Tag Archives: investment

Is D9, an Investment Fraud or not? Watch out!!!

Investment Fraud is defined by the Cambridge dictionary as the illegal activity of providing false information to someone so that they will invest in something.

You may or may not have heard of the various schemes promising heaven on earth returns to investors. One of those that has picked my attention in the recent past is D9. Rumored to be registered in Brazil and Hong Kong, it seems to have taken the gullible folks in Uganda by storm. Matters have been worsened by endorsement from men of the robes like Pastor Mark Kigozi of Real Life Church.

In this article, I will not dwell on how D9 works since I have no intention of being their salesman. However, I want to share with you the reader warning signs of an Investment Fraud. I hope by the time you’re done reading, you’ll be in a better position to tell whether D9 is a fraud or not.

Investment frauds are typified by all or some of the following characteristics;

  1. The guarantee of consistently good returns. Business investments are no fairy tale. A business opportunity may offer you wild returns in one year and total losses in another. NO legitimate business in the world will always guarantee you consistently good returns. Even drug dealers make losses occasionally when their consignments are tracked down and confiscated by the authorities.
  2. Unclear investment products or services. If you cannot point a finger at something straight and obvious that generates revenue for the business, just know there is a problem. I recall TelexFree that used to promise people money for simply logging in daily and placing adverts into a web system. The company apparently claimed it made money through the sale of calling cards. Today, the scam founders are facing litigation in the USA as millions bleed as a result of their lost savings.
  3. Unclear company information. A legitimate business usually is very straight up with information pertaining to its history, track record, business operations, tax filings among others. A decent amount of this information tends to be easily accessible on the company website. In the event that you cant readily get such information, step back and think twice.
  4. Pushy sales brokers. Anytime you are confronted by overly aggressive sales brokers who want you to make a decision instantly, let your sixth sense kick in. Why should you not be given an opportunity to go back home, consult or even think through the proposition?
  5. Unexpected phone calls or messages. You might all of a sudden be contacted by a long lost colleague who then urges you to meet up in order to discuss some hot business opportunity. Think twice. I once was sent a message by a young man I had interacted with over 6 months earlier. He insisted that I meet him in a certain office and I duly obliged. Upon reaching, I found a herd of people seated being taken through the motions of how to join a certain pyramid scheme whose name I have forgotten. My stay didn’t last more than ten minutes. Ever since then, I never respond to his calls and messages when he gets in touch.
  6. The promise of high returns in a short period. An investment offer that promises you crazy returns (usually many times above market rates) needs checking. In most cases, compare this offer of returns with the alleged product or service on offer.
  7. Low Risk, No Risk or Guarantee. Once you are presented with an opportunity that has any of these three hallmarks, it helps to open your eyes wider. Like I said earlier, there is NEVER a 100% guarantee in any legitimate business.
  8. The temptation of being part of an exclusive investment organisation. Whenever there is a promise of exclusivity, chances of a fraud scheme being engineered are rife. Even when you may make some money as an early adopter, that will not negate the fact that you are part of a scam whose pack of cards will fall sooner than later.
  9. The investment offer is based overseas. Most scams are usually offered from remote locations. There are countries that are notorious for hosting these scams and Brazil is one of those. They carefully craft their operations to ensure that they evade jurisdictions with serious financial systems to detect fraud. This also allows the founders to eventually walk away scotfree when the pack of cards crumbles (notice I used the term when and not if).
  10. They approach you in form of seminars and sales people representing schemes. Have you been called for a seminar or presentation in a hotel or large office of sorts? Have you been flooded by a team of marketers who promise you only the very best if you part with your hard earned or sometimes borrowed money? Offering guarantees? Insisting that you sign up before the seminar ends? Well …..
  11. They prey on your membership of a certain group. Winning trust is one of the key tactics of fraud promoters. This is the reason they strategically target groupings of people like church membership, sports fraternities, professional bodies etc. It is no wonder that people like Pastor Mark Kigozi are thriving with this D9 arrangement. Having a large fellowship of believers who outrightly believe in every word he mentions (fully convinced that it is the Holy Spirit at work), renders the success rate in such a congregation much higher.
  12. Diverting attention. When an investment scheme focuses more on gifts that success offers eg promoting a high life, good cars, opulence among others then only part of the story is being told.

I firmly believe that if your investment opportunity checks out with at least three of the issues I have shared here, then it’s time to rethink. Seriously!!!

I know poverty or the lack of money is making many of us gullible to the nearest offer of hope to become the next millionaire but do not forget that true wealth comes from working diligently.

