Regents University Alumni in Japan #skyping with Uganda

Tafadzwa Chakaodza a graduate from Regents University now working in Japana first joined Grow a year ago volunteering with our Malawi teams. Here he talks about his experience as a #Uganda600 consultant.

My Uganda 600 client is Ronald Irumba-Juro, the very proud owner of a unisex hair salon in Mutongo. The salon mainly offers services like women’s perm re-touches, braiding and dreadlocks with the dreadlocks being the main service he is known for. The business being in the low cost tier segment of the market, serves about 5-10 customers on average a day with the target clientele being women aged 30 and 50 with the children’s segment both girls and boys being small but growing. With about 3 part time employees, space restrictions have led to a suspension of the provision of male services as the business hopes to move into a larger location within 6-12 months. Ronald went into business after the local salon he worked for closed down and he needed to provide for his family.

We communicate for meetings over Skype but at times when internet connections fails, which is more often than not, we continue on Whatsapp on his phone or over email. Sometimes he uses a laptop he has or we Skype at his work place. With a time difference of 6 hours we usually communicate during Uganda day time and Japan after 10 or 11pm.
We have had 5 sessions to date with about 4 sessions have been held back at this point due to Ronald’s unforeseen circumstances including the loss of a family member, family illness and a burglary that happened at his residence leading to many gadgets having been stolen. Throughout all of this, Ronald has remained steadfast and keen to follow through with the process.

Some of the problems identified include high and fluctuating rentals from his landlord, electricity supply shortages having no generator, knowledge of proper income and expenditure, cash flow and financial budgeting systems, employee labour turnover and remuneration issues as well as marketing strategy. I have given him homework to gather financial records however they are kept, competitor services analyses within his area as well a look into pricing structures which he did well and came back with great insights. We continue to work to make the business thrive as we go on.

Friday, 2 October 2015

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