I started my business just before Christmas in 2012. I had the idea to begin farming pigs and producing their meat into products such as sausages. I saw what I perceived to be an unexploited gap in the market for such products in Rwanda. Beef is already widely farmed, however the pork market was underdeveloped and the rapidity at which pigs breed made them a viable business choice. So I began PMP and it is now one of the few meat processors in Rwanda which offers such a wide variety of high quality products, and this has developed us a strong reputation. Our product range includes raw, cured and cooked meat products, pre-cooked dishes, fermented sausages and a variety of meat mixes such as minced and diced meat which we turn into burgers.
The business grows each day, and I believe this is because we anticipate our customers’ needs and preferences. This sensitivity to customers’ needs ensures they are satisfied and continue to return. I am proud of my business and of its origins. For this reason I aspire to sell Rwandese sausages to other parts of the world. We are planning to invest strategically and hope that strong sales will follow and with these profits we will be able to open strategic distribution channels allowing us to reach beyond Rwanda and into neighbouring countries such as Uganda, Congo and Tanzania.
I enjoy being an entrepreneur. Having my own business helps me to think big, be more responsible and to improve my managerial skills. It gives me the freedom to manage my time as I like. When you have you own business, it means that you are your own boss. This is a good time to see how committed you are to what you are doing. It also shows you your abilities at starting and growing a business from scratch. So far I’ve found that the most challenging aspect of running a small business is the price of overheads such as packaging and transport. These really add up and reduce profits.
What is your personal ambition?
My ambition is to organise myself and be self-confident in my decision making. I’m a driven individual and I feel like in order to develop my business into a successful enterprise, I must also strive to reach my own full potential
What impact do you see your business making?
We want to increase and promote local products. I am proud to be Rwandan and I want to show that my community is capable of making high quality products that can be competitive on an international market.
How do you see the future of your business?
We want to increase output and promote the variety of products made at Paniel Meat Processing Ltd in order to boost our competitiveness in local and regional markets. The next major step would be to establish a slaughtering house for meat, chicken and fish processing. This would reduce time delays and increase production. Furthermore by avoiding the additional outsourcing costs of paying a third party, more profit could be invested back into the business’ development.