King Solomon had the following to say about wealth:

Proverbs 12:11– “Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense.”

We all have land that God has given us. That land comes in the form of skills, talent among others. He wants us to utilise it as opposed to running around like headless chicken looking for the next big thing that someone else is introducing.

Proverbs 21:5- “The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.”

A diligent person is one who works hard, is careful and thorough. Surely, does this scripture rhyme with those get rich quick 100% guarantee schemes? Youmay not be a Bible believer but one thing you cannot deny is the wisdom its scripture offers us.

Finally, DO NOT BE DECEIVED by spiritual leaders, apparently wealthy admirers of yours, family members or anyone that tries to get you into subscribing to something that has all the hallmarks of a scam. Keep that money of yours. It could be put to better use.

I hope I’ve saved someone.

James Wire is a Small Business and Technology Consultant based in Kampala, Uganda.

Follow @wirejames on Twitter

Email lunghabo [at] gmail [dot] com

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Good African Coffee Closure. Is Uganda’s economy on Auto Pilot?

Andrew Rugasira is no saint, however one thing I can authoritatively say about him is that he is a resilient entrepreneur who always turns ashes into beauty. Many years back, I recall him running a prominent promotions company called VR Promotions which bit the dust. He was humble enough to go into hibernation only to re-emerge a couple of years later with Good African Coffee.

When I bought the newspapers of the 25th of April 2017, I was taken back upon reading a story about how the tax man had closed down his business for tax arrears of UGX 1.2 Billion.

On the 23rd of April 2017, Ian Ortega posted a mind opening article on Facebook in which among others he stated, “… We pride in building mansions in our villages in a sea of mud and wattle houses. And in the end we pay for it with insecurity, with deaths. It makes no sense to have majority poor and few rich. It always backfires… Start doing something to make sure the economy works for everyone regardless of their field. Let it work for a musician, for an artist, for an engineer, for the teacher etc. That is how you build sustainable societies.

Having interacted one on one with Mr Rugasira a year back, I got to know quite abit about his ethos. While he is a hard nosed businessman, his passion for equitable growth and development is worth admiring.

Businesses close for various reasons and their closure has varying impacts on the economy. There are businesses whose closure will largely cause ripples among a few selected elites (who tend to be the noise makers) while others have the Fall Army Worm effect of distorting the bottom of the pyramid poor.

According to the New Vision, Good African Coffee has a network of more than 14,000 coffee farmers and has facilitated the set up of 17 (Seventeen savings and credit organisations) for these farming communities. The average household in Uganda has 5 members. This implies that if each coffee farmer is equivalent to one household, then the direct impact of his investment at this micro level has a reach of at least 70,000 people. Considering that in Uganda, it’s part of our culture for a household head to help various extended family members especially economically, we can safely assume that each farmer has an impact on 10 (ten) people in the extended family bracket. This implies that upto 140,000 people indirectly benefit from Good African as a result. On average we can safely state that at least 200,000 people from the coffee growing region are beneficiaries.

The New Vision further stated that the Good African products are available in over 700 UK Supermarkets as well as 500 stores in Africa. As a supermarket patron, I have come to learn that products on those shelves serve not only the purpose of consumer consumption but also national branding. How many people today in the UK swear by Good African Coffee? Judging by the inquisitive nature of today’s shopper, chances are high many have got to learn more about Uganda in the process. What better marketing for our nation?

While I am inclined to believe that management issues have definitely contributed to the status-quo, it’s quite sad that the tax man would be left to execute such a closure without proper appreciation of its wider implications. The Uganda Revenue Authority is not to blame since it is merely an execution agency tasked with collecting revenue for the Government. However, with all the tax breaks we keep hearing being directed to questionable foreign investors, why would a legitimately Ugandan owned and home grown business fail to be extended help? We just heard about the planned UGX 77 Billion tax relief that a number of companies whose list is led by the Sudanese owned AYA Group of Companies are likely to get. In my view, the footprint Good African Coffee has is much wider than AYA and any of those companies on the bail out list yet above all it impacts the lowly farmer whose sole hope for survival is farming.

We always hear of decisions being made in National Interest and this is what Hon. David Bahati, the State Minister of Finance for Planning emphasised while meeting Parliamentarians over the AYA bail out. Why was Good African overlooked?

  • Is it because the latter promotes the well being of peasants and there is this general fear among the political elite of genuinely empowering them?

  • Could it be that Rugasira doesn’t have the right brokers to argue out his case before the high and mighty in the Ministry of Finance?

