Patrick Bitature’s resilience got him success

Mr Patrick Bitature is the chairman of Simba group of companies, chairman of UMEME, and the same position at the Private Sector Foundation of Uganda (PSFU)

Private Sector Foundation Uganda chairman Patrick Bitature 

BY Christine Kasemiire

IN SUMMARY

  • Monitor Thought Leaders Forum. In the lead up to the forum happening on March 15, we will highlight some of Uganda’s thought leaders and how they got where they are.
  • Today, we look at Patrick Bitature whose father’s death propelled him to aim for access, as Christine Kasemiire writes.

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Born in a moderately well-to-do family, Mr Patrick Bitature is not the ordinary success story.
The businessman was raised in a financial environment that did not beg for worry until the unfortunate death of his father during President Idi Amin’s regime. The family was left to pick up the pieces.
The sorrow and demise of his father did not drown the young man into depression, but instead pushed him to achieve success. This was in an effort to regain his family’s dignity. In a way, restoring his family’s name drove him to attain the achievements Mr Bitature has at the moment.
“I was driven largely by dignity at the time. I felt there was a travesty of justice, and I felt I needed to get justice for my family and my father,” he says.
Mr Patrick Bitature is the chairman of Simba group of companies, chairman of UMEME, and the same position at the Private Sector Foundation of Uganda (PSFU).

Start with the little you have
As businesses in Uganda constantly decry lack of capital and access to credit, Bitature advises entrepreneurs to start with the little they have. Having started out with less than 60 pounds which has now grown to over millions of Uganda shillings, the businessman believes that if one cannot make minimal amounts of money grow, he cannot make large sums grow either.
He also believes that credibility is vital for business people as it is based on this that others will lend you money and supply products on credit to facilitate your business.
Every business has its peaks and low moments. That is why Bitature advises people not to invest in the material things in life. As he explains, the blow his investment endured in Nigeria over 6 years ago, where he had established a base for three years but lost over $10m because he left the managers to run the show, he emphasises that no matter the outcome of a business risk, always get up and move forward.

How he manages multiple businesses
The silver lining to his experience is that he learnt a lot about the market, the mistakes he should not repeat and decided to concentrate in areas he could easily manage, that is to say East Africa, despite temptations with the opening of new markets in Congo.
“I train young people, I believe in humanity. Most people are honest, you trust them, grow them and empower them to work,” he says.
With schemes to attract and retain employees in the business, Bitature gets weekly and monthly reports concerning his investments in Uganda and Kenya.
He is a family man with three children, a masters’ graduate, bachelor’s graduate and the youngest. While family is important to the business mogul, he believes if interested in working with him, they have to earn it. Mr Bitature believes highly in education for he has seen the benefit of it.
His eldest is currently his chief of staff, a position he says she earned and was not entitled to as his daughter.
“To get on the board, you have to work from the bottom and understand the industry you have chosen to get into. It should not be a privilege,” he says.
His wife has a major role in Bitature’s life. He feels confident to include his wife in his business. Having attained a degree in economics, she has a finger print in their family estates because she understands the business. She is his mirror for him to bounce off ideas he wishes to pursue in business.

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