Local manufacturing sector is set to get a boost following a $1 million (about Rwf785 million) investment commitment by an Indian-based firm seeking to produce laundry and detergent products in the country.
Aroma International is involved in the production of soaps and detergents and will soon venture into oil mills.
The firm, which has been exporting products to East Africa for about 30 years now, says it plans to produce for local consumption with possibilities of exporting surplus production.
In an interview Tuesday, Uday Mahajan, one of the directors of the firm, told The New Times that after assessing the Rwandan market, they had found it viable for investment and an ideal entry point into the region.
Speaking of their experience in settling in the country, Mahajan said they had been able to register their business in less than six hours and had received a lot of business facilitation in the process.
“It was very convenient, it took less than six hours to register the company. In other countries in the region, they do not do it as fast. We are now looking for land where we can set up the plant and get rolling,” Mahajan said.
Production is expected to begin in a few months at a capacity of between 300 and 400 tonnes a week for laundry soap, he said.
“According to information provided, there will be no duty levied on the raw materials, which will definitely help us improve our competitiveness,” Mahajan said.
On the launch of the firm, they will hire and train about 20 people with the number set to increase with the growth of the enterprise.
This is in line with the Government’s plan to grow the manufacturing sector to reduce reliance on imports that exert pressure on the local currency value.
More firms interested
Meanwhile, two other Indian firms have expressed interest in entering the Rwandan market in the financial services sector and sport tourism.
Metalking Ventures, a holding company with interests in jewellery manufacturing, energy generation and financial consultancy, among others, is currently in the process of setting up shop in Rwanda.
According to Manish Rangari, the director of the firm, they are looking to venture into the financial services sector with a collective investment scheme model.
“It will be good for retail investors, savings and people looking to get a good rate on their return. We are targeting the East African region using Rwanda as a base. We feel like we will be able to penetrate in the east African region through Rwanda,” Rangari said yesterday.
He said their interest in the Rwandan market had been informed by the prevailing security and ease of doing business in the country.
Another firm, Zelus Sports, is also set to debut into the Rwandan market in coming months.
The sports marketing, events management and sports equipment company, is set to introduce sports tourism.
The venture involves bringing Indian teams to play matches in Rwanda as well as sample the country’s touristic sites.
The firm’s director, Anil Kalekar, said by blending tourism and sports, Rwanda will see an increase in the number of tourists coming into the country.
He said the country’s security reputation made it ideal for such a venture to thrive. The venture will target cricket with possibilities of expanding into football and basketball.
Officials of the firm are currently holding talks with government officials and inspecting sports facilities across the country.
The tourism sector has been attempting to introduce multiple packages to diversify the profile of tourists coming into the country.
Source: New Times