By Jaluum Herberts Luwizza. Twitter_@jaluwizza Tel:0787555919 ..
My biggest challenge as a business consultant has been to try and change the mindset of our people in regards to business. The content levels of our people are really so low. How big do we dream!? I ask myself some times because all we do is at subsistence level. Subsistence agriculture, subsistence business even subsistence politics. Very few of our people dream beyond the ordinary, that's educate your kids, put a roof over your head and buy yourself a small reused Japanese vehicle.
Speaking from a business perspective being a business consultant, most of our people have started business in pursuit of survival and when the feeling of being able to survive is achieved most lounge back into their comfort zones and only work to keep the ship on course. Last week I was telling a friend about Nickodemus and was comparing it to KFC.
Nickodemus is one brand I have heard of for years and the fact that KFC that just made in entry into the Ugandan market has more outlets than Nickodemus can only show you the level of our dreams as Ugandan business men or women. At worst Nickodemus (that's if it’s even still alive) as a brand should have been in every township in the country. The former defunct crane bank is one of the local businesses that tried to establish themselves regionally. But why!? One would ask. What's the cause of such a trend!? Is it our culture!? Does it have to do with who we are as people!?
I challenged a client some time back to tell me one big company (on account of revenues/income) that’s operating in one economical environment. All the big companies you know are well established in more than one economy/country unlike most of our businesses here that are only operating in one economic environment i.e. Uganda and now that the economy is doing badly everyone is fighting for dear life. I think we as Ugandans should start thinking regionally, continentally and globally in that when your business interests in Uganda get affected by the economy then you have Kenya to drink about. If your interests in Nigeria get affected then the South African or Namibian economies will afford you less worrying nights of sleep. But then how can we achieve this!?
Like they say, think big because you’re going to think any way. The world has been globalised and turned into one small village. There's no need to think small anymore though it shouldn't merely stop with big thinking but followed with bigger actions. We should start doing things like the rest of the world if we are to compete with the rest of the world. We have many multinational companies here that have brought the competition from their backyards right into ours and now are beating us on our own home stuff. The market in Uganda here is so thin to actually feed all the ever mushrooming businesses. As fish grow they move deeper into deeper waters to create space for the young ones to breed but when we have a scenario where even the big fish want to keep in the small pond then with time the food around stops being enough to feed them all and this can only lead to one thing, struggling and later death due to insufficient food.
The Ugandan market alone isn't big enough to feed the many businesses around hence the need to expand it by venturing into newer markets outside Uganda. The good news is that with the discovery of the internet, physical and geographical boundaries were broken so let’s make use of the internet to increase our outreach because there's a bigger market out there.