Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Rare sighting! Down under #skype #consultant goes over to #Uganda

Rare sighting a VC and entrepreneur together
Many of our clients and entrepreneurs build up great relationships over Skype but very few rarely have the chance to meet face to face. Sam Durland from Australia managed to meet Kalissa his client in Uganda. Big thank you to Sam for showing such commitment to the vision of Grow Movement. With your time, skills and passion we help create change, one phone call at a time! Claire Jenkins

Mr Kalissa
Recently, while in Africa on other business, I took the opportunity to visit my Grow client in Uganda, Mr Kaliisa Stephen. His company, Semuliki Traders Company (SETRACO) Ltd, is based in the Bundibugyo District in the west of the country near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The company is a start-up agribusiness with interests in maize, coffee, cassava, and chickens, and marketing of local produce. Starting in 2007, Kaliisa began purchasing land in the rich Rift Valley and establishing the various crops using local resources and labour. In 2012, the company obtained a long-term lease over a local market from the District Council. He is currently in discussion with the Council about resurrecting an abandoned fish farming operation that is based on Council land.
Sam Durland

I spent five days with Kaliisa touring his various projects, and meeting local officials, extension workers and business people, and discussing the best way forward for his business. Kaliisa is a most impressive young man. From a very modest village background, he completed an IT Diploma, and for several years conducted a successful small business in this sector. However, it became obvious to him that there was enormous potential in primary production, especially if he could mobilise local people to utilise the ideal growing conditions that prevail in the area to grow food crops to satisfy local demand, while also providing a local market facility for these and other cash crops. In Kaliisa’s mind, as well as generating a return to its shareholders, his company should provide a demonstration effect, showing local people what can be achieved with local resources.
Mr Kalissa

My role as a Grow consultant was to help Kaliisa to develop detailed strategic and business plans. While that role has concluded, I continue to work with him to focus the business on those areas that will generate an early cash flow to underpin the further development of the enterprise. My concern has been that the business was diversifying too quickly, and that without sufficient focus (and finance), there was a risk that none of the company’s diverse projects would thrive. Better to concentrate initial efforts on chicken farming, where there is strong local demand for meat and eggs that is currently being satisfied by imports from outside the District, and where early returns can be achieved.

In summary, my visit to Uganda was personally and professionally most rewarding and I believe of significant value to the client. As a consultant, I have always felt that I had to get to know the client’s business intimately, in order to provide the maximum value in my professional services. What better way than to spend a week in his or her shoes living the business!

Sam Durland
Consulting Plus Pty Ltd
Wollongong, New South Wales


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