Sunday, May 20, 2012

Patrick Bitature

Patrick Bitature met with the group at the Protea Hotel, which he owns.  He spoke to the group about what he is doing to help sustainable development as an entrepreneur in Uganda.  He is the founder of many businesses, one of them is Simba Telecom.  Simba Telecom is one of the largest providers of cellular service in Africa.  He spent a lot of time talking about sustainable projects that have a social impact.  An example of this is a farm that he is planning to build in Northern Uganda.  This farm would help the economy and bring a living to people in this region that have struggled with conflict recently.  He is also finding ways to bring more energy to Uganda.  Mr. Bitature believes that habits of success make people successful.  He also said that good attitude and hard work make successful entrepreneurs.  What did Patrick Bitature say that will stay with you as you continue this journey in Uganda?  What endeavors do you think Mr. Bitature should involve himself in to create sustainable development in Uganda?

10 comments:

  1. One thing Patrick Bitsture said that will stick with me while I am in Uganda is that the hotel business is one of washing sheets. He made a good point that hotels are purely a service business since customers leave with no actual products. It is therefore very important that customers leave satisfied since they take no tangible object with them. I think Mr. Bitature should start off by paying workers a living wage since it is not sustainable to pay your workers so little that that can't afford basic neccesities. He mentioned that he can't pay his workers more and still compete with other hotels, but I think he should take a lower salary since he already is so rich. If it were me, I could not imagine being so greedy when I know that my workers word so hard and can barely make ends meet.

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  2. I guess I can somewhat play the devil's advocate on this one. While I do agree that hard working people should be paid a living wage, I know this is often hard in sectors such as the service industry. Especially in hotels, there is often no differentiation between two hotels in terms of services and accommodations offered. As a result, you will find that the market can have an influence on setting wages. In addition, more information is needed about Mr. Bitature's potential to increase the workers' salaries. More information is needed (especially before calling him greedy) to see if he can afford to pay his workers more without losing so much revenue to the point where he hires less workers and/or gets into a situation where he has a harder time keeping the hotel in business. If he does not have the ability to pay the workers more, a wage increase could potentially have negative affects in the future as far as job availability at the hotel thus hurting any hopes of achieving sustainable development. Like I said before, I agree that people should be rewarded for their hard work and dedication with a living wage, but should he pay these workers more when it could sacrifice future job availability at the hotel?

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  3. I understand where Drew is coming from which is why I would agree with his comment more than Annie's. Just as in the United States, the wages are very similar in the hotel and hospitality industries. Many people are just trying to make ends meet and know what they are going to get paid right off the bat. Maybe one day,they'll be working for a few months and get some type of raise or new benefit, but the owners can only do so much before they mess with the hotel's revenues and profits. Anyways, I do agree with Annie in saying that when Mr. Bitature stated that the hotel industry is a business of washing sheets.

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    1. Hi Maryna, what did Patrick mean by hotel business is a business of washing sheets. Would he say restaurant business is a business of washing plates. People pay quiet some money you know to sleep in hotels.

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    2. I think the reason why Patrick Bitature said it was a business of washing sheets is because mainly everything remains...meaning the customer does not take anything when they leave, the only thing that has to be done is wash the sheets and towels (basically). Thinking like that, a restaurant would not be a business of just washing dishes because the clients would be taking the food they eat.

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  4. I also agree with Maryna and Drew and their thoughts about the hotel industry. I think one thing tho that will stick with me that he said was about following your dreams. Also that people who move are successful. I think traveling has many benefits to a business and your life in general.

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  5. One aspect that stuck with me was the fact that was that business is like a game and the scorecard is money. However, I have a hard time judging the success of a business solely off of how much money they make. I know in order to be successful they have to be able to sustain themselves, but what about impact or influence. In my opinion something that may not make as much money, but positively affects people can be deemed just as successful as something that just makes money. I know that in the business world it is heavily based off of money, but should the other aspect of it also be taken into account?

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    1. Hi Mary, Protea Hotel is new and facing stiff competition from some of the older hotels.Did you people sleep in a hotel. If a business is profitable i.e making money it is possible to think of paying higher wages. Profits is one basic measure for success of a business. A loss making business will affect employees and their families.

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  6. I really enjoyed listening to Mr. Bitature talk to us about his success. Like some said, the thing that he said that will stick with me is when he said the hotel business is one of washing sheets. I had never thought of it this way, but it truly makes sense. Like he said, you can go anywhere to get good food and other things. The only difference that a hotel holds is that you sleep there. If people have clean sheets, I agree that they will be happy with their stay, but they will also need good service to complete their happiness.

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  7. To be a successful entrepreneur u should be able to identify gaps in the market and also most importantly have capital. so him being what he is, is partly the skills employed of identifying the gaps and having that small capital to do what he can. its true with a hotel after haaving the structures, all u need is having manpower to wash the bedsheets.

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