Andrew Muluwana Kizito is an entrepreneur from the 2nd edition of the Global MBA in Impact Entrepreneurship in Kampala, Uganda and he is the CEO of Sefa Organic, an herbal medicine enterprise that offers cheap and easily accessible alternative health natural medicine to the local population, who is recurrently sick and unable to afford available medical services.
Along the years, Sefa Organic has achieved several goals, becoming a point of reference on natural medicine in the Country. The outreach programs across the country have seen Sefa Organiz’s services and products reach over 5,000 homesteads and it has won multiple awards of excellence from NDA.
“SEFA Organic has inspired the establishment of four notable natural health centers with their directors being either one of our former employees and or trainees. This is a sign that the business we have started is actually becoming a force to reckon with in the industry.” Muluwana highlighted.
He has decided to take part in the MBA at Uganda Martyrs University in order to learn how to better develop his business.
“This course has been a wonderful experience and revelation to me and my business in multiple ways, but, overall, this course is practical since it encourages students to use our businesses as the study model, it helps one realize loopholes, make adjustments and appreciate the positive impacts.”
1.How was your Business Idea born?
The idea was born out of the need to offer cheap and easily accessible alternative health natural medicine to the local populace who were recurrently sick and unable to afford available medical services and products.
2.How can your business improve the life of the beneficiaries of your activities?
SEFA ORGANIC, since inception, has registered a massive positive impact on the beneficiaries:
- Employment: the Company directly and indirectly employs over 100 people plus a moltitude of out growers.
- Health: over 90% of our clients are patients with a diverse range of illnesses. Our database stands at 150,000 clients who access our products and services to improve and maintain a healthy lifestyle. We offer free scan and outreach programs in selected cycles.
- Environmental preservation and protection: through advocacy for protection of herbs and medicinal plants, SEFA organic directly preserves a conducive environment for all.
- Education and awareness: through our free radio programs, outreaches and information sharing with different stake holders, we have trained a sizable number of natural health practitioners
3.What has been the main challenge you had to overcome in your entrepreneurial experience?
First of all the legislation. There is lack of a clear law regulating herbal medicine businesses. The agencies that purport to regulate it are not clearly mandated and designated creating havoc. The also quack competitors: these give our industry a bad name and lead to pressure from government. Upholding our brand’s proposition of quality and low pricing has kept us above the radar. Financial constraints are another issue, these have hindered growth and development due to need for specialized equipment at every level of production. Branding through packaging is also hindered because local manufacturers produce the products at limited specifications in size, design and quantity. The desire to import is costly. Furthermore, the market acceptance is hard to come by given the unregulated entrants that are unscrupulous and foreign companies that enjoy large economies of scale compared to local manufacturers.
4. In your opinion, what are the main qualities an entrepreneur should have?
Creativity, flexibility, versatility, confidence, quick decision making
5. Is there a person you are inspired by, i.e. an entrepreneur or a particular mentor?
Yes, the late Mulwana of JESA farm products. Being namesakes, he touted me to uplift the legacy of this name. His inspirational advocacy of hard work over poverty
6.What would you suggest to a new-born entrepreneur?
- Cash is king: figure out how to preserve all cash flow, especially early on. Get payment extensions on bills if need be.
- Keep company: don’t go at it alone. Find a partner or two. Worst case, be around other entrepreneurs somehow.
- Validate or invalidate: test before you invest. Figure out how to validate, and even better, invalidate your idea before you sink a bunch of time and energy into it.
- Do work you care about: there’s no doubt that running a business take a lot of time. Steve Jobs noted that the only way to be satisfied in your life is to do work that you truly believe in.
- Take the risk: we never know the outcome of our efforts unless we actually do it
- Believe in yourself: whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right. Believe that you can succeed, and you’ll find ways through different obstacles. If you don’t, you’ll just find excuses.
- Have a vision: an entrepreneur is someone who has a vision for something and a desire to create it. Keep your vision clear at all times.
7. Could you tell us what how our MBA has helped you and your business?
The project planning management course has helped me better understand and digest the role of a project manager and appreciate the role a project has in the growth and development of a company. The Business Canvas Model creates a clear layout of the business and helped me understand and develop a feasible proposition, identify communication channels and appreciate distribution channels. The Financial Planning and Management course helps one understand the importance of book keeping, highlighting what a company director has to do and how books of account help track the growth a business.
Learn more on SEFA ORGANIC
Facebook page: @SEFAORGANICS
Twitter page: @sefaorganic