We have been led to believe that overnight business moguls who set up with Shopping malls out of the blue are the ones that deserve respect and propping in order to keep our economy afloat but if we do not babysit the Rugasiras of Uganda and ensure that their businesses succeed at all costs, we shall continue in the cyclic rat race characterised by chronic poverty. Government should sit down Andrew Rugasira, make it clear to him that the success of his business is a national priority and could even have security implications considering that a large section of the farmers are from the already troubled Rwenzori region who might perceive matters differently. The riot act should be read out to him before working out bail out terms and conditions.

PS: In case you are comfortably employed with a regular salary and high flying MBA, you might have a problem appreciating the challenges genuine entrepreneurs go through in this Ugandan economy of ours. One day though, I hope you will be around long enough to appreciate what goes on the other side of the bridge.

I say, Bail Out the Brother !!!!!!

[UPDATE: Two days after publishing this aricle, Good African Coffee was reopened. I thank the authorities for having exercised a sense of sobriety. Now the ball is in Rugasira’s court to ensure he complies as required. ]

James Wire is a Small Business and Technology Consultant based in Kampala, Uganda

Follow @wirejames on Twitter.

Email lunghabo [at] gmail [dot] com

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HOW TO – Start a Supermarket

A Supermarket is a large self-service shop selling foods and household goods, according to the English Oxford Living Dictionary. In Uganda, you might want to avoid sticking to that definition by erasing the term large.

We have supermarkets that cover over 5000 Sq. Metres while those in most residential neighborhoods are as small as 20 Sq. Metres. It’s important that we have a similar appreciation of what a supermarket means in the Ugandan context before going ahead with this article.

One of the businesses Ugandans have given attention in the last ten years is the Supermarket business. As a supplier of products to supermarkets, I have an eye for locating the new ones considering that the wider I cast my net, the more sales I make.

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A typical neighborhood supermarket in Kampala, Uganda

From my observation, this is one of the easiest businesses to set up and yet potentially challenging to run. You could choose to directly manage its operations or hire a team to do so. The former option is likely to reduce on the operational headaches by far.

What do you have to consider when setting one up?

  1. Location: The biggest success factor for this business is location. Where you put your supermarket will clearly determine not only the category of clients you attract but also their numbers and frequency of shopping. A supermarket located by the roadside with little or no parking slots for cars had better be near a busy public transport stage. You could also locate it in an affluent suburb or on the road leading to such a suburb from a busy work area of the town. However, in this case, having good parking is a big advantage considering the likely transport mode for most of the middle class families. One of the best locations also is residential areas. Setting up one within an estate or its environs offers a much bigger market guarantee especially if the estate is big in size.

  2. Ground Floor: Wherever the location you settle for, always insist on having the supermarket on the ground floor. Anything short of that will lead you to failure right from the word go. Most Ugandans are not into the habit of climbing stairs just to get stuff done. It is the reason you find most of the storeyed buildings in the city having tenants occupying only the first three floors with the rest being empty. Suppliers also have an easy time when delivering products since having to lift them to higher levels might involve much more labour and time.

  3. Parking: Availability of parking for cars is crucial if you want to reach out to an affluent or mixed client base. Depending on your location, you might want to insist on having parking space near or at the front of the supermarket.

  4. Branding: This can be a complex matter but in the most basic way, simply ensure that you come up with an appealing name and graphics for the business. This process needs to put into consideration your likely target customers and long term plan for the business.

  5. Fittings: Get your internal fittings right. The shelves, cold storage facilities, tables, security among others. The extent of these fittings is determined by the spread of services and products you intend to provide. A basic no frills supermarket intent on merely retailing basic household goods would focus on shelves, a cashier’s table and one or two fridges.

  6. Supply Chain: Supermarkets need suppliers in order to serve their customers. Supplier X brings her baked Cakes, the supermarket displays them on the shelves and customers buy. After sale, the supermarket notifies the supplier to restock as well as receive payment for the previous consignment. The beauty with this is that as you set up the supermarket, suppliers start flocking the venue asking to be registered. So, it is among the easiest to handle.

  7. Human Resource: You need people to run the supermarket. Even when you choose to manage it directly, depending on your scale of operation, there is always that need for a few extra hands to help in:

    • Attending to customers

    • Receiving products from suppliers

    • Security

    • Cleaning the supermarket

    • Managing books of accounts, e.t.c.

  1. License: Get a trading license from the local authorities. This trading license is paid for annually and has to be factored in as one of the recurrent costs.

