‘Marketers must be great communicators’

Benedict Buhanguzi

What you need to know:

Car business: Benedict Buhanguzi is the chief executive officer of Kabugizi Enterprises which houses Kabugizi Motors. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Microfinance from Kyambogo University and is a marketing and communications expert. He has a passion for cars and a vast experience in car sales and imports.

How have you got to where you are today?

It is a combination of not only the schools I attended but guidance from my parents, mentors, experience, hard work, preparation, networks, luck and skills I have gained. The challenges and adversities have helped push me look outside and once I looked outside, I found an opportunity to propel me.

I was fortunate in several ways to have gotten an opportunity to further my education soon after finishing my bachelor’s degree. I studied my master’s in Accounting and Finance, specialising in risk management at a time when it was an emerging field, also the financial markets had started to collapse in Europe, leading me back home where Bank of Uganda had issued guidelines for reforms in the banking space, especially in the RM space.

Tell us about your career journey

I am a professional banker and I have worked for several banks. However my passion has always been marketing and communication. I have done quite a number of corporate communications in the space of advertising, communication plans for social media and mainstream media. I worked for Crown Beverages as an area manager in Nakasongola and when I returned to Kampala I also worked with Uganda Institute of Bankers as the leadership and business development manager.

However, along the way my passion for cars was awakened and I would spend time on the internet searching about cars. When I left Crown Beverages, I worked for a company called SBT Japan at their Uganda office. I was the senior sales executive and I garnered a lot of knowledge in car sales and importation. Over time, Kabugizi Motors was born as a wing product in this enterprise.

What does Kabugizi Motors do exactly?

We majorly import cars and journey with the buyer through the importation process, from selection of your car, inspection, shipping, clearing and delivering to your compound.

What is your biggest inspiration and strength in marketing cars?

Passion; I fight to be known in my spaces as a car importer. I have also garnered a lot of experience, so this makes me almost tick all the boxes and above all I am a good communicator.

Who is your target market?

We are open to all potential buyers because we deal in a variety of cars. However, the mainstream market demand is hinged on the SUV and sedan cars as well as the 4x4 cars with a focus on the corporates. We also re-export to the DR Congo and South Sudan market.

What are some of the challenges you face as a car importer?

The Covid-19 pandemic came with immense diverse effects on the car dealership business. The global pandemic forced most companies in the line of car exportation, warehousing and auction as well as shipping departments out of business. However, as the situation is getting back to normal, we have seen a slight improvement in the operations and entire process.

The Russia-Ukraine war has also caused a scarcity of ships since most shipping companies in Asia and Europe have diverted the ships to delivery of gas, wheat. The turbulence in the dollar rate is another factor.

What advice do you give those planning to join or those that have been in this marketing profession?

People intending to join the car importation business and even those that are still there should be ready to learn, be passionate and also ready to face challenges, especially rejection. If you market a product and it is rejected, do not lose hope just go back and repackage.

You should also be a people person. My greatest strength is that I can speak to someone like I have known them for ages.

Lastly, effective communication and marketing are inseparable, so marketers should be good communicators.

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