Owner of 2 growing companies in Uganda, Peter K. Kulaba is ready to “pursue his creative gift” again and develop a third business: LMI Development Holdings. His secret? Get “good people united in a common cause, each with a role”.
Peter has a Bachelor degree in Medicine and Surgery from the Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Furthermore, he has followed various business management and finance training courses.
In February 2008, Peter started his company called:’ Legacy Service Limited’ and a couple of months later ‘Rapha Health Services Limited’, both based in Uganda. Legacy Service Limited provides logistic services to company’s representatives on their stay in Kampala. With 100 to 150 clients per year, the company arranges accommodation, transport, food and every other required service during their visit. Rapha Health Services Limited, brings different specialists from the health sector, among others paediatrics, physicians and surgeons. It opened its doors to the public in May 2011 and expansion plans are already under consideration.
Peter’s motivation is to offer “quality medical care and (…) sustainable (…) solutions” through the implementation of innovative business models in his country. Driven by his past success, Peter is starting up his third company ‘LMI Development Holdings’ in order to build good quality and affordable homes.
According to him, setting up a team of talented managers and offering them ownership through (management) stakes has been key to his accomplishments: “A successful company is a combination of people who need and complement each other and that would not achieve the same on their own”.
Besides setting up a group of managers who will be highly motivated to work through ownership, working closely with the employees has been instrumental in building a dedicated team.
In July 2011 Peter joined the BiD Network Ready for Finance Training in Kampala, Uganda where Team Building strategies were a very important part or the training. It was here where Peter met Susan Randall, our Trainer and Assessment Coordinator, and was able to talk about the challenges and benefits of working with employees and building a team.
During the training Peter shared some of his experience in this respect. He presented a very progressive way to deal with team building and employee capacitation. He explained that some of his management strategies in order to promote a good working sphere include overtime work, horizontal structure “… from (the) cleaner up…we are a team that needs each other” and fast management reaction to “bossiness and poor team spirit (including gossip and insubordination)”.
The situation in Uganda in the labour sector is complicated. The salaries are low regardless of the employer’s willingness to pay. This is why it is important to let the employees know that their work is being valued and that the company is concerned about their “needs and fears”.
Building a team means trust and confidence. Knowing that the members of the team need each other and furthermore that they can rely on each other have helped them go through the most difficult moments in the companies’ life. “We are a body with many parts; we have to make all the parts work right” he adds.
After the training, in August 2011, he implemented different policies for retaining staff and members of his management team, like insurance schemes and investment savings accounts.
The new dream
LMI Development Holdings represents a new opportunity for Peter to use his entrepreneurial and (team) management skills. It brings together experts in the areas of construction in Uganda, Business Development and investors. According to our matchmaking officer Shan Kai Thé “The need for affordable housing in Uganda is tremendous! LMI Development Holdings is a company that aims to develop affordable housing for middle-income households just outside the city of Kampala”.
The design of the estate has been developed and feasibility studies have been concluded with positive results. Now an investment of $700,000 is needed and BiD Network, together with Peter are looking for investors. When asked about his experience working with Peter, Shan Kai mentioned that Peter “is an experienced entrepreneur and manager … (he) is successful in the activities that he undertakes, excelling in professionalism, determination and commitment. By combining his feel for new market opportunities with focus, he is one of BiD Network’s most promising entrepreneurs.”