Business and EntrepreneurshipSelf-help and Inspiration

IT ALWAYS SEEMS IMPOSSIBLE UNTIL IT'S DONE

This quote comes from Nelson Mandela, who certainly earned the right to speak about perseverance and hard work. The seemingly impossible is something you can accomplish. One of the stupid things you do at work or business is psyching yourself out before you even try.

The above statement has always been my driving force from childhood. I have never accepted the word impossible. I have always looked up at the best of the best and told myself if they can do it, I can do it.

Some years back, as a very young Engineer, Bujagali Energy Ltd advertised for a public Tender and with my young Joadah Consult Limited I decided to participate for the bid. We went for the pre-bid meeting, one of the big boys in the room asked me the name of the company I was representing. When I told him, he said why don’t you go and compete with your size mates? We took time preparing the bid and understanding the weaknesses and strengths of the different competitors and our weaknesses and strengths. At the end of the process, we took the contract.

The same happened to Mulago Hospital where we competed against 50 international companies, Malawi University infrastructure projects where we took four universities against 30 international companies, NAMANVE Industrial park one of the biggest infrastructure projects in Uganda, the Pearl Eco-city in Mozambique, the housing project in Liberia, Yumbe and Kayunga Hospitals, Arua and Busega Markets plus several high profile infrastructure projects across SubSahara Africa we are involved in.

All these have made me come to a strong belief that anything humans can do I can do. But not that I succeed in all of them. In fact, the success rate is less than 20%. So that means out of 100 tenders we bid for, you win like 20. Not a bad figure in the business world of tendering. In fact, anything above 10% is a very good achievement.

YOU EITHER WIN OR YOU LEARN

So Chelsea comes up for sale. With a net value of $3.2b and Revenues of approximately $600m annually. This is a good business. So I said why don’t we put a bid for this. Do we have a chance? I don’t know. What if it a miracle happens and you win the bid like before. Do you have that money? Definitely we don’t have that money now, but we have very strong equity partners across the world we can approach and within a month we raise that cash. With all the ticks checked, we place our bid.

Yesterday, I couldn’t rest. This bid brought in a lot of excitement, questions, discussions on very many social media platforms and it also made some few people very mad and sad. I don’t know why they were mad and sad though. But that is not my concern.

Like I said it’s very unlikely that they will give the bid to us. But in the unlikely event that we become successful, raising that capital will be the easiest thing to do.

But most importantly is the fact that we believe that if others can do it, we can also do it.

As West Nile, we have taken a lot of backseat in a lot of things in our country. In the politics of the country, you can’t almost find a West Niler in the top echelons of the various political parties of the country. We are lacking in the business echelons of the country. This must end. Otherwise we shall be left crying and complaining for the next generations.

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A'ita Jaffer Joel
An Infrastructure Consultant, Entrepreneur and Motivational Speaker. CEO Joadah Consult

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