Avirmed Mendbayar has been working at APU AG, the leading Mongolian beer and vodka manufacturer, for five years now. Around half of the beer produced in Mongolia comes from his brewery. Ten years ago, the purchasing manager completed his degree in business studies in Berlin. As head of APU’s purchasing department, he therefore looked forward to refreshing his knowledge and skills by participating in the Manager Training Programme. “The economy changes extremely rapidly these days. So an update was very good for me,” Mendbayar observes.
However, improving his management skills was not Mendbayar’s only goal. For months, he had been working on a massive scale expansion of the brewery, which was working to full capacity. A new fermentation plant with twelve tanks and a bottling system had already been ordered in Germany. Construction of the production halls began in autumn 2009.
Crucial to the expansion project was a loan. During his time in Germany, Mendbayar negotiated with a leading German bank and a reinsurance company, and was granted a loan for the machinery. APU AG ultimately opted for a loan of 25 million US dollars from a European development bank, which not only covered the purchase of machinery but gave him some working capital and enough to invest in buildings and infrastructure.
“We really did implement the project in a very short space of time, and had completed the expansion work by June 2010. We now have a capacity of 500,000 hectolitres per year, and a new can production line with a capacity of 15,000 cans per hour,” says Mendbayar. ‘Made in Mongolia’ beer has been available since the summer of 2010.
“We Mongolians are often cautious. But we should not be shy; we must take advantage of the opportunities that arise. It is our duty to make the most of our stay here,” Mendbayar sums up. “I would like to thank the organisers for arranging the excellent contact with companies. This was very helpful, especially for less experienced participants, because many German companies are still cautious when it comes to co-operating with Mongolian companies.”
Name: Avirmed Mendbayar
Company: APU AG, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Sector: Beverage company
Position: Head of Procurement
Training in Germany: 11 October – 8 November, 2009
Training centre: Carl Duisberg Centren, Cologne