UGANDA, Kampala | Real Muloodi News | Real Estate Muloodi, Mr Harshad Barot, the founder of Tirupati Group Limited, was awarded the honour of the prestigious Gujarat Ratna Gaurav Award in India earlier this month. The award recognises individuals and organisations for their corporate excellence in business leadership.
The Tirupati Group, a provider of world-class housing and business complexes, brings affordable residential and commercial real estate solutions across India and Uganda.
Tirupati Group’s Ugandan projects include Namanve Shopping Center, Marina Portbell Apartments, Tirupati Bukoto Shopping Mall, Tirupati Heights, and Tirupati New Mazima.
Others are Tirupati Towers, Bugolobi Apartments, Mazima Shopping Mall I, Mazima Shopping Mall II, Tirupati Half London, Nkumba University Hostel, Owino Market, and Tirupati House.
Mr Miraj Barot, the managing director of Tirupati Group, received Mr Barot’s esteemed Gujarat Ratna Award on behalf of his father.
Miraj later explained that Ratna means jewel, and the Gujarat Ratna Award recognises hard work and people who have achieved well in society.
Who is Barot Harshad, and How Did He Start?
Barot Harshad’s story is a truly inspiring one. He is a genuine real muloodi, who started with nothing and built up his empire through hard work and ingenuity.
Harshad was born in 1960 in India in Gujarat state and grew up under hardship. In September 1993, he found his way to Uganda.
Arriving in Uganda, he had no relatives or friends. He headed to Nakasero Hindu Temple, which provides free accommodation to Indian community members who have nowhere to stay.
Harshad struggled to find work as he lacked a degree. After failing to get a job, he put his mind to go into business.
Harshad went to Kikuubo and bargained with the wholesalers, who gave him goods at a discount and sometimes on credit. He started a supply chain for the local small shops in town. Harshad would walk in the morning carrying samples of what he could supply to the small traders and take orders from them. He walked as far as Luzira, Seeta, Kansanga, and other city suburbs, moving from shop to shop.
Then, he hired a small car to deliver the orders he had taken. After delivering the merchandise, the next morning he would start walking again to take more orders. He was committed and worked extremely hard, and was soon making almost Shs 4,000 per hour.
Two months later, Harshad got a shop in Wandegeya from a customer that he had been supplying, Mrs Edaru Peter. He asked her to become a partner in the shop, running it while he would bring the goods, and they share the profits. She said she had other partners, including Mrs Joan Kakwenzire [now Private Secretary to the president in charge of poverty alleviation] and he agreed to have them on as partners too.
This was Harshad’s turning point in business. Before the partnership, the ladies were making Shs 50,000-60,000 in profits per day. After he joined them, their profits increased to Shs 300,000- 400,000.
After some time, Harshad got his own shop in Wandegeya with goods worth USh. 5 million. There were no supermarkets in Uganda around 1993-1994, and within six months, he had five supermarkets. He started the Umoja canteen at Makerere University, Ntinda Holiday Supermarket, and then people started coming to him asking for his help to start supermarket businesses.
From 1996-1997, Harshad went into property buying and selling. During the same period, he went into manufacturing baking powder, icing sugar, and sweets. Together with a group of people from Tirupati, they came up with the Tirupati Group. The major aim was to build a shopping mall where people would come, buy, and go. They built their first mall in Uganda in downtown Kampala-Kisenyi located in Owino Market.
Harshad credits the secret behind his success to knowing to calculate, diligently paying back credit, and involving family to work as a team. His son Miraj, the general manager of Tirupati properties, is the prime example of this.
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