From Milk Hawker to Heading Multi-Million Food Company

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Choge
Joseph Malel Choge is the face behind  Premier Food Industries Limited (Peptang) Limited, where he has been the CEO since 2018.

According to the company’s website, it engages in the production and exportation of fruit juices, jams, puree, cordials, and canned food products – that are naturally farmed and without any preservatives.

Speaking to the Business Daily on Friday, February 14, Choge intimated that he had never thought that his journey would bring him to where he is right now.

“I grew up in Kitale, on a small farm. We grew maize and sold milk. I’d carry 100 litres of milk on my motorbike and take it to town daily. In fact, after high school, I didn’t want to go to university. I didn’t see the need to because I was making so much money,” he stated.

Joseph Malel Choge

He, however, narrated that his father pushed him to continue with tertiary schooling as a fallback plan and knowing him to be a strict military man, he had no option but to go to the university.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Choge holds a Bachelors degree in Mathematics and Operations Research and an MBA in International Management from the University of London.

He started off as an accounts assistant at Barclays before moving on to a more senior role at Unilever East and Southern Africa where he stayed for six years.

He then worked with Airtel in Gabon for about a year, but his star picked when he landed a spot as the general manager in charge of telecoms at the Industrial Promotion Services (IPS) in Uganda between 2017 and 2018.

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After joining Premier Foods in May 2018, the company credited Choge for turning around the fortunes of the Ugandan company from making an annual loss of Ksh1 billion to profitability in barely a year.

“It was this achievement that earned Joseph a promotion to the position of Chief Executive Officer at Premier Foods Industries (Peptang) early this year. And since he arrived in May, Premier Foods has posted record double-digit profits growth that he hopes to sustain as part of his five-year plan,” reads a statement on the company’s website dated December 2018.

Peptang CEO Joseph Choge (left) is interviewed by a K24 reporter after addressing the
Peptang CEO Joseph Choge (left) is interviewed by a K24 reporter after addressing the Go For It Campaign in Nairobi on October 16, 2019.

Choge, 38, told Business Daily that his past experiences were what encouraged him to keep working hard every single day to ensure a life of sufficiency.

“I am inspired by the small-scale tomato farmer who reminds me of my mother, toiling hard to increase output just to get that school fees for their kids,” he was quoted.

Choge has been married for 11 years now and has 3 children.

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