In May 2014, Anthony Grendon took over the management of one of Ghana’s most iconic brands, Accra Brewery Limited (ABL), producers of Ghana’s number one selling beer - Club Premium Lager.
He took the Managing Director position at a time when ABL had recorded major strides in its operations, gaining significant market share. A trend he is more than capable of maintaining and growing.
Mr. Grendon has been part of ABL’s parent company, SABMiller Plc., for over 27 years during which he has served as Managing Director of Crown Beverages in Kenya, and Maloti Mountain Brewery in Lesotho.2006 and 2007.
An experienced MD with a strong market focus on innovation, Anthony’s expertise in the water bottling, and the brewing, packaging and manufacturing of beer across Africa is one that suited for ABL as the company gears towards continued growth with the completion of its expansion project.
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YEN.com.gh caught up with Mr Grendon to find out a bit about family, work philosophy and what it takes to run a business such as ABL.
Tell as 5 things Ghanaians don't know about the man behind the iconic brand, ABL
Family is very dear to me, just as trying to stay healthy is. I love exploring the beautiful countryside of Ghana on my mountain bike. Reading and quiet time is as well very important to me.
How did your background prepare you for your current position as the MD of ABL?
I have been very fortunate to have worked for a wonderful company for the last 27 years. SABMiller offers enormous opportunities for its employees. I have been privileged to have worked in 6 countries on our continent, all with their own rich legacies and cultural nuances that have consistently challenged me and at the same time enriched my life tremendously.
What do you see as the biggest challenges to achieving your goals as the MD of ABL?
Often our challenges are interconnected. I try to approach
What are the key ingredients to effective leadership and how do you define the role of the MD?
It’s all about people. Everybody longs to be acknowledged and respected with a desire for information and communication. Motivation, team togetherness and a view of what the future can look like is all key, in holding on to that dream. Effective leadership strives to bring this to life, it is consistent and fair but seldom takes comfort in consensus opinion.
Accra Breweries Limited continues to consistently achieve strong results. What makes ABL so special?
A discernable trait of our business which I believe sets us apart is our humility, not to be confused for weakness. In the biblical sense we are the David not the Goliath. Quietly focusing on making our business the best that it can be.
How critical is innovation to your success and how do you maintain an innovative culture with your size and scale?
We don’t have a choice, people’s tastes and preferences keep evolving and to stay relevant we need to keep abreast of the shift. We still believe we can be better and will keep striving to satisfy the persuasions of our consumers.
Which product of ABL do you consider the most successful in the Ghanaian market and what makes it so
It is our iconic Charlie brand – CLUB. It is part of the culture and deeply interwoven into the fabric of Ghanaian life. What will a celebration be without your Club? Here is an interesting fact, we now sell more Club in a month than what we sold in one year, ten years ago.
What is the importance of corporate philanthropy and social responsibility to ABL, and do the areas you support need to align with the business?
Absolutely, it is important for us to be a force for good in society and to make a difference in the lives of people in the communities in which we operate. One of our key goals is for “ABL to love Ghana and Ghana to love ABL” and we bring this to life through numerous activities e.g. responsible education on matters such as alcohol and
How do you see ABL changing in the next 5 years, and how do you see yourself creating that change?
Our business has more than doubled in volume over the last five years and at the current run rate there is a possibility
You have had many wins in your time leading Accra Brewery Limited. Do you take some time to reflect and celebrate or are you always focused on the next challenge?
I do both. It is always important to pause and give thanks but also to reflect on the learnings and what can be taken forward. Don’t pause too long, you are as good as your last move, the pace is fast and the race is on. In our business, a day lost is a sale lost and that’s simply not good business.