Born in 1979, in Kisalosalo village, Kawempe Division in Kampala District where I grew up, I developed the love for entrepreneurship at the age of 10 from my maternal grandfather Mr. Peter Bibangamba who had an office on William Street in Kampala.
As a young boy in the early nineties, I had a lot of questions flowing into my head as to how my grandfather had generated a lot of wealth yet whenever I could visit him at his office, I could see nothing like merchandise that he was selling to generate money yet he used to meet people from the time he opens the office till evening. For my biological father, it was very clear as a butcher man I could see people come to his butchery to buy beef.
These thoughts continued haunting me until when I decided to start spending my holidays at my grandfather’s place with an intention of getting closer to him so that I could understand how he was doing his thing but eventually I failed to understand the whole process.
One day I gathered the carriage and asked him what those people were looking for yet he had nothing to sell to them. His answer to me was that those people had come to do business with him.
But you don’t have anything you are selling? I ignorantly asked. Then he told me that he was doing corporate business. Of course at that age I didn’t understand the meaning of the terms he was using but those terms suck into my head. “My lessons as an entrepreneur had begun”.
I continued frequenting my grandfather’s office whenever I could get a chance and in the process I come to understand that these people were really giving him business and that he was actually supplying them goods which he didn’t necessarily need to stock at his office. I even learnt and saw documents like cheques and LPOs being delivered to his office. By then I was in senior two and the whole process was beginning to make sense to me.
Above all I had already discovered that the easiest gateway to acquire wealth was through doing Business. By then, I was studying in the afternoon from 2pm to 5pm at Kitante Hill School. This gave me the opportunity to utilize the morning hours to do Business. I then started frying chapattis and doughnuts and supplying them to nearby shops and schools and would collect my money and purchase more baking materials in the evening after coming back from school. I did this business throughout my O’ level.
In 1998, I approached Sanyu Bakery in Natete and requested them to allow me become their agent in Kyebando. My request was granted and I started a whole sale business for bread and doughnuts. This business worked out very well and by the end of the year 2000, I had generated some good money out of which I was able to build my first apartment in Kyebando at 19 years of age.
However, much as I had generated some good money, the term corporate business and all the documentations I had seen at my grandfather’s place had not yet appeared anywhere in my transactions. In the process of establishing a corporate business, I decided to enroll for ACCA with an intention of improving my financial literacy. Within one year, I had learnt everything that I needed in the process of managing finances hence dropping out of the course.
During this period, Information Technology was beginning to play a very important role in the way Business was being conducted in Uganda. I therefore decided to enroll for a Diploma in Information Systems Management and APTECH Kampala graduating in 2005.
My corporate business career began in 2005 in Mukono District, Uganda as a fresh IT graduate when I worked with Nile Computers Ltd for three years, as the Company’s Business Manager for Mukono Region.
“Mr. Muhereza Mid my first Employer and the Managing Director of Nile Computers Ltd was my main mentor and I learned tremendously about every aspect of the Information Technology industry and closing major business deals from him”.
It was in the year 2008 when my mindset became totally changed. This was after consecutively reading five life changing books that is “Rich Dad Poor Dad, Cash Flow Quadrant, Think and Grow Rich, Rich Dad’s Guide to Investing and Increase your Financial IQ” which emphasize financial intelligence as the gateway to financial freedom.
During the same year, I resigned from Nile Computers Ltd to join private practice leading to the birth of my first company Cambridge Technologies.
However, things were not all that easy especially during the first two years of operation. The Company did not yet have enough resources to break even and as a result, it failed to meet its office rent expenses leading to court brokers evicting and confiscating all its property leaving it with totally nothing. But this did not stop me because I was more than determined to build a strong Company in Mukono that could compete globally. I then resorted to building cash flow by personally hawking Computer Repair and Maintenance services in Mukono District.
By January 2012, I had accumulated enough resources to bring me back into the market leading to the establishment of MS City Side Investments Ltd a Company presently dealing in Supply and Repair of IT Equipment, Printing, Art and Design Technology among other services.. This gave me a strong foundation to capitalize on to my vision.
Presently MS City Side Investments Ltd is an established house hold name in the Information Technology sector of Uganda.
Using the proceeds I generated from Information Technology, I tried as much as possible to get out of the comfort zone and always dreamt of owning a chain of businesses but was always trying to figure out how I could make my dream a reality.
My entrepreneurship journey became more realistic and streamlined when he began participating in capacity building programs organized by “ENTERPRISE UGANDA” out of which I accumulated a lot of skills in the establishment and management of investments as well as ensuring that they are passed on to the next generation as profitable ventures.
Today, we are the very definition of a success story. We have continually set new standards of excellence while expanding our interests nationally and internationally. This commitment has made us successful business owners and investors in Uganda. Our investment portfolio ranges from Information and Communication Technology, Hospitality and Tourism, Real Estate, Agriculture and General Merchandise which are all under our direct supervision through “MS City Side Investments Ltd”
THE NEXT GENERATION
Preparing the next generation for the challenges and complexities they will face when they assume a leadership role in managing my family’s wealth is critical. I always try to provide key family members with training and education in financial and family governance to prepare them for transition into their new roles as early as possible. .
‘Dynasty’ structuring and planning is crucial if your assets cannot, or should not, be easily divided among the next generation (e.g. substantial family businesses, substantial property or other assets). Despite their tender age, I continuously provide training to my children Kasirye Johnson,Ndagire Esther Kasirye, Kasirivu Lawrence Kasirye and Elizabeth Kasirye, with a view of developing and implementing tailored governance structures which can ensure the preservation of my legacy for generations to come.
Sendagire John Kasirye
Chief Executive Officer, MS City Side Investments Ltd