Uganda Breweries Limited (UBL) Managing Director- Andrew Kilonzo, on Monday (November 6th) morning, paid a courtesy call on the new I&M Bank Uganda CEO- Robin Bairstow, at the bank’s head offices at Kingdom Kampala.
The two business captains held a productive and insightful meeting, with w discussions focussing on the business landscape in the country.
Inclusion, a very common, but unpopular topic, as well as digitalization of business systems, headlined the meeting that lasted for slightly over an hour.
Inclusion develops the feeling of belonging in society. It is also important for corporate organizations to be inclusive, to promote an environment where all individuals, regardless of background, beliefs, physical appearance, have a voice.
By encouraging diverse and inclusive spaces, companies create a convenient environment where all individuals are empowered to contribute their unique insights and skills, hence creating room for innovations and solutions.
The two leaders already boast records of overseeing inclusive organisations; in 2019, UBL joined the Uganda Business and Disability Network (UBDN) during its launch, paving the way for a commendable program that supports the employment of individuals with disabilities.
The UBDN is an employer-led network in Uganda working towards creating workplaces and a company culture that is respectful and inclusive towards persons with disabilities.
During Mr. Bairstow’s tenure as CEO of I&M Bank Rwanda, he successfully spearheaded an inclusion program for women by adopting and implementing the gender equality action plan.
As part of last year’s International Women’s Day celebrations,I&M Bank Rwanda was one the the 19 organisations recognised by UN Women Rwanda, Rwanda’s Gender Monitoring Office (GMO), Private Sector Federation (PSF) and UNDP
for instituted gender accountability by promoting gender-responsive work environments. He intends to leverage his experience to further the same efforts in Uganda, and also expressed interest in I&M Bank Uganda replicating UBL’s partnership with UBDN.
Kilonzo and Bairstow also discussed the possibility of fostering collaboration in areas of mutual interest; both I&M Bank and UBL already have partnerships in golf, environmental conservation, and are both keen on bettering the communities where their businesses operate.
The two also dissected the topic of digitalization of trade, and discussed exploration of innovative ways to streamline and enhance business processes.
The meeting between the two business leaders was timely and holds great potential for both organizations and their broader communities, as they target to make significant steps to better the business landscape in Uganda.
After their meeting, Bairstow, together with Annette Nakiyaga, the head of marketing and corporate affairs at I&M Bank, took Kilonzo on a tour of the premium Kingdom Kampala branch.
“I&M Bank Uganda believes that the prosperity of business and society is inextricably linked and to actualise this belief, the financial institution supports deserving projects that help it deliver a positive impact on society. This meeting marks a significant step forward in I&M Bank’s mission to create a more inclusive and innovative business environment,” said Nakiyaga.