Ahhhh Kenya, the wild wild East of Africa. When I first met Allister in 2015, he was a man with a dream and a vision; to bring Under the Influence into East Africa. Little did I know I would be an integral part of bringing Kenya under the influence.
For any new business, especially one supplying products, the biggest challenge I find is getting the supply chain right. A common complaint we hear is that suppliers are just not consistent and reliable. Sourcing wine from South Africa or any other wine region has the added complexity of unpredictable shipping, lead times and local clearance issues. This means we have to find the best and most efficient way to be able to become a reliable and consistent supplier. This is the goal we work towards every single day. We aren’t perfect. Sometimes “Kenya happens” but I believe we have invested a good amount of time understanding the import policies and procedures and how to make things happens. I would also like to believe that our honesty especially when things aren’t going right will help keep us in the game for a long time to come.
For us at Under the Influence, the work never ends after we sell the bottle, we have to continuously endeavour to add value to our clients. It could be sponsoring wine for a charitable cause or flying in special wines for VIP clients with 2 days’ notice! You have to develop good relationships with your clients and work with them to ensure they are delivering the ultimate guest experience at their properties.
In July, we will be rolling out version three of our Beverage Intelligence platform across the market, and we hope that we can continue to add more value to our customers. Customers will be able to pick and choose from our full portfolio at the click of a button and also have access to usage history, suggested orders, their own trend analysis, and our new online university.
Training is a huge part of what we do and what we love, but we also like to bring people together. To this end, we are hosting a series of “Under the Influence of a Winemaker” events during the course of the year. We had the privilege of hosting Stark-Conde, Rascallion and Iona in the market. For so many of these brands they don’t get to see the markets their wines are in, so for them and for us it’s an integral part of living our mantra “better beverages into Africa.”
Finally, we’re all about lifting people’s spirits. We will be supplying a fantastic selection of craft gins, tonics and cordials into the market. In the past few years, gin has steadily shed its image of being associated with unimaginative executives and Victorian deviants! It’s our goal to ensure that everyone is sipping on more than just a regular G&T but that perfect cocktail that puts you under the right influence!