Afbeelding: Royal Oven 3a

"Let role models for succes inspire you!"

Tanzanian entrepreneur Mr Exaud Kiwali founder and director of Royal Oven, tells us about his dreams and the challenges he faces as entrepreneur.  

Why did you started your own modern retail bakery in 2008?
“ I wanted to become a successful businessman who owns large industrial companies. After monitoring the market carefully, I noticed there was a growing demand for bakery products and there were no bakeries that serve the middle and upper class. Dar es Salaam is one of Africa’s fastest growing urban centres with a rising middle and upper class. This was a great opportunity but I knew I needed an experienced business partner. My friend Mr Leonard Shayo had worked for various FMCG multinational companies as Sales and Marketing Manager, just like me. When I spoke to him and I found out his wife was a bakery supervisor, I knew I had found the right business partner.”

How did your business grow?  
“ We started with 1 outlet, selling 2 or 3 types of bread, samosas and confectionaries like cookies and chocolates. The first day we sold for 200.000Tsh (about €76). Soon we enlarged our assortment with Tanzanian snacks like chapatis, mandazi, vitambua and birthday and wedding cakes and made a turnover of 3.000.000Tsh (about €1140) per day. Today we own 3 bakery factories,10 bakery outlets and 4 franchisers (outlets where only the finishing work is done) and have 140 employees. Our bestselling products are pastries and snacks, which contribute to 50% of our total revenue, followed by bread, cakes and cookies. With our bakeries we set the target on this middle and upper class, consumers who care more about the quality and variety of products then price.” 

What makes your business successful and how do you outshine your competitors?
“ I think one of the key factors that makes our company successful is our business proposition: we sell a wide variety of high quality products, offer superior customer service, we work very hygienic (wearing gloves etc.) and our outlets are located in city centres close to where the middle and upper class lives. But also the experience and knowledge we gained as owners, working for international companies, our knowledge of the market and good business network contributes to our success. Before we started Royal Oven, we prepared ourselves very well by learning more about the market and from other successful business people. We spend a lot of time and effort on developing our knowledge, skills and business.”    

What are the main challenges for your company?
“ In Tanzania there is a shortage of skilled and educated people. So it’s hard to find qualified management staff. As a result there is stiff competition amongst companies for the few existing qualified and experienced workers and you have to offer them high wages. This lack of skilled and educated human capital hinder business growth, since you can’t grow a successful company singlehandedly. Another challenge is to obtain capital quickly, so you cannot always develop and grow your business as rapidly as you want.”  

What is the impact of SIF support on your business?
“ The loan we obtained from SIF offered us the opportunity to expand our business by buying a new oven, opening new bakery outlets and introducing a new product (ice cream). What I really appreciate about SIF is that they show genuine interest in us and in our company. They visit us often or just give us a call to ask how we are doing or if we face any challenges they can help with.”  

What is your advice for other entrepreneurs who want to start a company?
“ Watch other successful business people or role models, learn from them and follow their example. That’s exactly what I did before I started Royal Oven. I tried to find out why these people stood out of the crowd and what made them successful. One thing I discovered is that a lot of successful businessman start their day very early, so they have more time to accomplish their goals, so that’s what I copied. It’s also important to be well prepared before you start your business and have the mind-set to go the extra mile. You can only be successful if you are willing to learn and to put a lot of effort and energy in it.”  

What are your dreams for your company?
“ Our dream as owners is to expand our presence in all the key towns in Tanzania and even to other African countries like Congo. We want to dominate the retail bakery market.”  




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