Tebandeke (2nd left) and his colleagues pose for a photo with Buganda Kingdom Prime Minister Charles Peter Mayiga. They met the Premier on their marketing expedition
Keith Tebandeke Ddungu, the youthful proprietor of Keith’s Dairy is literally out of the business.
Tebandeke started making yogurt in November 2021 with funding from his main job.
He used savings worth Shs3 million as startup capital after carefully carrying out market research on the product he intended to make (yogurt). Part of the Shs3m was used to rent premises in Wandegeya.
He says he was procuring between 500 and 600 litres of milk from Sibyangu dairy.
His product had started picking up because he would on average sell 50 litres of yogurt per week (in different grammage – 1 ltr, 2 trs, 5ltrs, 300 mls and 500 mls). On a monthly basis, he was earning a gross profit of Shs2.8 million ( before paying off workers and other bills).
Tebandeke says he has continued to invest in the business using part of his salary.
However, in March 2022, his immediate supervisor forced him to resign, thus directly affecting his budding business.
“My business was doing well but it has since been affected after I lost the job. I was employed and at the same time managing this business, but once my boss got to know about my small side business, he forced me into resignation. I can no longer support my business,” Tebandeke says.
He adds that he since been forced to evacuate their rented premises in Wandegeya. The rent there cost between Shs 900, 000 and Shs 1.2 million depending on the location.
The business is now housed in a small space in Rubaga but is not able to employ or make the amount of product he was making before he lost the job.
Tebandeke says he was employing 10 young people.
“I was employing 10 people directly who have lost their jobs because I have scaled down production. I didn’t have the money to make the yogurt, pay them or pay for rent,” Tebandeke says.
He is now looking for a partner who is able to inject more capital in the business.
“I am looking for support in terms of a partnership. I am looking at around Shs30 million. I want to return this business to normal operations because the market was beginning to embrace my yogurt product,” he says, adding that the business needed about Shs60m but he had to cut off some items to come up with a fair budget of Shs30m given the prevailing economic situation.
Once there is funding, Tebandeke says the funds will go into buying machines, coolers, pay for rent and procure ingredients.
“Wandegeya rent is 1.2 million (ground floor) and Shs900, 000 (upper floors) but landlords want down payment in excess of six 6 months,” he says, adding: “We’ll also buy some machines, ingredients, display fridges and start running again.”
He reveals that there are some supermarkets that had given him the opportunity to display his products, but due to lack of funds he could no longer manage.
“One ADH (125 Mls) refrigerator costs about Shs1.2 million,” Tebandeke says.
He says that Keith Dairy products are of quality and have the capacity to compete with already established yogurt products.
Besides making yogurt, Tebandeke says he has been skilling and sensitizing youth at Universities as a way of motivating them into business and entrepreneurship.
He says like any other business, Keith’s Dairy needs a lot of patience, but he’s optimistic that it will emerge out as one of the best brands on the Ugandan market.