Coca Cola to Open Plant in Somaliland
HARGEISA — If ever there was a brand that was truly international, this brand would of course be Coca Cola. Known in literally every corner of the world, it was once the most recognised brand worldwide. Even till this day, in the most remote regions of the world, people recognise the name and brand even in places where it is considered a luxury.
With the launch of the Coke Plant in Mogadishu in 2004, many were interested in seeing how profitable such a plant would be in the midst of the war torn country. The plant has since been closed down due to heavy fighting in the city and currently has no plans of reopening. Somaliland, on the other hand, has been a bastion of peace and stability in the region for over 19 years and just may be the answer to Coke’s needs to supply the region.
Coke is currently supplied to the region by exporters from Egypt, Djibouti as well as the UAE. While the quality of the products from some of those areas are questionable, it is the cost of these products in relation to local brands that has made it a luxury available only to those who are able to afford the half dollar price tag that they carry in most shops. A few wise Somalilander entrepreneurs realized quickly that there was a gap and excellent opportunity in this multi-million dollar industry in Somaliland and have taken it on themselves to bring the international big-name brand to Somaliland. Their timing couldn’t be better because it’s about time some of the big international players made their presence felt locally, because Somaliland is quickly becoming an important economic hub in the region.
The Coke plant is scheduled to be opened sometime before autumn, and staff have already been hired and are working on a major marketing campaign and the distribution of their family of products. The bottling factory will be located in a remote village on the road between Hargeisa & Berbera, making it central to distribution points all across the country.
The main investors in this project are the Geeley Arab family who have also taken on other investors in order to bring a more economical option to the people of Somaliland when it comes to their choice of beverages. Coke will be supplied in Somaliland by SBI (Somaliland Beverages Inc) and after the launch of the factory, bottles of Coke products will be priced to compete with locally bottled no-name brands and all Somalilanders will be able to take advantage of the great Coke taste at a great price.
There is no word yet as to whether or not SBI has considered recycling options for their output, however, perhaps somewhere in the future we can read about another group of Somaliland Entrepreneurs opening the country’s first recycling plant.