By Ben Sebuguzi
Indian Prime Minister Nerandra Modi has just concluded his two day visit in Uganda where he met thousands of Indians at Kololo Air strip.
According to President Museven’s speech,he noted that 80 percent of the top companies in Uganda are owned by Indians which means that others own only 20 percent which leaves a lot to be desired.
According to Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) studies, a research done indicated that just about 17 per cent of indigenous businesses in the country have been operating for at least two decades. This shows that Ugandan business mortality rates are still high.
This could be as a result of poor management skills and poor succession skills as most of the businesses die with their owners. Which is a different story with Indians business gurus. For them, they are able to orient their children at an early stage which has helped them run their enterprises from one decade to another which is very rare with indigenous Ugandans.
A case study of two Indian entrepreneurs of Ugandan origin, is a good lesson to not only youths of Uganda but the entire business community.
Mr. Alykhan Karmali, the top boss of Mukwano group of companies took over the mantle from his father Mr.Amirali Karmali who was born in Bukandula in 1930, and up to now Mukwano group is still a huge enterprise diversifying in agriculture,industry,real estate and among others where they are employing many Ugandans directly and indirectly with contracts of 45,000 outgrowers in Masindi.
Another most important business magnet of Indian origin who has withstood all storms including selling his bank (Crane Bank) without his consent is Mr. Sudhir Ruparelia. He is the Chairman and majority shareholder in Ruperelia Group with conglomerate in
Insurance, realestate, broadcasting, floriculture hotels, among others.
This man from Kasese who grew up from Jinja has managed to train his brilliant and aggressive son to be in charge of running his empire at an early age where by in case he is no longer alive, the son is able to add on what his father is to left behind. Rajiv Ruparelia has already shown signs that he is better than his father if you look at the permanent modern buildings which are enjoying Kampala skyline. Some of the buildings include Bouleverd,Market plaza to mention but a few, on top of running the biggest flower companies; Rosebud Limited and Premier Roses which employs 5000 youths. In total, Rajiv pays a monthly wage bill of Ush 3billions for all employees in his companies. This is a good example of a young person to emulate being groomed by his parents for proper succession of his father’s empire.
Ben Ssebuguzi is the Team Leader Youth Power Research Uganda.
Secretary General Uganda Poor Youth Movement.