Simba Telecom proprietor Patrick Bitature is set for what has been termed as a “mega launch” of a new book in which he discusses at length how he built is massive empire.
Considered now the second wealthiest businessman in Uganda, Mr Bitature opens up on how he waded through endless hardships, reeled under immense debt to get where he is today.
The book Titled: Get Inspired by Patrick Bitature, is being published by World of Inspiration Uganda, and will be launched at a date soon to be announced.
“The date and venue of the launch is not yet decided, but the book is ready. A copy will be going for Shs. 50,000,” Abbie Nahabwe from the publishing company told us.
In the book, tycoon Bitature lists a number of tested channels through which to make money, some of which he used and never looked back.
The tycoon’s amassed wealth from Simba Telecom, farming, mining, media, real estate, and travel among others was estimated at $100 million back in 2012.
Aged 57 today, Bitature was born in Fort Portal in Kabarole District but has his country home in Ibanda district.
He lost his parents to the high-handed regime of President Idi Amin, and was forced to take care of their family, hence joining trade at a young age.
In the book, Bitature says he largely owes his success on his bold step to venture into real estate in Kampala and later in neighboring countries.
“Investing in properties is a magical way of making money; there is nothing like it,” he says. “People think, ‘Bitature made a lot of money in telecoms.’ I probably have made more money in property in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.”
Properties, the tycoon says, are a classic vehicle of creating wealth worldwide, which however, people tend to overlook.
“But if you want to become wealthy, you have got to get into investing in land and buildings. But don’t go in and get out very quickly. Go in and stay for a long time. You must have the stamina to stay in there. The longer you stay the more your properties will generally appreciate and that’s where you will make your money.”
He goes on to recall how he invaded the sector with no sufficient money of his own, and his friends predicted doom for him.
“At one time, the government was selling houses at 100 million shillings each in Nakasero and Kololo. It was largely colonial people and government officials who had been staying in these houses.
“All these people wanted was goodwill and the goodwill was at 100 million shillings. I didn’t have enough money so I started borrowing. I managed to buy 10 properties in Nakasero and 10 in Kololo. I started paying back the loan.
“And the whole town was talking, “Oh, Bitature is finished. He borrowed almost a billion shillings.” True, I was getting worried; my wife was on my case. I was struggling with the interest. But eventually, I managed to finish paying back. Today, any property on one acre in Nakasero is going for 1.5 million dollars plus. Now who is laughing at who?”
Bitature also talks of other tested ways of becoming wealthy, amongst them entrepreneurship which most Ugandans understand better, and the Stock Market which is still under developed in the country.
While more than 80% of over half a million start-ups that come up in Uganda every year don’t see their first anniversary, Bitature says isn’t and should stop people to from trying to start their own businesses.
“Business is one of the ways to become successful but it demands a lot of time, hard work, skill and a lot of other variables. Anything can go wrong or right in that business. You’ve got to horn your skill in it,” he says.