By Mark Kawalya
As technology advancements revolutionize how global business is done, a number of Ugandan companies are riding the wave of digital innovation. Uganda Breweries Limited (UBL) is one such company. Early this month, the beverage manufacturer launched a digital self-service portal that retailers can use to directly deal with beer distributors in their areas of operation. The portal, dubbed Diageo One, will enable them to deal directly with the firms’ licensed distributors.
Mr. Andrew Kilonzo, UBL’s Managing Director, while speaking about the product, said the eCommerce platform has a B2B orientation that will act as a one-stop product that will link business customers to Uganda Breweries, distributors, brands, promotions, ordering and delivery along with other functions that were previously fragmented.
“We are looking to facilitate innovation that is going to make us convenient and efficient. Diageo One will provide retailers with a convenient way to purchase our wide range of brands at just a click of a button and have them delivered at their convenient locations at no additional cost,” he said.
Kilonzo further added that the Diageo One App Web portal was designed with an emphasis on user friendliness to make it simple for anyone interfacing with it to easily find the products they are looking for. He said this was a great opportunity for retailers as it would allow their businesses to be quickly restocked as they would not have to wait for the periodic UBL trucks to buy UBL products.
UBL is responding to consumer behavior trends that show online commerce has been growing and is especially buttressed by increased smartphone use and literacy.
Additionally, this development was accelerated by COVID-19, which made it necessary for trade to continue despite the worldwide lockdowns that were instituted.
The Diageo One app can be downloaded on both Android and IOS enabled devices, and each retailer is assigned a unique identifier that will be used to place orders from distributors. The app will also facilitate the transaction as retailers can make payments and get receipts with orders being delivered by distributors to the retailers at no additional cost. The App will also display some of the ongoing offers that UBL is currently offering.