Ugandan Businessman Makes Fortune from Mom's Tastey Beverage
Sunday April 24, 2011
PRIOR to 1990, Charles Nsubuga had already started sailing through the world of business, jumping hurdle after hurdle in and outside Uganda.
This was until his mother, Lovinsa Nantume, served him with a beverage made from roasted soy beans instead of coffee that he took on a new line of business.
“I was fascinated by the taste of the beverage. What I also leant after a few days was that behind the wonderful taste lay the untold nutritional values of soy,” he recalls.
Through his Kyengera-based company, SESACO, Nsubuga has provided a suitable answer to President Yoweri Museveni’s continued call for value-addition, especially to agricultural products in which Uganda has a huge competitive advantage.
His innovative journey of improving soy has seen him producing nine soy products including Soya millet, Soya cup, Mummies and Daddies (Bagiya snacks), Brown butter, Soya nut, Brown sauce and Soy milk.
Nsubuga says he praises God for the successful innovations, especially his latest breakthrough of Soy meat he has recently introduced onto the local market.
Through a complex process, Nsubuga transforms soy into a product looking and tasting like meat.
Surprisingly, the only foreign material added to soy during this process is water, but the end product has no much moisture.
Soy meat is free of cholesterol and animal fats, and is enriched with zinc, calcium, micro-nutrients (Omega 3 and 6) proteins, fibre, magnesium and iron.
Nsubuga also manufactures Soy milk, which, according to him, has attracted overwhelming demand because it has no animal fats, cholesterol and lactose.
Coming in liquid and powdered forms, Soy milk is mostly demanded by people allergic to animal milk.
Nsubuga, whose factory employs 80 people, says he produces about 300 litres of Soy milk per day, yet 2,000 litres are needed.
“We are happy that people have responded positively and we get overwhelming demand everyday. But we are not able to satisfy the demand because we have limited production capacity. Our meagre financial resources cannot enable us buy the hi-tech processing plants to grow production,” he laments.
Appearing in dry small pieces packed in 200 gram packs, SESACO Soy meat goes for a sh6,000 per pack, which can serve 14 people.
This means one kilogramme can feed 70 people.
Nsubuga also plans to teach the local small and large scale bakers how to integrate soy floor into their products to help them attain the recommended nutritional standards.
Source of Nsubuga’s knowledge
Nsubuga said he attended the 2009 Uganda North American Association (UNAA) convention in the US where he addressed participants and marketed his products.
“I gave a presentation and at the end of it, I told the participants that I had heard about Soy meat and milk, but I did not know how to make them. After the session, two people from the University of Illinois approached me and offered to help me with the technology,” he says.
Nsubuga has also attained knowledge from the World Initiative for Soy in Human Health.
He says he would like to go back to the US for more training in soy processing.
By David Ssempijja: The New Vision Newspaper