Start small and grow big is one of the major advice given to start-ups by investment gurus.
This is true to Zubairi Mukaaya, a resident of Nankandhulo, Kisozi Sub County in Kamuli district, who has grown from 10 chickens to become a millionaire-without using a bank loan.
The Primary three dropout says when father died when he was still young, he couldn’t afford to continue with education since his dad was the bread winner.
He didn’t lose hope, but rather chose to do business; in 1999, he started buying coffee husks from Kamuli town and other nearby coffee processing cottage industries which he would sell in Kampala.
“When I saw that the business (coffee husks) was less profitable, I decided to start poultry business,” Mukaaya says.
He adds: “It has been a long journey to buy these two incubators. I started with 10 chickens. I would take the eggs they had laid to Buwenge town at Ms Norah Mwembe, who had an incubator by then and every egg was hatched at Shs250.”
Buwenge is 26kms from Nankandhulo and sometimes he used to take the eggs using a bicycle.
“In 2007, I learnt the new technology of hatching the cross breeds using the local cocks,” he says, adding that he kept on multiplying them.
After a few years, they had multiplied to 1,000 and it was around this time when he got his own hatchery and a generator worth shs15m through his farmer’s group of NAADS.
In 2013, he started the hatching business at a higher level, starting with 700 chicks every week and 2,800 in a month. He would sell each chick at Shs2, 500 and sometimes he was paid in advance for them.
“I cut the expenditures by selling off the excess number of chicks and chickens and in that process I earned money in millions,” he explains.
Buying Second Hatchery
When the business boomed, Mukaaya realized he needed to buy a second hatchery to meet the demand from the public and other programs from the government like Operation Wealth creation (OWC) and NGOs like Child fund and Plan International.
“I bought the hatchery at Shs11m and this has made my farm to become a depot of eggs and one day and above chicks which I sell and reap good money from,” he says, adding that the two hatcheries produce between 1,500 and 2,500 chicks every week and over 8,000 per month.
In a year, he is able to earn a profit of over Shs70m.
Besides having a stable income, he has bought a brand new Ipsum vehicle at Shs12m which eases his transportation needs. He adds that while he didn’t go far in education, his children are all in good schools and others have finished University; the three who are still at University, he pays them tuition of Shs6m per semester.
He also built a multi-million residential house.
“I have bought a number of plots of land in many areas of the country and in my plans, I have a dream of hosting the President Museveni on my farm,” he says.
Mukaaya says he is a good admirer of people with money and this has driven him to work hard to get where he is now. He adds that he knows well the power of saving and he doesn’t just lend money or give it out because he has it.
“I have never got a loan from any bank because I know they have their own problems,” he says. He adds: “I’m not extravagant on my profits; I only buy the property which is of importance to me and my family. Even if I get difficulties, I don’t sell the achieved properties but I look around and solve the problem.”
He reveals that involving his family into the business has made the business operate smoothly.
He says he’s not affected by unreliable power for he has a generator.
“On the unreliable power, I have a standby generator which runs the hatcheries if it goes off,” he says, adding that he sensitizes SACCOS and the local community surrounding him about money matters and hatches their eggs at a free cost to enable them fight poverty.