Modern Tiles factory in Njeru Town, Uganda.
By David Rupiny
Undergirding her status as a premier investment destination, Modern Tiles, the biggest tiles factory in east and central Africa, has set up shop in Uganda.
The 180-billion-shilling ($50 million) investment is part of Modern Group of Companies, an industrial establishment running a portfolio of five diversified and integrated industries.
The Njeru town-based factory (in Buikwe District in central Uganda) currently produces 49,000 square metres of tiles per day, with the capacity planned to triple to 150,000 square metres per day at full capacity.
According to Ashish Monpara, Modern Group’s Chairperson, Modern Tiles currently employs 500 Ugandans directly. At full capacity, it will employ 1,600 Ugandans directly and over 3,000 indirectly.
Monpara says raw materials for the factory are sourced locally – from the districts of Buikwe and Mukono.
A significant part of machinery of the sprawling factory – the size of 15 football pitches – were fabricated locally, underpinning Uganda’s capacity to contribute to technological development.
Breaking the ground for the factory was done in November 2020 – during the Covid pandemic – and hardly 18 months later, the factory started producing high quality tiles for the market.
Monpara says the company has, as he puts it, “already established a conglomerate market for its tiles, as well as other products in Uganda, in the region and Africa”.
He disclosed that Modern Tiles already has a network of 250 dealers and more than 1,000 retail outlets in Uganda. The tiles are already being exported to Kenya and other countries in the region.
Monpara says Modern Group’s philosophy is to produce goods that help in import substitution while transferring technology and skills to Ugandans.
State Minister for Privatisation and Investment, Hon. Evelyn Anite, on a visit to the factory ahead of planned presidential commissioning, commended Modern Tiles for delivering on the promise to establish the biggest factory in Africa.
Minister Anite remarked thus: “We did groundbreaking here 18 months ago. What we started in a small way is now the biggest factory in east and central Africa, producing high quality titles in huge quantities. Ugandans now have no reason to import tiles because we have them in plenty. I applaud you for investing in Uganda, employing Ugandans and transferring technology and skills”.
The Minister observed that Modern Tiles is a fit into the Government policy of “Buy Uganda, Build Uganda” designed to promote value addition of raw materials and growth of locally manufactured goods.
The Chair of Uganda Investment Authority, Mr. Morrison Twesigye Rwakakamba, said Modern Tiles demonstrates Modern Group’s vision and sky-high dream of transformation of Uganda.
Monpara hails Uganda Investment Authority for facilitating establishment of the modern tiles factory.