Kampala, Uganda | Patricia Akankwatsa | Uganda Baati, a giant in providing customized roofing solutions in Uganda, last week held its annual dealers’ conference at Speke Resort Munyonyo under the theme: “Partnerships for shared success.”
Speaking to the media on 15th July, the Company’s Business Head, George Arodi, said Uganda Baati’s journey over the years has been characterized by product innovation, anticipating and satisfying customer needs as well ensuring employee welfare through engaging in various internal programs.
“We cherish our partners and the key partners that we have on the market is distribution. The dealers account for about 60% of our total sales,” Arodi said, revealing that the engagement with the dealers is “For us to be able to share ideas.”
According to Arodi, the presentations being undertaken during the conference on running the family business are to arm “our dealers with how they can be able to run the family business for posterity.”
“That is important to us. We are not giving the dealers what we want them to hear but what we can give them for their businesses to be able to thrive,” Arodi noted.
Arodi said that most of the hardware shops are family businesses, explaining that “they are not well structured like private companies or limited companies.”
“How we have related throughout the years and through the research shows that they don’t be able to go beyond the second generation and we want to unpack the reasons why they can’t be able to grow through the second generation because their presence and their business continuity is also very prime for the continuity of our business,” Arodi said.
He said that the first conference was held in 2019 but due to lockdowns, they missed 2020 and 2021.
“But now that we are back, it is going to be consistent,” he added
Uganda Manufacturers Association-UMA Executive Director, Daniel Birungi, commended Uganda Baati for setting the stage for engagement.
“We commend Uganda Baati for this conversation to say how we work together to ensure that the product sent to the market is affordable for everyone involved,” Birungi said.
According to Anthony Nganga, the Safal Group Marketing, Communication and External Affairs Director, the Group established the e-commerce platform to make sure that those who start online can finish online.
5 or 10 years from today, he said, “a lot of purchases will be online but we are starting the journey now.”
Growing family business
Dr Peter Kimbowa, Global leadership catalyst, said that all big companies start very small, “but family businesses have had a different way in which they have excelled, because of their togetherness and commitment.
“We have to bring the family together so that they can have a sense of ownership for the businesses and can take responsibility when the need arises,” Kimbowa told participants.
Dr Kimbowa said that it is very important for business owners to demonstrate a plan for continuity within a family business by making plans for the future that involve and are beneficial for each member of the family.
Peter Kyambadde, the senior manager of tax and corporate services at KPMG said that businesses should create structures to ensure they comply with tax obligations in order to shelter their businesses from collapsing.
He also said that authorities mainly the Uganda Revenue Authority carry out tax education and sensitize the business community about their tax obligations.
Construction and Hardware Dealers Association (CHADA) Chairman, Abbas Mutyaba, said that it is essential to instil the right culture in our family to enable them to work together towards ensuring that a family business continues to stand the test of time.