Tuesday July 1 2014

Cashing in on digital media

Kacungira (R) works with her employees to create unique

Kacungira (R) works with her employees to create unique concepts for the digital advertising agency . Below: She makes a phone call in her office. PHOTO by EDGAR R. BATTE  

By EDGAR R. BATTE

Away from the radio scene, Seanice Kacungira is a business lady whose hunger for success has paid off. One of the first business ideas she ever harboured was at the age of 14.

Her wish was to teach dance to young students in an international school in Tanzania.

With her sister, Nancy Kacungira, they formed and registered a business called ‘Krazy 4 dance’. Their father helped them to get tee shirts made.

“We had 14 students. We charged each student roughly about Shs50, 000 ($20) per lesson and we had three lessons a week,” she recounts.

Kacungira was motivated to do business from a young age because of her desire to create new things.
“I have always had a streak in me that sought to organise large groups of people for mutual benefit,” she says.

Kacungira, who likes fighting for her ideas, says, “I usually just chase good ideas and projects and then work my tail off, very hard to figure out how to make these projects and ideas viable.

I do not do things my instinct warns me against.”
At a more professional level, the 31-year-old’s business started with a salon named Suqa located in Nsambya in October 2009, and later Blu Flamingo, a digital advertising agency in February 2010.

The agency with a branch in Nairobi deals in digital branding, events and audio visual production, among others.

Earnings
Asked about her earnings, Kacungira said, “How much I earn a month is a very tricky question because to answer truthfully it is not little money and rather personal as it has many ramifications because people may not understand that I have different interests.

So, it may look like I earn too much money to some people, especially my staff, yet my sources of income are diverse.”

Overcoming challenges and managing money

The radio presenter and business lady says to maintain a client, one needs skills and dedication. But her journey has not been smooth.

Kacungira has lost about Shs160 million which was lost in bad bet on a project that did not work out. She learnt some lessons from it.

“The recovery was slow but it was worth the lesson. I have now learnt not to rush in and not to spread myself too thin,” she says.
The business lady looks up to Richard Branson whom she has met.

“Having met him, the thing I admire most about him is his passion and will. Through it all he maintains a child-like spirit, is fascinated about life.”

Financial discipline is part of Kacungira’s lifestyle. Her average expenditure a day is Shs10,000 a day and a little more on some days.
“I do not have an ATM card. I follow a monthly budget and I save up for the things I want.

This is to remind myself not to be a slave to money. I also tithe and save 10 per cent monthly in different bank accounts,” Kacungira who has cultivated a saving culture overtime shares.

Kacungira has business partners; Christian Abassi Bitti and her younger sister, Nancy.

When choosing these partners, Kacungira says she looked for common ground on three things: business ethics, integrity and life objectives.

About digital advertising

Digital has taken the world by storm, upending the world of traditional advertising and requiring 21st-century marketers to become savvy about a broad range of digital advertising options.

There’s much to understand, much to keep track of, and much to stay on top of. That’s the bad news.

The good news is that digital advertising, unlike traditional advertising, is far more trackable, allowing marketers to determine what is working for them and driving the results they desire and what may not be as effective.

While there are a wide range of digital advertising trends impacting content marketers, there are a few that rise to the top as those to be most focused on in 2014, according to those who have already actively embraced digital advertising and are attuned to the digital landscape. They include the following trends: Big Data, location-based communications, depth of content, micro video, mobile, multiplatform consumption and personalisation.

Her initial capital

Her initial capital investment was Shs190 million which accumulated after years of saving and sacrifice.

To run business, she apprecited that accounting, taxes and finance are important.

She also knew she had to be resilient, patient and was ready to pay the price of determination and sacrifice. She also knew what hard work means.

“The importance of due diligence and market research, organisational culture, leadership, team building, are lessons I have learnt and I am still learning. I honestly think it is the fastest way to get an MBA,” Kacungira explains.

From her side job as emcee, she usually charges between Shs3 million and Shs4 million.

Her digital advertising firm handles a wide range of projects. “We do various projects to put our clients on the map digitally.

You may have been at an event and seen one of our digital executions or liked a page we were managing or engaged with some content we originated.”

How she grew her business

Kacungira shares her secret in succeeding at business. “I grew my business by always trying to go over and above the clients’ expectations, humility and not assuming I knew it all.”

Her first profit was of Shs80 million from a combination of businesses. She did not spend a penny of her return. She sunk it back into her businesses because of the desire to take it to the next level.

“Half the time, I really did not know what I was doing. I just wanted to be the best at something I was passionate about and took the risk and stuck my neck out, closed my eyes and hoped it did not get cut off,” she admits.

Kacungira has also tried her hand in real estate, events management and farming.

“I never take or give bribes. I always do my best, I maintain honest communication with my clients, I strive to provide solutions instead of being part of an ongoing problem and I always take responsibility if it falls even an inch within my KRA (Key Result Area).

I do more than I am paid to,” the business lady spells out her business morals.

As an employer Kacungira says she hires someone based on attitude and skills. She believes in motivating her staff through dinner and drinks to celebrate them.

She adds, “But more than that, by being present and available for them, providing interest-free loans to support their other dreams if they need it, listening to their ideas and allowing them to test them. But I do not tolerate mediocrity.”
About work attitude and ethic and attitude in Uganda, the employer says there are many things that can be improved.

“The number one thing for me is taking responsibility for your output- always. Many of us rely on excuses as to why we did not achieve; I do not even acknowledge excuses. My entire team knows I am driven by results,” she explains.
Kacungira employs 55 people.

“My rent is paid, fuel, airtime, medical (as for staff) and food plus travel allowances outside of Africa,” she reveals.

Some of her clients include Uganda Breweries Limited, Airtel, NSSF, Centenary Bank, Tusker Project Fame, Shell Uganda, Britam Insurance, Tobacco Control, KTN among others.

Who is Kacungira?

Kacungira is the first born in a family of three. She is a graduate with a Degree in Mass Communication, currently undertaking a Masters.

She is also an avid communicator through various channels on television, radio and digital.
Away from work, the aspiring business mogul is a very simple and down to earth lady.

“My sense of humour is almost retarded sometimes. I love dancing. In my spare time, my house looks like a library; I have books everywhere and my absolute joy in life is riding horses – that is my bliss,” she concludes.

Advice

Her advice to the young and ambitious is, “Money chases passion, remember that and find creative solutions to your problems.”


rbatte@ug.nationmedia.com

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