By Ian Ortega
Honesty is something that’s not compatible with the Ugandan society at large, especially in the section of Ugandan businessmen and entrepreneurs. Yet, I think it’s high time some of us took that road less traveled and became honest about a number of things. It is this candidness that could help future start-up entrepreneurs in Uganda to be well-prepared for the jungle of business.
I had a discussion with one of my friends. I told him that start-ups such as Kaymu, Jumia, Hellofood and many others were yet to begin making abnormal profits, it was all a matter of time. I told him that everything we can’t seem to see about online businesses will become clear in the Ugandan context the moment internet penetration goes beyond the 50% mark. I know MTN Uganda is working day and night to make that possible. If at a penetration of less than 30% we can already feel the impact of the online industry, what is going to happen at over 50%?
On what elements play a crucial role in the success of a start-up, the following five were listed:
4. Business Model
Timing was considered to play the biggest role in start-up success. The difference between Facebook and Myspace was more about timing. Too early and your idea may fail. Too late and you find the industry saturated.
The Team came in second especially the founders. Most start-ups failed because of intrigue between the co-founders, collisions. Some failed because one of the founders didn’t do his role as required.
The Idea itself was ranked third. Notice something crazy here. Contrary to common thought of the idea being the most important thing, it was third on this research done on over 400 start-ups. But it was still important. How good is the idea? Do people understand the idea?
Fourth was the Business Model because regardless of what you do, if you are working with a wrong business model, it will eventually collapse.
Finally, it was the Funding. This is greatly lacking in Uganda. Unlike in America where Venture Capitalists pour millions and millions at start-ups, in Uganda, most funding for start-ups comes from the pockets of the founders.
But what struck me the most was the fact that Timing was everything. Timing is the difference between life and death on the road. Because of timing, a man who was earlier rejected by a girl gets accepted hours later during a night out. Timing at the airport implies that too early and you have to wait, too late and you find the plane gone. Yes, too late and you find your dream girl already taken.
I have taken a special interest in timing because I have seen it lead to the collapse of many Ugandan start-ups especially those in the Online field. I have seen online businesses in Uganda fail not because they had a wrong business model, not because their idea was poor, not because they had an incompetent team, not because they lacked funding but largely because the timing is right just yet.
If some online start-ups in Uganda were honest, they would confess that they are not even operating at 1% of their potential. Why? Because the timing is not yet right in Uganda.
So then, why is the timing still wrong for online start-ups in Uganda? Simple, the internet penetration is still low. Coupled with this, the internet costs are still high, internet speeds are still low and generally the infrastructure required to start and run an online start-up in Uganda is lacking in most areas.
Thus, most Ugandan start-ups are forced to fight over the market of Kampala and its suburbs. It’s as though other parts of Uganda are not present.
As of 1st December 2014, internet penetration in Uganda was 18.1% of the population. We have an estimated 10 million internet users in Uganda. Of these 10 million users, 5 million are not active users. They are once in a blue moon users who still have to buy bundles once in a week if not in a fortnight. Of these internet users, the computer literacy is still at its lowest. In fact, when you measure by internet subscriptions, there are only 4.2 million mobile internet subscriptions in Uganda and just 100,000 fixed internet subscriptions.
Online Start-ups in Uganda ought to have all this at their back as they venture into this field with all their glossy ideas. They are working to win over just 5 million users who spend no more than one hour on the internet per day.
Is the future brighter? Yes it is. But that could be in the next three years. It’s just not yet time for most online startups in Uganda. They would be better off waiting a little longer or probably starting small and letting their ideas grow organically in line with growth in the internet penetration in Uganda. It’s a hard fact to fathom, yet ignoring it could see many get depressed when their expectations don’t much the reality.
New Whiskey Hits Ugandan Market, Experts Jet In For Official Launch
Two new whisky brands from Scotland have hit the Ugandan Market.
The brands are manufactured in Scotland by Premier Distillers Ltd. The most sought-after whiskys in the world -Old Glen and 9 Barrels have already hit the Ugandan market. In fact as you read this, two whisky experts from Scotland landed in the country on Tuesday for the official launch this Thursday 4 July at Hotel Africana. It’s also worth noting that it’s an invite only corporate event.Scotch Whisky is a unique alcoholic drink, produced only in Scotland. For it to be legally called “Scotch Whisky”. It’s distilled in Scotland from water, yeast, malted barley and other cereals.It’s then matured in oak wood casks for a minimum of 3 years for it to bring out a unique taste and blend.
Infinix to unveil a phone with the latest technology
By Staff Writer
Infinix Mobility’s newest gadget brings science fiction to reality with the Augmented Reality.
The tech company is rumored to unveil its hottest new innovation on 8th July 2019 which includes Augmented Reality (AR)core, AR measure and Quick note. Infinix Mobility has proved extremely impressive setting a trend in the smartphone industry with its latest technology in the upcoming device, the NOTE6 aimed at providing users with reasonably priced device with a higher level of technology.
“We are moving from being just a smartphone company to bringing the high technology to everyone at affordable prices and the pretty cool NOTE6 is the beginning of greater innovation. The NOTE6 may not only be a phone with the AR core but is a device below One million shillings with such great features for everyone.” Marketing Manager, Ms. Gladys Liu said.
The NOTE6 AI powered X-pen comes with a lot of interesting functions which automatically detects and connects phone numbers, reminders, alarm clocks from the content recorded.
In addition, the X-pen has Intelligent gesture which can quickly erase the modified content, export pictures / format easily to spreadsheets, word document and handwritten font is easily translated into text.
The NOTE6 is rumored to have triple rear cameras, with a 3 days battery life and a tremendous upgrade in the RAM and storage capacity providing a user with space enough to store over 15,000 pictures, videos and a smooth user experience without lagging.
The NOTE6 will be available in three colors.
Development Channel further unveils plans for Uganda with video Testimonials
Development Channel chairman Charles Lambart has further spread his firm testimony of his company works. Development Channel has shared its first tablet testimony and accompanied it with statement.
They said “I understand that most of you have never seen anything like Development Channel before hence find it hard to understand it. Every developed nation has a few private sector companies with deep innovations that brought billions of dollars into their economy helping fastrack their development. In today’s world, such innovations that cut through countless economies are online. Facebook, Google, Apple, and others are bringing in billions of dollars into the United States. Alibaba, Hauwei are doing the same for China. Hardly any African country has such a company hence the lack in various countries in Africa. Through the awesome enabling environment of our great father, His excellency, President Yoweri Museveni, we are able to stay in Uganda and launch the world’s first international development Mobile App to all the 192 countries in the world. Our unprecedented innovations in the global economic system covering the Pan African Economic System, Greater European Economic System, Great Americas Economic System, Greater East Asia Economic system, and the Greater South Asia Economic System means we will lead the world’s economy in little or no time bringing billions of dollars into Uganda like others have done in other nations.
We spent much of last year enrolling the immediate beneficiaries of the anticipated windfall risk free for them through payment for our computer tablets.
We have only just started exporting our innovation but here are a few video testimonials of the impact we are making already. In a few years from now, Uganda will look like any developed nation in the world as envisioned by M7. Enjoy watching the videos and Keep us in your prayers. The Pearl of Africa must shine”
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