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How A-Plus has grown through the years

Qn: A few years ago no one would think that funeral management would be a big industry. Was it copied from somewhere or it was just a new innovation that someone just tried out?
A: Funeral management as an industry, was an idea that we borrowed from different countries that had been practice it such as South Africa, Kenya, and other Western countries. It was successful there and given the trends that keep changing every now and then, we believed that people will, over time adapt to it.

Qn: How could you rate the funeral management industry at the moment in terms of competition, service delivery capacity and the untapped market segment?
A: Competition is stiff definitely but most especially between the top two leading funeral companies. These two companies have been in the market longer than any other which renders them with more experience and market share. The market segment has grown and has really grown by a big portion.

Qn: How affordable do you plan to make funeral services considering that at the moment, it is mostly consumed by affluent families?
A: Funeral services are affordable already. There is a wide range of schemes that cater for both the low class and the high class people. All classes of people have procured these services.

Qn: Most of the businesses, in one way or the other need government’s hand. What type of interventions do you think government can undertake in respect of your business?
A: The government can intervene through providing regulatory policies that directly regulate the activities of funeral companies to ensure fair and streamlined activities. This might be the need today but there might be other needs like a regulatory authority.

Qn: How would you compare Uganda’s funeral management industry to the rest of Africa and the world at large?
A: In Uganda, penetration is still low compared to our counterparts in other African countries. Funeral management is a recent innovation here but we are hopeful as we have witnessed tremendous growth in the time that we have been there.

Qn: Are you running any funeral insurance service? What the current uptake level of the product and what are some of the new areas you intend to venture into?
A: Yes, we are running a funeral insurance product called A-Plus Care. It’s a funeral policy designed for a family unity and corporate organisations can subscribe to it. The response to this product, I must say, has been suprising. The uptake level has been good and is rising higher per month. People have actually got to learn that instead of pooling millions of shillings after losing their loved ones, they can buy insurance by paying a few thousand shillings every year to cover up for the millions.

Qn: How challenging is managing a funeral services home?
A: Wow! There is quite a number of challenges. The profession itself is quite challenging. I mean dealing in this area of life’s journey. Having to empathise with our clients, the people’s mindset that funeral services are only for the wealthy. Epidemic diseases have also stood in our way because we want to protect our staff from any form of infection. People think funeral service providers have solutions for everything so they would not want to associate with people who have died of epidemics that is why they call us in.

Qn: Where do you see the funeral management industry in the next five years in terms of public appreciation and innovations?
A: I believe in regards to public appreciation that nail has been hit well. But what I want in five years is for most people if not all to have a funeral insurance policy. Believe me it saves you a lot of distress, more funeral homes set up to add on our capacity, a transformed mindset of the people from this negativity to an embracive approach.

Qn: Under what conditions do you think one cannot avoid engaging a funeral management service provider?
A: If anyone loses a loved one, no matter under what circumstances, engaging a funeral management service provider like A-Plus is inevitable because we have what it takes, is it capacity to deliver? Is it customer care? Is it a funeral home? Could it be state of the art hearses? Experts in grave construction? You name it, A-plus has it all.

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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