OP-ED

Op-Ed: What sets entrepreneurs like Sudhir apart?

By Ben Ssebuguzi

In my sensational business book, LIFE AFTER UNIVERSITY, I wrote about the different attributes of entrepreneurs on pages 22-23 including innate factors among others. Innate factors involve intelligence, creativity, personality, motivation, and personal ambitions which sets them aside from others.

The turbulent times and setbacks did not spare this hardworking and progressive local investor as he became a victim of incompetent and unprofessional conduct of Public workers in the Bank of Uganda who closed his bank unceremoniously in an illegal manner. Some people on Social media had unkind words for him but he was not swayed by naysayers. I remember NRM poor youths were very touched and commiserated with his strategic son, Rajiv Ruparelia.

The good outcome is that the relevant authorities like IGG, Auditor General, and COSASE of parliament reports were able to listen to poor youths’ petitions to investigate the circumstances under which the 9 banks were previously closed that cost youths a number of jobs. Thanks to the civic space in the country that propelled those entities to submit their reports. Unfortunately, all of them accused the Bank of Uganda of improper conduct to the detriment of taxpayers because even the Supreme Court ordered BOU to foot legal costs to Sudhir.

The gist of the matter is how Dr Sudhir manages to overcome challenges to keep triumphing even when people thought that the closure of his Bank was the last straw.

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In such situations, some people get angry, upset and finally become frustrated but for him he kept his spirit high and kept running his businesses to the surprise of many.

Another circumstance where Dr Sudhir’s perseverance and skills were put to test was when social media commentators became outraged after the video of trucks ferrying soil around Speke Resort Munyonyo near the lake shore went viral. Although NEMA came out late to defend him that his activities were approved, Sudhir convened members of the press and took them around to exonerate him.

Sudhir clarified that he was rather securing his land that was previously swallowed by water but not refilling the lake as social media in-laws were alleging.

In summation, if Dr Sudhir allowed to be overpowered by the trials and tribulations in his business journey, we would not afford to have this premier venue and architectural marvel, that has made us proud in hosting the 19th NAM conference and the G77+China.

I thank President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni for spotting talent from local entrepreneurs because this work was not ordinary. Besides its capital intensiveness, this project required someone with rare craft and skill to deliver exceptional work that could give us a standing ovation.

This facility will go a long way in boosting the country’s meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions in the future hence earning us more forex money in the country.

The United States was the leading association meeting destination worldwide in 2019 hosting over 357,000 participants followed by Spain and Germany with 349,000 and 253,000 participants in the same year respectively.

Long live President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, Long live Hajjat Uzeiye Namyalo SPA/PA Office of the National Chairman.

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The writer is the Head of Research at the Office of the National Chairman of NRM



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