In the context of boosting local companies' trade within the East African Community, the Rwanda Development Board last week organized a training for entrepreneurs on how to do a successful market analysis to increase their competitiveness on the EAC market.
The training, organized in partnership with the Uganda Export Promotion Board and TradeMark East Africa (through its MarketLinked initiative which aims to help develop business ties between manufacturers and buyers in the East African Community), focused on sales-oriented market development services such as skills for effective regional and international sales negotiations, skills on how to identify interested buyers and skills regarding sales missions.
Lead by Robert Moodie, a trade development expert, the business executives looked at key questions to successfully conquer the Ugandan market. They were required to set SMART objectives (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound) and identify what exactly is supposed to be achieved.
"Reasonably, how much of the Ugandan market should you try to get?" Moodie asked. "It will all depend on the action you will set to achieve the identified objectives."
The entrepreneurs were also given tips on calculating the expected profit and how to do the risk analysis with the aim of developing a set of feasible responses.
In addition, the expert cautioned them to closely examine their products. "If we are to see substantial Rwandan manufacturing bases in Uganda or Kenya, we need to do more to improve the competitiveness of our products by adding value, not only for the domestic market but also for exports," Moodie said.
The training comes as a follow-up to a visit to Uganda by Rwandan entrepreneurs in April that aimed at exploring the Ugandan market and distributing samples to potential buyers. However, some of the participants complained that so far there had been no reaction.
"We left samples of our products in Uganda together with our contacts and we are still waiting for feedback," said Isae Bitegetsimana, the sales manager of Urwibutso. "What we really need is observations and remarks about how our products can be improved for Ugandan customers. But we are ready to compete on both the regional and international market."
Other participants were Sulfo Rwanda Industries, Sosoma Industries, Macadamia Producers, Cotraco, Shillington Rwanda, Trust Industries, and Santé Herbal.