Sunday, May 29, 2016

Entrepreneurship

Yesterday morning we went to Hotel Portea where the very successful entrepreneur Mr. Patrick Bitature spoke to us about his successes and the role that entrepreneurship played in sustainable development. He first began by posing the question, "Why is Uganda poor?" He said it is not about country age, available natural resources, intellectual differences, or race. Rather the difference lies in the attitude of the people. He listed a few core principals that people needed to follow: ethics, integrity, responsibility, respect of rules, respect of other people, work-loving, strive to save, will of super action, and punctuality. He believes that it is necessary to have a love of working in order to be successful. Work must not be a punishment, but rather something one looks forward to and thought of as something they love.
Mr. Bitature is the creator of the vividly successful company Simba. His success did not come right away. He had a few failures before he made it, he believed that he needed to build up his maturity and and networks to build the right opportunity to start. After the start of this company, he began getting into the business of land investments, managing hotels, and recently, energy. He decided to get into energy because investing in the infrastructure is the most important things to get development started. In Uganda, hydroelectric and solar power are very popular. Bitature was looking for a more quick fix, so he started burning oil. Because of the use of oil, he got into waste management, to sufficiently dispose of the waste created by drilling oil. And because of the fact that Ugandan population has 85% of its people involved with agriculture, so he has a few farms in Northern Uganda.
 He believes that building good business is about building strong relationships, looking out for each other, and giving back to the community. He was inspired to do business in order to clear his fathers name and believes strongly in the fair treatment of others. In developing Uganda, he believes that infrastructure must be the start because if there are no suitable roads, airports or internet, it is nearly impossible to grow and promote a business. He also believes in the investment of women.
Mr. Patrick Bitature has grown SIMBA to a widely successful business, and also has big plans for it in the future.

12 comments:

  1. I agree, Mr. Bitature was such an intelligent man it was no wonder he's so successful. I thought some of the most important points he made had to do with changing the mindset of people. If everyone settles for what's already in place then progress can't really be made. We need people to think outside the box like Mr. Bitiature so that the economy can grow and other SDG's can be improved on.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I was very impressed with Mr. Bitature's story of overcoming the adversity that surrounded the death of his father. His testimony of "riches to rags to riches" was very impressive as he had to come back a very long way to rebuild his life to what he was accustomed to as a young child. I also found it interesting that he mentioned punctuality as one of the important characteristics of successful people because during our time in Uganda we have noticed that things always take a lot longer than expected. I think that a lot of people (not just Ugandans) could learn a few things from Mr. Bitature.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great post Rachel! I really agree with the point you made about the productivity of a country being related to the attitude of its people. Patrick Bitature believes firmly in a number of fundamental concepts like integrity, responsibility, and a love to work, but quite often when I look out the window during our bus rides, I see many Ugandan’s dawdling along at a slow place. The point I’m getting at is, I think too many Ugandans are TOO relaxed. I asked a question about it briefly during our meeting with Mr. Bitature, telling him about Stephen’s view of Uganda, and that the people need to relax more, and asked him what he thought about that mentality. I didn’t exactly get a straight forward answer, but I think I stumbled onto the idea that there may be a philosophical and cultural difference among Ugandans. What do you all think about this?

