The future lies in hands of go getters! Considering the increasing levels of unemployment globally, the need for soft skills is increasingly becoming important than ever before.
In Uganda, statistics show that over 400,000 people graduate annually from universities and other tertiary institutions but only 9,000 are able to get a job, leaving a job deficit of 391,000.
This situation has seen a number of youths think outside the box, venturing into fields completely different from what they studied.
Tom Musinguzi, 24, had a dream of becoming one of the leading Information and Technology experts in Uganda, but today, he finds himself into meat processing. And he isn’t regretting.
After observing his daddy, James Bagorogoza, do well in meat processing, Musinguzi’s passion for meat value addition started to emerge.
And when he failed to get an IT job after graduating a few years ago, he abandoned his IT skills for meat processing. His father who works at Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI) enticed him to come and taste money accumulated from meat related products.
Indeed, as a well brought up child, he heed to his daddy’s advice and today, he is the proud founder and Managing Director of Harvest Meat (U) Ltd, a company dealing in meat processing, with sausages of all sorts and boneless meat.
The company processes about 19 products and these are available in all major supermarkets in Kampala.
How He Started
“As a youth, and an IT specialist, I didn’t think about feeding the nation with my super quality meat products, I only thought about computers, but today I stand firm to say that we have the best products on the market because go through a thorough production process,” says Musinguzi.
During his school times, Musigunzi would put aside part of his pocket money. After saving Shs2m and acquiring knowledge from UIRI, he used the same money to purchase a few requirements for his business to jump start.
“We can’t take anything to the market before laboratory tests are approved. That’s why we are beating other players slowly because the content we offer has all the procedures that are not limited to hygiene, proper packaging and ingredient selection,” says Musinguzi.
After deducting all costs, Musinguzi says he earns about Shs2.5m per month and is certain that this will increase with time since the demand for his products is overwhelmingly high.
Musinguzi, who employs three people, says the demand for his services and products can’t easily be satisfied as per now.
“I employ professionals since food services requires professionalism,” he says.
Mentioning about the costs involved into his admirable venture, Musinguzi says that casings are making him face rough music; he spends over Shs420, 000 on every casing.
If the many unprofessional players in the market weren’t available, Musinguzi’s list of challenges would be limited. He says that the market is not well regulated to the extent that the level of substandard food products is still taking a leading role in circulations.
“Government should look at talented youth since they have skills in some fields of operations. This is the only way self-employment should be advocated for as it yields results and we are certain that one time, youth unemployment shall be history,” he says.
While the demand for his products is increasing, Musinguzi sees himself above the skies in a few years to come. At the moment, he is hunting for a long-term model that can see him construct his own processing plant.
This according to him will not only benefit his other professional colleagues, but will add value to meat.
He is looking for over Shs500m to purchase the best equipment to expand his production.
“Once I land my hands on such equipment, we shall expand to nearby countries and employ more Ugandans,” he says.