Businessman Bulaimu Muwanga Kibirige has advised business owners to adopt frugal lifestyles because they instill personal and financial discipline.
Speaking at the second Top 100-mid-sized companies forum at Sheraton Kampala Hotel yesterday, Mr Kibirige, the owner of BMK group of companies, warned business owners that careless character such as arrogance, lavish spending, disrespect for employees and customers, dishonesty and poor time-keeping have no place in business.
“I was not educated, but the first principle my father taught me was to treat a business as my own and the money in the business as property of the business,” he said.
Mr Kiribige said businesses have sunk down the drain because when the owners see money, it excites them to plunge into spending sprees, gambling, lavish weddings and graduation parties – avenues which take away money from the business.
“Why should you invite 1,000 people for a wedding? Do you need a graduation party? Can’t you invite just a few people who matter to you? Why should you gamble in a casino? Have you ever seen free money?” he asked.
“Twenty years ahead, the population of Uganda will triple. This means the demand for food, clothing, shelter, transport and health care will triple. You should now be planning for your money to meet those demands,” Mr Kibirige added.
He advised professionals below 50 years to invest their capital in businesses they have professional expertise and interest in while they are still energetic.
Mr Peter Kyambadde, the director tax at KPMG and TOP 100 project manager, said the initiative, which started 10 years ago, was a response to the business mortality which denied them opportunity to celebrate their first birthday.
Mr Tony Glencross, the managing director of Monitor Publications Ltd, said one sure way of running sustainable businesses is taking the customer seriously.