Annet Nalubega aka Maama Katale has defined the saying of rising from grass to grace after starting her cleaning and fumigation company that has not only gained her mass popularity but also helped her to expand rapidly.
The CEO of Nettoyer International Limited, while appearing on The Groove Cafe with Crystal, said that she had gotten weary of being idle and unemployed. Without any starting capital, she thought of cleaning for other people, first from the network of friends she had.
“I usually tell people that when you're starting a business, you start with what you have. I didn't have anything but I had former classmates who I was still in touch with.These people were doing very well and thought about what I could do for them that they couldn't do for themselves. So I settled for cleaning for them, a service that they appreciated,” she said.
With the help of her education, Nalubega said that as a laundry woman, she thought of how to expand her business and came up with the idea of a poster that she posted on her Facebook page and thereafter, she instantly broke into the market.
Now she says that with about 79 condominiums and a hospital contracted to her company, the business has grown to employ 350 people though with the impact of Covid 19, the number has drastically reduced to 70 employees.
Without the fear of getting her hands dirty, Maama Katale says she loves to make money even when it means getting herself into dirty linen. During the 2020 Covid-19 lockdown when her business was affected, Nalubega got a client who tasked her to sell 100 sacks of irish potatoes to her customers, for a profit of Ugx.20,000 per sack.
“Within three days, I had sold them online. I would wake up and upload my post with my contact numbers in different groups on different social platforms. I made Ugx2million in three days and was able to gain capital to start my own potato business. Another supplier of rice gave me 32 tonnes of rice which I was able to sell in three weeks through my social networks and that is how I entered the food business,” she said.
Furthermore, she said that she started selling tomatoes that came out of a shared farm with her brother, and decided to expand to being a one-stop shop selling vegetables and other ingredients on her social media pages and groups.
Also a mother of two, Nalubega confessed that she lost her marriage after she was told she was a liability, which motivated her to work harder.
In her advice to people like her, including youth, she said, “First, you have to accept that whatever has happened has happened. After you ask that question, don't despise humble beginnings, don't wait until you have Ugx10 million to start because in this economy, even us that are working may be unable to collect such starting capital.”
“Seek knowledge from people, you could ask me, I am available. My satisfaction comes from seeing a person win because I helped or talked to them, and when they take the path and achieve success, that alone is enough to give me satisfaction,” she said.
The Groove Cafe with Crystal Newman airs every Weekday from 4-5pm on RX Radio.
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