Expert Swoboda Tips Makerere Students on Startups

By Dedan Kimathi

Famed international business consultant Michael Swoboda has advised small and medium entrepreneurs to devise innovative ways of understanding their customers’ diverse needs in order to grow their sales.

He said this while addressing participants at a training workshop that was held at the Makerere University innovation and incubation lab this week.

According to Swoboda, for enterprises to have an edge in the competitive market, business men need to vigorously engage in product centered market research and adopt technologies that help enhance the individual customer’s shopping experience.

“It is not about understanding your competitors but producing unique tailor made solutions that suit every individual client that is important,” he points out.

However, for entrepreneurs to accomplish this, Swoboda suggests that technologically adept companies need to embark on mass customization as opposed to mass production.

Swoboda, who in his decade plus journey has worked with big brands such as telecom giant Siemens and digital currency firm Wunderman, says that it is only through manufacture of customized goods that clients can derive a sense of attachment.

“Other than focusing on sales, companies must interact with their target audience to find out how their design preferences are as one way of enticing a critical mass of customers,” he observed.


On the other hand, Paul Blazek founder president of Cyledge media Europe’s leading customization experience agency, for entrepreneurs to survive in the competitive market they must not only be resilient but also need to believe in themselves.

ChimpReports understands business failure remains a big challenge to many budding entrepreneurs in Uganda.

According to findings from a 2004 study done by Makerere University Business School in conjunction with the European Union indicate that the business failure rate in Uganda stands at 50% meaning that half of the sprouting businesses collapse every year.

This year’s training workshop was held was held under the theme “innovation and customisation as drivers of start-up success”.

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