  2. Business Registration: With things getting tighter in Uganda today, you can hardly open up such a business without having some form of registration. Identify whether you want to register a Private Limited Company, Sole Proprietorship, Partnership or any other mode. This is a pre-requisite in order to get a Tax Identification Number from the Uganda Revenue Authority.

  3. Business Plan: Try to have some form of written business plan. I know, when I talk about this, you’re probably imagining a one hundred page document filled with all sorts of academic brouhaha!!! No. A business plan can be as simple as a three page document listing the key issues and how you plan to deal with or achieve them. In the case of a supermarket, one of the issues you need to address is the products and their pricing.

    • What mark-up do you place on your products and how does the eventual price affect the ability of your target market to purchase?

    • What type of products do you stock? You have no need stocking electronics like Televisions in a supermarket located in a housing estate. That shelf space is better used stocking washing detergents.

    • What product sizes or packaging do you opt for? Detergents like Ariel or Omo are on high demand and purchased by most households. However, the purchase quantities vary from one market segment to another. The affluent moneyed class prefers to buy the One Kilogram or even Five Kilogram packs while the low income households prefer to buy the smaller 100 gram packs. Study your market and stock the right product sizes.

  1. Return Policy: Set a clear policy on product returns. Often times supplied products get expired, damaged or might be defective right from the factory. As a supermarket, you do not have to bear that as a loss, it should be clear to the suppliers that they replace any products that cannot be sold to customers for one reason or another.

  2. Supplier Payments: Most suppliers offer credit to supermarkets save for a very few like Milk and bread suppliers who tend to collect their money upon delivery. However, for those that extend credit, it’s crucial that you have a very organised system of managing them. Some supermarkets settle outstanding invoices every two weeks, thirty days or even forty five days. Others clear each pending invoice upon product depletion on the shelf. Setting up a predictable payment system for the suppliers not only endears you to them but also ensures that you manage your cashflow better. This particular point is the reason Uchumi Supermarket closed operations in Uganda and Nakumatt Supermarket too is currently struggling to remain in business.

  3. Point of Sale System: This is an electronic system used to record transactions at the point of payment in a shop or supermarket. It could be crucial or not depending on your scale of operation. If it’s a small Mom & Pop neighbourhood supermarket that you directly manage, you may start without it. However, for a business you aren’t actively managing, this system will help you so much as it allows you to make daily audits of sales by recording all transactions.

  4. Theft: For as long as you get into this business, expect this to be a sticking issue. Globally, supermarkets put a 3% mark-up on their product pricing to cater for just this. While you can employ technology and other means to reduce its prevalence, theft will always occur. How does it happen?

    • Walk-in customers. There is always an army of people who have made it their livelihood to steal products from supermarket shelves and find their way out without paying. This is one of the reasons you need an extra hand to run the supermarket. They can keep watch over such activities. However, what happens if they collude?

    • Crooked Suppliers. There are cases of suppliers who deliver less than what has been indicated on the invoice. It implies that you pay them for goods that were never supplied in the first case. Matters are made worse when they collude with your staff to make these false declarations.

    • Staff. Internal supermarket staff could also be a source of illicit product loss. They tend to take advantage of the trust bestowed upon them to engage in theft. In bigger supermarkets, they are known to form networks that ensure the untraceability of their illegal activities. The closed Uchumi Supermarket was a glaring example that suffered from internal staff theft.

  1. Money: Finally, have money. While I cannot give you financial estimates, by perusing through the list of issues presented so far, you can get a good idea of what to prioritise and hence determine how much you need to set up the business. The best thing about it all is the fact that product stocking which tends to cost a lot is largely on credit hence reducing the overall initial financial burden.

I hope you are now ready to start that supermarket business. Do not waste any more time. Get at it right away.

James Wire is a Small Business and Technology Consultant based in Kampala, Uganda

Follow @wirejames on Twitter

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Earning More won’t save you if …..

