Manufacturing Industry in Ghana: Mahesh Shah Presents FMCG Company Multipro

Mahesh Shah shares his assessment of the latest trends in the manufacturing industry in Ghana and presents FMCG company Multipro Consumer Products Limited (MCPL), a selling and distribution company mainly focused on the food industry. Famous brands include Indomie and Minimie instant noodles.

Interview with Mahesh Shah, CEO at Multipro

Mahesh Shah, CEO at Multipro

Since June, there were some new events in the economy. Can you give us more details?

In July, the Finance Office of Ghana came out with tax reforms which were detrimental to the growth of the manufacturing industries. There were certain taxes breaks in the value added tax which were enjoyed by the manufacturing industry. It was not a cost before, but now, they have made those indirect taxes as a cost to the manufacturing industry. This is an economy where there is not much support for the manufacturing industry, although the government is trying. Now, imposing this 5% is really hitting them hard in their bottom line. Apart from that, for us as a company, things remain the same.

Regarding the investors, what advice would you give to them?

We always try to get into niche categories where we can really make a product which is affordable for the masses, such as socioeconomic classes C1, C2, D, and E class.

From our experience as a selling and distribution company, my advice to them would be that if they really want to come here, they must do their ground work very well in terms of cost. Here, the cost of production is very high. In order to penetrate into the market, every individual needs penetrating pricing. Having a lower price and higher cost will really hurt them. Once they have captured the market, then they can have good pricing. In the long run, they can benefit, but in the short term they must really invest it.

Are you interested in them investing with you?

When we talk about investors, as an individual we cannot do it, we are a group. Any collaboration with investors in Ghana must be brought to the corporate office and as a group we will examine it.

What are your main competitive advantages?

We are a selling and distribution company. We create brands. We always try to get into niche categories where we can really make a product which is affordable for the masses, such as socioeconomic classes C1, C2, D, and E class. We want to give a quality product to them at an affordable price. That is who our target customer has always been. We want to be in a category which is very small and grow that category to become a leader in that category. We have been in noodles for the last twelve years. Normal traders in Africa generally have a very short-term approach, they make money and then get out; whereas we have always had a long-term approach and we make a product that is good for the community. We plan to bring out more products which is good for the Ghanaian population. Traditionally, we have seen that people use their locally made products, which at times are not so hygienically prepared or packed. But, we want to assure the population at large that we will give them a product that is very nutritious and hygienically made.

What are some examples of products where you are already implementing this?

Currently, we are in dry pasta, with noodles being one of the categories, under the brand of Indomie. We have set up our own manufacturing unit for Minimie pasta. We intend to start breakfast cereals with Kellogg’s being part of the group. Traditionally, Kellogg’s has always been available in 500g or 150g, big boxes, but we want to start offering smaller sachets which will be in the range of 1 to 1.5 cedis. C1,C2, D, or E socioeconomic classes have limited funds on hand and want to buy these types of brands, but because of the price or the size of the product pack, they cannot buy those products. Now, for 1-1.5 cedis to 2 cedis you can provide this nutritious food to your family. In other products, we have already started with a bleach called Hypo bleach. There, our USP is to offer the product in a small sachet which costs 50 pesewas. Traditionally, there are 1L, 900ml, 500ml bottles, but with this one time use size, you can wash your clothes. We want to give to the masses a product which is really affordable and that they can make use of.


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