Born out of Covid-19 blues, Muyanja’s yoghurt business thrives

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit Uganda, 30-year-old Robert Muyanja was among the many whose lives never remained the same.

“I lost my job and what I had to do was turn to a business I for long had in my mind, yoghurt making,” the graduate of Information Technology says.

Muyanja says besides losing a job during the pandemic, his wife gave birth meaning he had to find something that provided money.

But he did not stumble into the business by accident.

In 2012 while in his senior six vacation, he started making yoghurt from home thanks to his father.

 “My foster dad taught me how to make yoghurt. I learnt from there and when things got bitter for me, many years later, I had to recall what I had learnt to ensure I earn,” he says.

He says that since the foster dad was dealing in yoghurt business, he learnt the skills from there and many years later, these could come in handy.

“Since I am always inquisitive, I learnt fast and before I knew it, I had been left to run the business and this gave me a lot of experience,” he says.

The start

Muyanja raised his first capital from proceeds of a motorcycle he sold.

 “I sold it for a loss and got shs2.5 million. I used the money to buy three milk cans, jerrycans, big saucepan and other utensils. Since I didn’t have enough capital and everything is expensive, I had to do it the local way,” he says.

Later he teamed up with someone and they raised another Shs 4 million which gave the business a boost. He says having got skills from home, it was not so difficult to run his own business of yoghurt making.

Muyanja says made a lot of research by reading into what he termed as milk science to know how to make good yoghurt.

First customers

Despite graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology, Muyanja worked for four years as a journalist for government owned Vision Group and he says when he started the yoghurt business, these were his first customers.

“I sold my first yoghurt to them but later got referrals from those who had enjoyed the product. I also made use of social media. Therefore, most of my clientele comes through referrals.”

Muyanja says his immediate social capital were media houses and their staff whom he knew and it was easy to sell them yoghurt.

“On my first day I sold yoghurt of Shs 600,000 in cash and shs180,000 on credit. This was sold only at New Vision,” he says.

He says before he knew it, the business had grown to unimaginable levels.

“I have been able to meet new people because of my yoghurt business. It has made me discover new things but also meet fellow businessmen in line of business,” he says.


Despite registering some successes, Muyanja says the business has not been without challenges.

“Price fluctuations for milk have affected me so much. Whereas the milk prices always go up and down, it is difficult to do the same for yoghurt.  You can’t just wake up and increase the price of yoghurt because the price of milk has gone up. If you sell a litre at shs5000 and you increase it to shs7000, it will be hard for customers to accept this. This means, whereas the cost of production goes up, it is difficult to increase prices for the product,” he says.

He says the increase in fuel prices and the high cost of living have affected him greatly.

According to Muyanja, this means the profit margin goes down.

“When you try to increase the price a little, customers complain and the best thing to do is keep it constant despite affecting the business greatly.”

He says that the long dry spells also affect the business since milk becomes scarce and on some occasions, he can’t meet orders for customers.

“There was a time I paid for milk upfront but for two weeks, I couldn’t produce yoghurt since there was a scarcity of milk due to the dry season,” he says.

He however says the business has weathered all challenges to remain standing.


Muyanja says what has stopped many youths from being successful is the fear of beginning something.

“What you should know is that when you have an idea, start. Plan and make research about the idea. For example, if you want to make yoghurt, plan and make research where to get nice milk, market and everything. It will make it easy for you when you start.”

The 30-year-old says the fear of making mistakes or a wrong start should not make youth fear going into business.

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