.
With the profits he was making from his business, Amos was able to engage himself in sports activities; one of them being Motor Rally where he became famous after winning the OAU Rally that covered Uganda, Sudan, Congo, Rwanda and Kenya with exception of Tanzania due to the relationship at the time.
He was very happy to have won that rally as the Trophy was a brand new car which had been donated to Uganda Motor Club by the then President Idi Amin.
Shortly after that though, he was picked and taken to the infamous State Research Bureau (SRB) for Interrogation, where to his surprise he was asked to explain how he had won the car. Lucky enough, he found his former classmate Jackson Kyarikunda who took a statement from him and aided his release.
After that experience, Amos moved his Family and trucks to Nairobi Kenya, he then returned to Uganda and continued with his business using hired trucks. The situation in Uganda though became more and more unstable and Nzeyi had no choice but to move to Kenya on a permanent basis.
Time in Exile
While in Kenya, he used his trucks to venture into the transport business ferrying goods from the Kenyan Port of Mombasa through to Rwanda, Burundi and Zaire (now DRC).
A long term contract he acquired with Transintra, a Belgian firm expanded his business and together with his two business partners he started a company called Intercontinental Transporters. For the next 10 years they grew their fleet to 60 trailers and were transporting goods all across eastern, central and southern Africa.
In 1983 he sold his stake in Intercontinental Transport and moved his Family to the United Kingdom in order to take care of his son Arthur who’d developed an illness that required specialised medical treatment.
In order to support his Family, Amos began to invest in real-estate. He would buy dilapidated flats, renovate them and sell them off at a minimum profit. He did this for some years until 1986 when the National Resistance Movement came to power after a five year guerrilla war.
Return to Uganda
In 1986 he returned to Uganda; upon his return he identified an opportunity to enter the baking industry as at the time all Bread was imported from Kenya. This led him to establish Hot Loaf Bakery Ltd which today is one of Uganda’s biggest bakeries.
Around the same time, he discovered that there was an alarming shortage of beer and soft drinks on the market due to the lack of bottle tops which came from South Africa and the UK. This led him to establish Crown Corks Uganda Ltd on the 10 February 1989 where he began supplying bottle tops to all beverage industries in Uganda which contributed to the availability of their products on the market.
In 1993, the Government decided to privatise parastatals which included Lake Victoria Bottling Company who were the bottlers of Pepsi products in Uganda. Amos travelled to the US to secure a letter of intent from PepsiCo International which would enable him to secure the Franchise to bottle Pepsi products in Uganda. He then returned to Uganda to tender for the sale of assets of Lake Victoria Bottling Company. Nzeyi was successful in winning the tender and together with his business partners began bottling Pepsi products in Uganda under a newly established company called Crown Beverages Ltd. Crown Beverages Ltd is currently the Market leader in Uganda’s soft drinks Industry.
Notable Ventures and appointments
Over the last 50 years Amos Nzeyi has engaged himself in several successful business ventures as well as served on many boards in an advisory capacity.
In 1991 Amos Nzeyi joined hands with a number of other individuals to establish National Bank of Commerce (then Kigezi Bank of Commerce). The banks mission was to provide banking services and inexpensive loans to the Kigezi Community (in South Western Uganda). Over the Years as the bank grew, new branches were opened in the Country’s capital Kampala and its mission expanded to cover a much wider Market.
Amos Nzeyi has also served on the board of directors of Uganda Development Bank. In this capacity he helped fulfil the Banks vision to drive sustainable socio-economic development in Uganda.
Mr Nzeyi’s widely known passion for the game of Golf led him to develop and establish Palm Valley Golf & Country Club in 2008. This golf club is situated in the outskirts of Kampala and also serves as a training academy for young golfers aspiring to compete at a national, regional and international level. Promoting the game of golf in Uganda is a passion that Nzeyi holds close to his heart. This same passion led him to stand for and be elected to the President of Uganda Golf Union in 2011. During his two year term, Nzeyi was credited with reviving a number of rundown courses across the Country as well as championing the development of youth golf in the Country. Furthermore he was able use his relationships in the business community to bring on corporate sponsors who helped ensure the National teams participation in a number of regional and international tournaments and training camps.
