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Own an industry with just $150


Maalik Fahd Kayondo, the C.E.O of Telesat International, an institute that teaches how to start and develop cottage industries, says you need as little as shillings 320,000 (about US $150) to become a manufacturer. He spoke to The Campus Journal’s Umar Kyeyune about the relevance of his training programmes.


Qn. What exactly do you train people to do?
Ans. [We train students in] Processing sugar, milk powder, fruit powder, vegetable cooking oil, tomato sauce, bio gas, biscuits, ice cream, chewing gum, yoghurt, candles, paper bags, glue [and] shoe polish.


[Telesat also trains students in making] Bar soap, all types of liquid soaps, stain and ink removers, laundry detergents, dish and window-glass cleansers.


[In addition, we teach] hair wave treatment, [how to make] all types of shampoo, hair oils and cream, hair pomade and straightener, hair conditioner and gel, hair dye and dandruff remover and nail polish and remover.


[We also train people in] writing proposals, project reports; product development, packaging and development; trade mark, patent and copy right registration [as well as] UNBS and ISO certification processing.


Qn. What inspired you to teach such skills?
Ans. I studied in India and picked interest in becoming an entrepreneur. I also learnt how people could survive with only vocational skills. At first I did not intend to start such an institute. I only wanted to pass these skills to a few friends. But after [appearing on] radio talk shows, the reaction from the public inspired me to start this institute.


Qn. How do you advise people who would like to start such small scale industries but complain of lack of capital?
Ans. There are many small projects that need little capital to start. (In an earlier interaction he said one needs an initial minimum capital of sh 1,000,000 to start manufacturing sugar; 500,000 to establish a bar soap industry; 320,000 to produce candles.)


Secondly, people should know that skills are the best form of capital. Therefore they should acquire skills first.

Qn. Given that you use simple technology which may affect quality, how can your products compete with those of established companies like Mukwano?
Ans: These big industries produce massively and have superior packaging but the quality does not match the packaging. It (their quality) is much or less the same as that of the products we produce. We ensure that we produce high quality products that can favorably compete with those of big companies.


Qn. What kind of support do you get from government to empower Ugandans with such entrepreneurial skills?
Ans: I don’t get anything from government


Qn: If you examine some of your graduates over the years, how has the training changed their lives?
Ans: People have acquired training from here and have used it to improve on their lives and increase their incomes. By January [2010] we had trained 30,000 students.


Qn. How do you advise the increasing number of highly educated young men and women that is unable to find jobs?
They should forget the old thinking that they must work in their professions. They should know that formal education was only meant to expose them to the outside world. They should also consider the demand for skills acquired through the non formal training system. They should start something and help it grow and consider starting small.


Qn: Last word
Ans: I advise the youth to come join us because there are many skills to acquire and there are many opportunities.

This story was first published in the print version of The Campus Journal in 2011

Comments   

 
0 #1 Tesfamariam 2016-01-01 15:53
This is helpful i want to join it
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