Today, precisely the 25th of June 2015 was the first time I heard about a one Mr. Scott Spencer Storch. Apparently he was a big name producer who at his peak was involved in 50 Cent’s album “Candy Shop”, Fat Joe’s “Lean Back”, Jadakiss’ “U Make Me Wanna”, Chris Brown’s “Run It”, G-Unit’s “Poppin’ Them Thangs” among others. The brother had amassed a fortune of 70 Million dollars by 2006 according to Wikipedia. In 2006, he took “a month off” to vacation in Hollywood having been a wonderful year for him. What followed next is interesting, he withdrew from producing, focused on partying hard, with friends at a 10 Million dollar mansion he owned. He purchased a private jet, a 117 foot yatch, bought nearly twenty luxury cars, half of which he believes he purchased while high on cocaine. He abandoned clients like Janet Jackson in the studio making them wait for hours without end. In 2006 alone, he blew 30 Million dollars within six months and begun the downhill descent. Fast forward, in 2014, he is said to have earned a paltry Ten Thousand dollars and is reported to be filing for bankruptcy with his assets totalling to a measly Three Thousand Six Hundred dollars. His music companies are said not to be worth a penny.

Am sure you’re surprised why I have come with a showbiz related story this time round. Am not the type to follow show business news because I tend to believe that it negatively impacts on my grey matter. However, I had to share this story. Many times I come across people who believe that their runaway success is in amassing more money. A long time acquaintance met me a few days back and as we discussed he told me how he is planning to re-invent himself. He’s spent most of his time since December 2014 trying to chart out a new path for his professional life. Eventually he admitted to me that he considers his first priority being getting a job that earns him not less than Thirty Thousand dollars and apparently he was on his way to actualising that, with a move to South Africa being imminent. While I respect his aspirations, I felt that he was being a little too focused on what he earns as opposed to how he spends what he earns. We all need to keep earning and growing our income, however what happens when the money starts rolling in uncontrollably is what determines our destiny. Issues like;

  • Does more money mean increased spending?

  • Does more money mean increased luxury?

  • Does more money mean less work?

  • Does more money mean new friends?

  • Does more money mean more women?

  • Does more money mean more arrogance?

  • Does more money mean less attention to detail in your business?

As we fulfill our desire for more money to come into our possession, we need to be careful about our habits with it.

Fruit Seller on Tirinyi Rd. Eastern Uganda.

Fruit Seller on Tirinyi Rd. Eastern Uganda.

Consumption lifestyles will never enable one to thrive in wealth irrespective of how much money is thrown at you. You need to take great care to mind the pennies and cents afterall a small leak can sink a great ship. No amount of net worth however much can never get down to zero. When you want to spend your money, there are always people around ready to help you spend it and with very compelling propositions.

Scott’s story is one of a rough childhood and he went through a lot that you would expect him having acquired such a fortune to balance it out well and guard it all the days of his life. He is now 41, flat broke and filing for bankruptcy. Am not writing him off yet afterall Donald Fisher, the founder of Gap Store (a big retail outlet for clothes in the USA) started it at 40 years, Samuel L Jackson the celebrated Hollywood actor got his breakthrough at 43 years, Sam Walton founded Wal-Mart at 44 years, Henry Ford was 45 years when he created the revolutionary Model T car in 1908, Anna Mary Robertson (Grandma Moses) began her painting career at the age of 78 and in 2006 one of her paintings sold for 1.2 Million dollars.

What do we learn from Scott’s experience?

Mind the Minutest; This was a quote popularised by Brother Kalungi Martin (RIP) of the Brothers of Christian Instruction during my school days. Essentially he always urged us to pay attention to the smallest of things. Failure to do so, could very easily turn that small thing into your nemesis. Jerry Rawlings a one time president of Ghana attempted a coup at 32 years and was unsuccessful. General Fred Akuffo who was the president then had him go on trial and he faced a death sentence. However, due to the light handed manner in which he handled the then young soldier, Rawlings with the help of some sympathisers was able to escape detention and thus survive the hangman’s noose. A short while later, Rawlings organised another coup and overthrew General Akuffo whom he later executed with other leaders. So, even in business, that competitor you are underrating could become your nemesis a few months down the road. Whoever knew that WhatsApp, Viber and a host of other phone applications could literally bring SMS services down to their knees?

Neglect Nothing; When Scott had the money, his thirst was quenched. He had arrived afterall. Big names were literally begging for his services. A story is told of how he had Janet Jackson wait in his studio for five hours. Janet Jackson? If he did that to such an icon, then how many upcoming stars did he ignore? Maybe they would have given him a new lease of hope. In the business space, it helps to always scan the environment and look out for the unusual. One of the biggest investors in the entertainment business in Uganda is a one Charles Lubega. Stories are told of how he practically visits nearly all discotheques within his area of coverage weekly to establish what the competition is upto. Its no wonder that his Angenoir empire has been around for over 20 years and has extended its tentacles as far as London.