In 2013, Amos Nzeyi was elected to the position of Board Chairman of Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA). Uganda Manufacturers Association is one of the largest organizations representing the broad industrial and commercial sectors of Uganda’s economy and an important forum for the private sector in the Country. The association has membership comprising of over 700 corporate, large, medium and small firms from the private and public sectors. As Chairman, Amos Nzeyi together with his board is responsible for fulfilling UMA’s objectives which include but are not limited to; Promoting, protecting and coordinating the interests of industrialists in Uganda, to act as a watch dog and an effective mouth piece for the members of the association and to advice government on key polices affecting the industrial sector.
Amos Nzeyi has an astute business mind, infectious enthusiasm and an inherent gift to inspire and give in equal measure. A humble background that includes some years as a casual, Nzeyi has accelerated wealth from almost nothingness and boasts of strong technical skills. And being the man behind the rise, rise and rise of Palm Valley Golf Course located at Akright Estate in Kakungulu, our chief reporter at Golf 100 InnocentNdawula got him to tell the world what makes him tick.
Why does everybody refer to you as chairman?
The title of chairman came automatically because it is associated with the work I do. I am the board chairman for Crown Beverages, Hot Loaf, Nandos, White Horse Inn, Palm Valley Golf Course and National Bank of Commerce among others business entities.
How do you manage to sit in all these offices?
I delegate most of the time because I believe in sharing with other people. I always look to outsource to people with better brains than mine to help me manage my investments properly.
Where do you get the courage to
do all these businesses because
many look at them as big risks?
It is not courage but the will to provide where there is lack of service. For example when I came back from exile in 1986, there was no bread in the country. So I decided that I should start baking in February 1986 hence the birth of Hot Loaf.
What other services did you initiate?
There was also a shortage of beer and soft drinks because there was no crown corks manufacturer. I went out to buy cork-making machines from Germany in 1988. This inspired me to start making Pepsi soda hence the name Crown Beverages from the crown corks that I set out to do in the beginning. worked for anybody else. The money I got from road construction is what I used to kickstart my business ventures.
You are a Johnny-come-lately in golf. Did you play any other sports before?
I played football, tennis, and squash. I also enjoyed motorsport. I was a rally champion for many years. Notably I won the 5,000km OAU Rally event. There were also times when I would win but former Ugandan president Idi Amin Dada would be declared champion. I also won the longest Safari in East Africa that was 7,000km.
How many years has Pepsi (worldwide) been in existence?
We are celebrating 100 years of existence this year and I will be headed to Hawaii, USA for a 10-day celebration trip of merry-making. We are one family and there will be many dignitaries like Becky Thatcher and Bush Snr.
You own just one of the two private golf courses in East Africa. What a risk?
It is not a risk. Like I said earlier, I like to provide. And when I provide, I want to offer services of good quality. Palm Valley is an astounding project that is properly done and professionally shaped. The factory was located in industrial area near Coffee Marketing Board (CMB).
Did your competitors take it in good faith?
No way. In the beginning it was smooth sailing but the likes of Madhavani Group, Schweppes and Coca-Cola stopped buying the crowns from me. They bought me out of the crown-making business. That was 10 years ago.
How long have you been makingPepsi?
It has been 18 years now. It has been labeled as of the highest quality and it is on that basis that we (Pepsi Uganda) are going to be given an award of success by Pepsi International. I will also appear in a movie about Quality
Control as a scientist when we to pick our award in USA late this year. I am a really proud of Pepsi for the bold steps it has taken. While in the USA, I will also rub shoulders with elites from the Pepsi Chairman’s club and we shall enjoy a round of golf among other activities.
You are very successful and a role model to rookie businessmen. What is your qualification and how did you assume all this wealth?
I did only secondary school education. And after that I went for training on the job. I worked on the construction for the Kabale – Ntungamo Road for three years. I then went to Israel for more training. That was it I never