    ReplyDelete
  4. As I heard more and more advice/suggestions that Patrick was giving to us, my respect for him only grew larger. I really took in a lot and his words made perfect sense to me. What stuck out to me included a needed sense of urgency, seen in his South Korea example. He looked at how citizens in Uganda vs South Korea behave in respect to time, and he saw that people in Uganda weren't as timely structured. This really stuck with me because I realize you need to feel a sense of urgency in life, or else you'll simply hold things off to the last second and be inefficient/lazy.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I really agree with everything you said about Mr. Bitature. He was a very inspirational, and intelligent man. I really liked when he talked about the 9 things that are required for a nation and individual to be successful. I really liked when he talked about loving to work. I feel as if this is something that many people including myself can work on. It was also motivational to hear how Mr. Bitature became successful. He taught me that it is not bad to fail. When you fail you must just keep trying, and working hard. Also I liked what he said about how you just need to work harder when controversy enters your life. I feel that everyone can apply these things to there everyday life. Overall this was a very inspiring and motivational event.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I was extremely impressed by Mr. Bitature and his entire presentation. His company seems to have a hand in almost every aspect of the economy and development that one could think of. I found it inspiring that instead of continuing to work on biofuels he decided that the corn would be put to better use in addressing food security issues. Not many business men, especially in the United States (in my opinion), would put people before profit. I think his company focuses on developing people and not just making profit which was very inspiring.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I would have to agree that Mr. Bitature was an incredible person to meet, for several reasons. One being his incredible insight in his personal view of how the attitude and drive of a people truly affect the progress and direction of a society. Also, prior to meeting with Mr. Bitature I didn't fully realize nor appreciate the impact and role that entrepreneurs play in development. However, after seeing all the various investments that his company -- Simba -- takes part it (agriculture, real estate development, telecommunications, etc) it would be silly to ignore the impacts that his company has made on the lives of the Ugandan people, as well as the overall economy. However, I have a slight disagreement with Ross on the difference between Stephen's view and Patrick's view. After talking with Stephen one on one (and also talking to Dr. Senteza) I would have to argue that he doesn't believe Ugandans should relax more. His story about the fisherman was more comedic than it was symbolic or serious, even then his argument was about Westerners needing to learn how to relax a little more. When talking with him, he truly believes that development work is a good thing and it's great the world is interested; but he also believes that their must be a shared mutual respect across cultures, and free exchange of those cultural values and beliefs. So I could easily see an amalgamation between both Patrick's insights and Stephen's insights, because than you can truly produce a path for sustainable development which is truly fitted for Uganda. Keep the culture, but improve the personal drive.

    ReplyDelete
  9. The talk that Mr. Bitature gave us has been one of my favorite parts of the trip so far. I loved hearing about a Ugandan who had worked his way from the bottom to get to where he is now. It was also encouraging to hear about all the work that Simba does in the country of Uganda, they truly are working to make it a more sustainable country. He has a good list of values that Ugandans should work to follow if they want to be successful. I also agreed with the statements that Mr. Bitature made about the need for punctuality to be successful. I am glad that he gave his time to meet with us and talk about his story.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Mr. Bitature's success is undeniable. He is an experienced businessman who commands a limitless amount of respect. But going back to the philosophical difference between Stephen and Patrick, I have just a few questions. Could their lack of super action as a whole be related to the corruption of their public systems and government? People will not work hard if they feel that working won't get them anywhere. Also, when we went to the rural village, several of the farmers half-joked about capitalism corrupting the minds of the people and the way in which they work. As we've seen, most Ugandans are very warm and will wave and say hello whether they know you or not. This is not true of just the rural areas, but of Kampala as well. Could capitalism and the "super action" behind it affect this culture of friendliness (for lack of a better word)? I struggled with these questions during Mr. Biturate's intro and I just wanted to put them out there because I have no idea how to answer them.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Mr. Bitature is a very inspirational man, and an incredible entrepreneur. His attitude and perseverance should be an example that we all follow.

    I feel that as far as sustainable development goes, he highlighted on of the largest cincerns Uganda faces: attitude. To be successful in the business world, you have to have the right attitude. Ugandans don't exhibit this attitude, and it would be beneficial to nurture that attitude in order to further development.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Great post Rachel! Patrick was an excellent speaker and entrepreneur, as well as a great role model to each Ugandan. Although culture is very important in a society, if it limits productivity then something needs to change. Patrick is a very intelligent man who loves the country he's from, but just like him I agree that Uganda needs to see a change in the attitude of their people. I hope that many people can be inspired by this incredible man and I am excited to see what Uganda has in store for its future.

    ReplyDelete