How much do you save and/or re-invest? Yes, you may earn all that the world has to offer, but how much of it do you multiply (re-invest for profit) or save for the future? This is one of the reason gamblers hardly ever sustain their won earnings. He will win a million dollars today but file for bankruptcy within three months. The culture of expecting windfalls and consuming what is earned can never allow us to sustain wealth.

If you thought you needed a higher pay from your employer and had designs of renting a better house, buying a bigger car or sending your children to a more expensive school, you have your priorities wrong. Like Scott, you’ll end up a corporate pauper whose worth is that job contract document. Look at your current earnings, figure out how to structure them better to cater for consumption and re-investment. Once you have been able to achieve that, only then can you start wishing for greater income because you will precisely know better how to utilise it.

Of Uganda’s Corporate Class and Pavlov’s Conditioning

Ivan Pavlov, a Russian Physiologist discovered Classic Conditioning accidentally. He learnt that there are some things that a dog doesn’t need to learn, like salivating whenever food is presented. Such a hardwired reflex in the dog is referred to as an unconditioned response.

He however also later discovered that objects or events that dogs associated with food triggered a similar response. Which is why after ringing a bell a number of times while feeding dogs, he tried ringing the bell without presenting the food and the dogs responded with the same intensity of salivation.

John Mungwako (name not real) has been working with a top tier company for over ten years. His was a dream come true when barely two years after graduating he was taken on in one of Uganda’s most prestigious companies. Life changed in an instant as the high salary and benefits he got automatically catapulted him into a new lifestyle and circle of people. Whatever he had earlier merely dreamt of was now at his finger tips. Training opportunities, travel, access to bank loans, corporate parties, subscription to exclusive clubs among others were things he begun contending with on a daily basis. Life indeed was good.

Borrowing from Pavlov’s dog findings, the corporate masters know too well the kind of stimuli needed to trigger the unconditioned stimuli called Work from the employees. By making their lives seemingly comfortable through; above average salaries that are incidentally eventually used to supplement their newly found high life, guaranteeing them loan applications for purchasing basics like iPads to personal cars and homes, strategically getting the employees to brand themselves as the company over self, they have succeeded in creating modern day Pavlov Pets that are ready to dance to every tune that is played by the employer for as long as the salary and benefits are dispensed.

This Pavlov approach in our corporate world has led most employees to believe that the honeymoon will last forever thereby making many throw all caution to the wind. Talk of investing in post employment business opportunities to many is akin to playing 1950’s Blues music to a Justin Bieber fan. The few that have considered such investment opportunities largely engage in them from a hobbyist’s perspective. Others are blinded by the belief that a large bank balance is the best guarantee to survival when the job opportunity vanishes. So, amidst their current lifestyle demands, they are waiting for that day when they will hopefully have amassed those large sums.

It was therefore not much of a surprise when the decisions by MTN Uganda and Africell to downsize their staff caused a lot of uproar with Africell being accused of racist practices and MTN Uganda of not being transparent with the process of transferring a section of its staff to ZTE, a Chinese technology company.

While these staff members may have had some legitimate concerns over the moves going on, my hunch tells me that the uncertainty that lay ahead is what bothered them most. Will the MTN staff keep getting the same benefits under the new employer? If yes, for how long? What kind of job security should they expect?

As for Africell, many must have been shell shocked with the short notice availed to them and had no idea what next they are likely to do. Imagine someone who is servicing a bank loan with two years to go, has to annually pay for GYM, Golf and other memberships allover the city, is educating his/her children in a very high end International school and probably rents an apartment in an upscale neighborhood of the city. What next? Where can they quickly find a new job that can maintain the status-quo?

The plight of these employees is symptomatic of victims of the Pavlov conditioning. While it suited their employers when it mattered, it has come back to haunt them now that they are parting ways. The fate that befell the MTN and Africell employees may not seem to bother you but if you are in the IT industry, you better watch the space carefully because it’s either time to re-invent yourself or be left by the roadside too just like it’s happening in India whose IT party is over.

Its therefore important for those who see themselves in a similar trend to wake up and smell the coffee. Dedication to one’s job is very good BUT you shouldn’t forget to always have a plan B in place considering that your employer will most likely be selfish in any situation that may see the two of you parting ways. If you have no ‘side hussle‘ or ‘side business’ as others call it, do not rest on your laurels until you have something up and running however basic. Your future in an environment that is more of political than professional (like most companies out there are) and over which you have no control is as uncertain as that of a cow in a lion infested game park.

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Put your fears aside, chill the procrastination and start that something, even from your home. You can do it.