I’m a Ugandan serial entrepreneur, founder and CEO Mas Group of companies a business conglomerate with interests in Information Technology, Branding, Business Consultancy, Sports, Transport & Logistics, Tracking and Security.
Awarded the most promising young employer of the year 2014 in the Employer of the year awards organised by Federation of Uganda Employers, I’ve built an empire based on creativity and innovation that has grown from just one company, Blue Magic Inc. in 2009, to now 5 subsidiaries (Mas Consults & Associates, Transporter Corporation, Mbale City FC, Track24). Mas Group of Companies was also named by the SME Gold Company of the year in the Employer of the Year Awards 2015.
I’m also an inspirational speaker that’s been hosted at different events and double as the President of the Uganda Youth Entrepreneurs League. I’m passionate about entrepreneurship as an engine to the growth of Africa and the key solution to youth unemployment.
Current Location: Kampala
I’m the Founder and CEO of Mas Group of Companies, our latest project being Track24, a GPS tracking systems solutions provider for vehicles and Boda Boda’s. Other business undertakings include Business Consultancy, Transport and Logistics, Branding, and Information Technology.
Current computer(s)? Why this one?
DELL N7010, Core i7. It’s a monster with 1.7GB graphics memory which is good for my kind of work.
Current mobile device(s)? Why this one?
I only hold one phone and that’s my Samsung A3. I love its camera and slim size.
One word that best describes how you work:
How did you end up at your current gig?
A series of innovations since my S6 vacation has got me here. What has been consistent is the passion and determination to make it work and belief that I can create a change.
… Are there any career decisions/life choices/failures that were fundamental in making you the person you are now, doing what you are doing now?
The failures of my first business taught me a lot about business and how to navigate around.
These included failure to have a proper business model that would address the issue of cash flow in the business. This is a crucial component for the survival of any business.
Another loophole we had when we set up our first business was the partners we had. We partnered based on friendship but we seemed to be on different pages on the direction of which the business was to take. This was later to shape my understanding of bringing partners on board for the companies that came later. Partners should compliment each other and should be unique in what they offer to the business, but the common denominator should be a strong shared vision and commitment.
These failures created a foundation and became important learning steps.
Is your business able to fully support you or do you have side gigs to sustain you as it grows? Any stories of some of the struggles/sacrifices you’ve had to make to see this dream come to life?
My business is able to fully sustain me. I have no side gigs. All gigs come through my companies which I also participate in.
I have lost many friends along the way. Entrepreneurship can be a lonely game. You need to be willing to spend long hours learning and applying new information when you’d rather be spending time having fun all time with friends and family.
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
Adobe Creative Suite
What’s your workspace like?
We work in open space.
How big is the team of people you work with and what’s your formula for managing them?
I work with a team of 32 young people, both permanent and part time. We work as a family and have respect for each other.
What’s your favorite to-do list manager?
Diary and sticky notes. Otherwise, when am working on projects I use Trello
Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without and why?
With a computer and phone, the puzzle is complete. Otherwise, the complementary gadget is the Play station. I play lots of FIFA to relax. It’s also good for strategy.
What everyday thing are you better at than most?
How do you recharge?
Working out in the evenings. I’m also a gamer. I play lots of PS, mainly FIFA.
What do you listen to while you work?
I listen to vintage music in the genre of soft reggae. Glen Washington, Max priest, UB40, Tony Rebel and the likes. I also love listening to local music and my playlist never misses Madox, Benon, Bobi Wine classics and Irene Ntale. I find contemporary folk fascinating as well.
What are you currently reading? What usually leads you to buy a book? Books you’ve read recently that have impacted you deeply? What kind of impact did they have?
Am currently reading a small book title “CLICK”.
I normally read books on recommendation from friends.
One of the books has had a lasting impact on me is “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. It’s a classic and tailored for that one entrepreneur that is seeking a breakthrough.
Any mentors/role models that you are working with/have inspired you and what lessons have you managed to learn from them?
Sometimes we seek inspiration but forget that the inspiration is right next door. I really admire Dr. Innocent Nahabwe of Galaxy Fm and Blue Cube. He is a friend, simple and down to earth gentleman whose management skills I envy and have replicated at my own companies. He is also a great marketer, full of great ideas and forward-looking not to mention one of the most hardworking people I have interacted with.
Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?
What’s your sleep routine like?
I don’t have constant sleep routines. Otherwise, I prefer to work deep in the night were there is little disruption.
How do you strike a balance between work, family, friends and other social obligations?
I dedicate most of my weekday evenings to catching up with friends, normally on Thursdays when I attend live band sessions and Fridays for social evenings. The weekends, if not engaged with work, are normally dedicated to family and the inner circle friends.
Family and friends are a crucial component of living a quality life besides the busy hectic business schedules. Paying visits and sometimes being the host blends my life well.
Who would you love to see answer these same questions?
Mugulusi Ronald of Egora Ltd
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Prove the doubters wrong
If you have any additional questions for Mas, feel free to drop them in the comment section below. He will try and answer those he can. Click here to read other Hustle Tales
The Hustle Tales (adapted from LifeHackers, How I Work series) asks people that are doing epic things how they go through their daily routines to make sure whatever is needed to get the job accomplished is done. If you are interested in doing one these interviews or know someone you think should do one, inbox us with the details and we’ll see if we can make it happen.