UGANDA, Kampala | Real Muloodi News | Amos Njuguna Ndung’u, a Kenyan-born businessman successfully running a construction company in Uganda, shares his insights on why starting a real estate business in Uganda offers more favourable prospects than in Kenya.
In an interview with Chams Media’s Daring Abroad, Ndung’u explains his journey from leaving his village in Naivasha in 2003 to pursue studies in Uganda, which eventually led him to entrepreneurship.
For 11 years now, Ndung’u has been running his construction business in Uganda alongside his two Kenyan partners.
Ndung’u, Antony Kaberia and Joseph Juma, his two partners, established their construction company, Bidii Sitewise, in Kampala after determining that it would be more profitable and easier compared to Kenya.
“We all met here in Uganda and decided to venture into construction works in 2012. Our first entrance into the construction industry was the telecommunication services and it was at a time when 3G network was coming into the market so there was a big need for fibre laying services,” he stated.
Ndung’u emphasised that Uganda provides a more conducive business environment compared to Kenya. He highlighted the flexibility of the tax system and the absence of strict measures that impede business expansion, particularly for startups.
“The government does not have any strict measures that are hindering us, and the tax body is not very strict so when you have an arrangement with them and you are able to pay your liabilities, you will not encounter any issues,” he stated.
According to him, Uganda offers numerous untapped opportunities in various sectors, including real estate, manufacturing, and farming, which Kenyan investors can leverage.
Ndung’u stated, “I can tell people to come and venture into the construction industry here because it is not exploited enough. Also, there is land. If you want to do farming, you can still come and start your business here.”
Untapped Real Estate Potential
One area that Ndung’u specifically highlighted is the untapped potential in the real estate business. He mentioned that the market in Uganda remains relatively unexplored, making it an opportune time for investors to enter the industry.
Whether it’s selling houses or other real estate ventures, Ndung’u believes there is ample room for growth and profitability.
Additionally, he pointed out that businesses in other sectors, such as grains, foodstuff, and clothing, are also performing well in Uganda.
While praising the business environment, Ndung’u acknowledged that the workforce in Uganda lacks experience, which poses a challenge for employers.
To overcome this, he implemented in-house training programs to ensure his employees deliver the desired results.
However, despite this hurdle, Ndung’u remained optimistic about the overall opportunities available in Uganda.
Struggles of Kenyan Startups
Drawing a comparison to Kenya, Ndung’u expressed concerns about strict government policies that often lead to the failure of startups in the country.
He suggested that the tax authorities in Kenya should improve their approach and avoid harassing business owners, especially those in the early stages of their ventures.
Ndung’u emphasised that startups are bound to make mistakes and should be given room to learn and grow.
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