Property magnate Haruna Sentongo started his business journey from a bags’ stall worth sh300,000 he got from his father as capital, to a notable property owner in Uganda’s capital city-Kampala.
Haruna Towers is today a recognized property brand around Kampala. The owner has properties in Wandegeya, Ntinda and City Centre, and more buildings under other names, including Nakayiza and Segawa Markets in Downtown Kampala and Mengo-Kisenyi respectively.
The buildings are owned by Haruna Sentongo, whose brother Hamis Kiggundu, is also a renowned name in property development.
Many people wonder how these young men, made their money in their short years. Some people even go as far as alleging their parents invested in them hugely at the start, while others, say, they are fronts for government officials.
It turns out these are tall tales. On the other hand, the real story is one that would inspire the boy or girl next door to focus their energies in the right direction if they wanted to success as entrepreneurs.
Early this week, Watchdog Uganda paid a visit to Haruna Sentongo at his Haruna Towers in the busy Kisenyi business hub.
The youthful businessman gave a sneak peak of his business journey to www.watchoduganda.com which we shall run in bits.
One realizes that every person has their life story which one may not duplicate but can learn from.
Haruna Sentongo’s story reveals one fact: you can start with anything. Anywhere. And you don’t have to wait to get a lot of money to start a dream business.
Haruna proves that the start doesn’t determine the destination. Instead, what matters more is the individual’s attributes and how they play their cards along the way.
Entrepreneur Haruna’s dream was to have a million shillings. He believed when he gets a million shillings in his hands, he would be able to start life as a trader in Downtown Kampala.
Instead his dad, gave him sh300,000 to go and do something with it.
And guess, what, his brother Hamis Kiggundu of the Ham Towers fame, borrowed the money to go and clear some good with Uganda Revenue Authority. A decade ago, that was the life of the two boys, who have emerged as the new breed of property developers in Kampala.
“I started as a vendor with the sh300,000 my father gave me,” Haruna told Watchdog Uganda.
“I was selling bags at Skylight Arcade,” he recalls. He bought bags from DT bags on Gazaland arcade at sh12,000 and resold them at sh15,000 at this stall. He aimed at earning a little profit from selling bags, but focused on volumes.
Haruna realized that from his sh300,000, God had answered his prayer to make his sh1,000,000. The million shillings grew to two, three, five, etc.
From bags, Haruna realized he would make more money selling lady’s blouses.
He joined his brother Hamis Kiggundu in importing blouses from Hong Kong, Thailand and China.
It is from these savings that Haruna bought his first plot at Kubbiri, near Makerere, where he built his first Haruna Towers.
Everyone has their story of how their dream started and grown into realities.
Now the youthful tycoon has several buildings to his name including Haruna Towers, Nakayiza Market and Segawa Market in Downtown Kampala, properties that attract hundreds of tenants and customers. At Nakayizza for example, it is hub for produce and grains while Segawa Market brings together dealers in spare parts.
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