Monday, 7 December 2015

How a Healthcare professional worked with a glass and aluminium retailer in Uganda

Fadzai Marange a Healthcare Operations and Service Manager with experience across all managerial disciplines from financial control and planning to personnel management, change management, strategy and process improvement is part of the Uganda600 VC team working with John Sande a glass and aluminium retailer in Kampala. She is part of the team who has completed their project! Well done! Here she talks about here experience.

The Uganda 600 journey
It has been a great experience to be a VC for this Uganda 600 project. While some days were tougher than others however the whole experience has been great.

The challenges
1. Like many other VCs it was a challenge to get all sessions done as a few resulted in no show from client. I had to call the client directly on some occasions to communicate as they could not make it to skype. On one occasion my client turned up we spoke for 10 minutes and the electricity cut off leaving a dead skype line. Some days it was severe weather conditions or family challenges.

2. My client lacked confidence to go out and market himself and his business. The greatest challenge was to get to a level where he believed he could do it; it took a lot of patience, encouragement and tough talk.

The great experiences
My greatest experience has been the feeling of a sense of satisfaction in impacting someone’s life positively. When I started with my client his greatest challenge was marketing. Talking him through to understand the concepts behind marketing and building a strategy was my greatest experience as he followed it through. He now gets contracts huge contracts; the unfortunate thing is that his resources don’t allow him to take on such huge contacts. For example he got a 30 million shilling contract which he unfortunately had to let go as he had no immediate funds to get raw materials. His usual contracts were usually 2 million shillings or less.

Professionally, this experience helped me to apply all the concepts I have been gathering in my career journey. I managed to network with other professionals who helped increase my confidence and helped in a lot of ways. Personally I learnt that having the right attitude matters the most. John has the right attitude to both learn and work hard. He has so many challenges including an extended family yet he remains undeterred. His determination helped me to put my own life into perspective and I now appreciate what I have access to.
My team manager Sean Clancy has been amazingly supportive.

Way forward
It would give me more satisfaction to see John through applications for a grant to expand his business. Hence I would like to do a few more sessions to see which organisations he can contact and help him with the application.

It’s been a pleasure to work for Grow.


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