My name is Martin and I am a businessman. I started business of importing cars to Uganda three years ago after I failed to secure opportunity to join the Uganda Army.
My first thought was to start buying and selling land but after a friend convinced me that dealing in cars is more profitable, I resolved to try my luck here.
Capital I started with
I borrowed Ush 20 million from the bank, which I used to import three cars from Japan.
Importation was hectic, I had to pay customs duty and tax as per the Uganda Revenue Authority regulations-these two things consumed most of my money.
After I purchased the cars, I started looking for clients. I can tell you starting business is hard!!!I took more than 3 months to get my first client; every time I approached a client, he would angrily reply, “you are expensive, I don’t need a car right now”.
After months of perseverance, I sold the first car. It took me another two weeks to sell the second one, the third one was bought by my cousin. In total, I made Ush 2 million from the purchase.
A month later, I again imported three cars. This time I managed to sell the cars as soon as I imported them, simply because of referrals from the people I had sold the first batch of cars to.
My breakthrough came when election was held in Uganda. This time I got orders which overstretched me.A single consignment comprised of 15 cars, which I sold as soon as they landed in the country.
I took another Ush50 million from the bank which I used to buy 10 more cars. Politicians purchased all these cars.
After the elections, I decided to open a car bazaar in Kampala. This is now the business I am running.
Since I started my business,I have managed to make a total of Ush 60 million in profits.The business is stable but sometimes is challenging
Car Business challenges
The most common challenge is huge capital required to start the business. You require at least Ush 30 million to start the business. Even so, this amount is still small for a car bazaar.
Another challenge is the number of Car Bazaar in Uganda, which have grown tremendously over the past 5 years. We also get stiff competition from established companies like Toyota and General Motors.