Rwendeie, an engineer, opened his first hardware shop in Naalya 17 years ago with about Shs 10 millon. He used this initial capital to buy about 100 bags of cement. As an engineer, he had seen people were being fleeced of their money by being sold fake or underweight cement. “I was forced to open my own shop to sell genuine cement, not to make money as my primary objective,” Rwendeire says.
He retired recently after working for the government for 17 years. He wants to concentrate on his business, which now has four branches at Naalya, Wakaliga, Kireka-Kamuli Rd and Kisaasi. Over the years, his capital investment has grown to Shs 400 million, and the hardware business provides employment for 20 people. But he also has 400 workers in his construction company – Ebenezer – which has a joint venture with Seroma Ltd to construct several cathedrals including the new All Saints Cathedral at Nakasero.
The biggest challenge is the prevalence of counterfeit materials in the market. “We know who sells counterfeits and I have complained to the authorities and all they say is those people are protected,” he says.
Tip for success:
As you expect materials or deals, inspect or else you will be cheated or buy counterfeits, Rwendeire says. “There are people who will sell to you products at half price because they have stolen cement from a construction site.
Source : The Independent