Business and EntrepreneurshipCareer and Employment

MY STORY – THE TALES OF A YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR PT 2: How it all started

In part 1 of this 12 series about My Story, I talked about the importance of Image to success of a business. This should have come in after part 2. But Image being the main aspect for the success of winning a deal, I just wanted to hit your imagination with that first.

In part two of this story, we are going to learn about how it all started.

My Parents Isaac Anguyo and Salome Anguyo were both Teachers who started from Primary School teaching to become Teachers Training Tutors. You can imagine the discipline a teacher can enforce on you. For my case, it was double in portion.

I remember in 1988 when after not changing the goats to another pasture and they were not satisfied and I knew there would be trouble at home, I drove the goats in the Potato Garden of the Principal of the College, Mr. Barnabas Avinyia. After 2 hours of systematic eating, the goats were just too full but the Potato Garden was clean and when I reached home, my father was too excited that I was given money as a thank you. No sooner had I received the money, Mr. Avinyia arrived and they went out with my father, after 30 minutes my father arrives and calls me in the Master bedroom. The canes I got I still remember them. But it gave me a very good lesson and I think since then I have never been found on the wrong side of the Law.

When we were growing up, Christmas time was always time to prepare to buy new clothes, shoes etc. Our Parents came up with a very good idea, we were made to plant a eucalyptus forest and each tree planted would be paid 200 shillings. This involved digging the hole, filling it with manure and collecting the tree from the Forestry Department and planting it in the hole. After all is done, your number of trees planted would be counted and multiplied by 200 and that would be the money for your Christmas Shopping. This very much encouraged hard work and learning that money does not come easily. It comes through work. These days am trying to apply this same idea to my kids by taking them to the farm to work.

My first business was mining and selling sand. Our Home is near a River “Jordan” in Arua District. When I was 10 years old I saw an opportunity to make money by mining the sand from the river and selling it. I ended up employing some stronger and older boys to mine the sand then once I was paid I would then pay their labour. This business gave me a lot of money. I remember a businessman who once took 2 trips from me and never paid me. One day I plan to remind him and demand him for my money, but this time it will have to come with interest after 26 years.

My second business was Knitting Sweaters. My Mum owned a German-made Sweater Knitting Machine Knittax. This machine was always not been used at home. So in my S.4 vacation, I decided to learn how to use the machine from a Lady family friend Suzan, the Mother of one of my Architects. This gave me an opportunity to make a lot of money supplying schools and make a lot of small woollen goods. I operated that business up to when I went to University after employing 2 South Sudanese refugees. However, when peace returned in South Sudan, they went back to their country and I also became too busy with Engineering. Till then the machines are still home.

My Third business was secretarial services. While at campus, we got some funding for industrial training. Managed to save most of the money and I bought a Flat Screen Desktop computer and a Printer and cartridge refiller. When I came back to University I started printing at Half the Cost of what it was costing since I could refill the cartridge. My room became a printing room and on average we could make 100,000 Ushs a day, we ate all that money with my friends. Had no idea about saving.

In 2003, in my 3rd year at University, I asked the question; what do I want in life? I took off a day for meditation about my future. I now knew that I want to have my own company set up. But I needed to have some experience from established companies so that I can run my own. I came up with the name Joadah which was a combination of Joel and Adah. Adah Jane my wife was by then my girlfriend. At the end of my meditation, this came out as my future plans;

2004 to 2006: I would work for a Construction Company and a Consultancy Company.

Wanted to work for both a construction company and Consultancy because by then I didn’t know if I wanted to become a contractor or a consultant. So working with both companies would give me an inside idea of what I can manage. I eventually work for H. Young an Israeli Construction company on the Jinja Bugiri road and thereafter with Beller Consult now Fitcher on the Entebbe Water Project till June 2007.

2007: Set up Joadah Consult.

The Plan was that after 2 years working, I would set up my own company and expand this company in 10 African Countries. Indeed in 2007 was able to set up Joadah Consult, we are now working in 5 Countries and Plans are under way to move to more countries in the coming months.

However, one thing which is happening now which was not part of the Meditation is the formation of Axis Capital Group which is facilitating a number of start-ups. We are now moving into different sectors including Financial, fabrication, construction, IT, sports etc. This idea came about along the way when I realized many young people have very many nice ideas but lack finances and ideas on running a business. So I thought if we can go into a partnership and we offer the capital and the youth come up with an idea, it could make a lot of business sense. So far so good. We have successfully launched 10 start-up companies. The idea is to eventually have more than 200 companies in the group.

2031-2041: Become the President of Uganda

This was one of the wildest dreams I had as part of the meditation. I have never been a politician and I don’t think am a good politician as per the standard definition.

Joel Aita

CEO Joadah Consult

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

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