By Patrick Kagenda
Construction of Ovino Market is over and the market is ready for occupancy. The Independent’s Patrick Kagenda talked to Miraj Barot the head of marketing at the Tirupati Group which is behind the Ovino dream.
Now that construction of the market is complete what is next?
Well 90% of the job is complete. We have started handing over the units to their rightful owners.Already banks like Fina, Equity and Housing Finance have taken over their units and started their work. The small business community has also started stocking their units.
What is required of a person before getting a unit?
The issue of the units started 20 months ago. People have all along been paying in installments. At the beginning of the Ovino project people paid a booking fee of Shs one million and we gave them 28 days to pay the balance of the 20% and the balance was being paid in installments. For instance if one owed us Shs 20 million he paid one million as a commitment and another Shs 4 million was brought in 28 days and the balance of Shs 15 million was divided into 20 months installments which translated to a payment of over Shs one million for every month.
Have all the people who paid a commitment fee finalised their payments?
Not all of them have but people are clearing their balances. One thing from our side is that we re not pushing them to pay fast. We have to give them extra time of about one month to fully clear their balances. We did not want people to go for bank loans because it would be straining to them. We agreed on installments that are interest free.
Does whoever clears the balance get a title for the unit he is to take?
Every unit has a condominium title which looks like a land title. The title is accompanied with a possession letter. Because land titles take time to process we are first giving the unit owners possession letters and when the titles come we will hand them over to the respective owners. The whole point is that they should start doing their businesses as the titles are processed. We started with the ground floor titles which we have completed giving out and we are now working on the upper floor titles.
What happens after every one has got his title?
Our mandate will stop at handing over the titles, maintaining the structure and overseeing the cleanliness of the market. What business people are going to do is not under our mandate. These are individual units and their owners know what they will be using them for. They can use them for their businesses or they can rent them out. As the Tirupati Group our business will be stopping at the unit’s door. What goes on inside the unit is not our concern.
What new thing is the Ovino Market bringing to the Kampala business community?
Ovino has 350 shops excluding the restaurants and banks. Assuming one shop hosts ten people that will translate to 3500 people who will be operating in one organised market. Ovino is creating 3,500 jobs which will make it very convenient for banks to reach the unbanked segment among the small businesses.
Why did the Tirupati group go for a market close to the countries biggest market?
We wanted to raise the standard of markets in Uganda. The Ovino Market is a modern highly organised market. It’s the only market in Uganda that has banks, restaurants; telecommunications companies name it all in one place. So when a person comes to shop he/she will find every thing he wants in one place unlike in the past when one had to run around town looking for this and that. Ovino Market is on the standard of international markets.
Where next are you moving to after here?
We are already working on our other project at Nsambya where we are building the Mazima Shopping Mall. The mall will have over 300 shops and will also create employment for over 3,000 people. This project will take us 18 months to complete. Then after it we shall continue with our other coming projects like the Jinja Recreational Park and others.