Text commentary of how the 8th edition of the Pakasa Forum unfolded.
Live reporting by Joseph Kizza (@joekizza)
12.25PM HAVE A GOOD DAY!
And that brings us to the end of this coverage. Enjoy your day!
12.15PM 'BE DISCIPLINED, BE FOCUSED'
We are wrapping up here, with final words from main speaker Bob Collymore, who thanks participants for their appearance, Vision Group head of marketing Susan Nsibirwa and chief executive Robert Kabushenga.
Kabushenga then presents a gift package to Collymore, which includes "the best coffee in the world" and chocolate.
12.15PM 'BE DISCIPLINED, BE FOCUSED'
Kabushenga responds to a written question from a participant who wants to know how he can balance studies and business. He is worried that in the middle of him juggling work and books, he has found himself incurring losses.
"Be focused," says the Vision Group CEO. "But most importantly, be discplined."
11.45AM 'COST OF CAPITAL HIGH'
Do you believe in loans as an ingredient of business-growth success?
"The problem here is Uganda is that the cost of capital is too high. The interest rates are so high and so it is not competitive enough. That needs to first change."
11.35AM MORE QUESTIONS FOR COLLYMORE
How do you handle cross-cultural dynamics in business?
"It is a big challenge to embrace. Cross-cultural management could be how you work on an executive committee with 60% women? How doyou deal with that? It's quite a challenge when you introduce people with disability, etc," says Collymore.
What are the things that should be adjusted after a business lockdown/failure?
"Do acknowledge your failure. Find the "black box" in reference to what an airline would do if there were a plane crash. Secondly, separate the issue from the people."
"How do you deal with the problem of unemployment in respective to job creation?"
"It's a wide question, and I am not sure I can exhaust it. But the question is how do you create an enviroment that will help you create jobs.
11.25AM 'MANY DREAMS, CONFUSED'
"I have so many dreams but I am afraid I might pursue the wrong one," asks a participant.
"Pursue them, make the mistakes. Just do it. Life is full of mistakes, I like mistakes," says Collymore.
"I have a bakery but the people don't like my quality. What should I do?"
"Do not start with the product. Start with the customer."
"I would like to start a poultry farm. Is there anyone who can help me start one?"
Collymore: "Find out about someone who has a successful one outside town. Make use of the internet as well. There is a whole lot of information online and so you don't have to meet someone in person."
11.20AM Q&A SESSION
Nalugya Justine, a fresh graduate, who is an inspirational speaker in Kenya, asks on hanging out with smart people: "How will I get to you?"
Collymore: "Be persistent, and keep it up. [As a busy CEO] I might not have the time, but never give up."
Atuhaire Bridget, a MUK student: "How can we find the poeople to guide us?
"The question is about time. But the question is about how to find mentors. When you look for your mentor, don't look for the CEO of a particular company. Look for skills, people who have similar experiences will be happy to guide you," he advises.
On challenges, Collymore says:
"As a leader, what we do is we manage the team. And if there are issues, the team will work around them. My advise is, pick the right team."
On time management:
"I have an average of 10 engagements a day. My time is very valuable. Time managament is a discipline you have to develop. Strangely enough, it's politicians who are the worst at time keeping."
11.10AM ON SELF-DOUBT
Collymore responds to another question from Kabushenga about how young people can make it. "When you feel that you are not adding anything to society, then you will have self-doubt," he says, before reminiscing about a book he read of a man in a concentration camp would figured that to get better portions of a meal, he needed to smile to the person who served them. The point is that one has to find ways of how to manuevre around circumstances in life.
"It is up to you to determine what your response to a situation is."
10.55AM 'BE DUMBEST PERSON'
So what does Collymore think of dreamers?
Here is what he has to say: "One percent of the world own 99% of the stuff that there is on this planet. So if you don’t dream, how do you expect to turn this around? I think dreaming is good.”
And, what one thing would he tell the young people to tell their parents?
"The problem is not with the people in the room today, the problem is with the parents. I would tell the young people to tell their parents to listen."
10.50AM 'BE DUMBEST PERSON'
"Always be the dumbest person in the room," says Collymore when asked what principle has carried him through the years. "Because if you are smart, it means you are in a room of dumb people. I hang out with people who want to change to world.”
10.40AM 'BE PERSISTENT'
After Collymore is done with his presentation, Robert Kabushenga, seated, takes the mic and tells of an experience he had five years ago with a young mother who wanted financial help. He says she called him and asked to meet him in his office. And when he told her that he couldn’t help her, she persisted. And the next time she met him, she had brought business to his office. “I have brought you a set of table mats,” Kabushenga narrates. And after negotiating and settling for a price, the Vision Group boss ended up paying for the table mats at 50,000. “There are people in this world who are desperate and will do anything to support their families.”
What can we do to create opportunities for young people, he asks Collymore. “Be persistent,” responds the Safaricom chief executive, and explains more.
10.35AM MEDIA LITERACY, VIRTUAL COLLABORATION
Collymore tells the young people to "understand your media, embrace it and leverage it".
He also talks of the importance of being able to work/collaborate virtually. “You can work for my company without leaving Kampala."
10.30AM CROSS-CULTURAL COMPETENCE
The keynote speaker says another skill is what he calls "cross-cultural competence", giving his working experience in Japan. "The more you submerge yourself in another culture, the more you enjoy it," he says.
Collymore says that he is now employing the experiences he got from Japan. "Seek first to understand, and then you will be understood. ALways start with the 'why' and not the 'what'."
Collymore says that one of the key skills for a young person is being "transdiscplinary", so as to be able to adjust to various aspects of the business environment. He talks of how his wife is engaged in various discplines, including art.
After there, he goes on to tell the participants that they should sieve and make sense of the so much information that is available to them and put it to good use.
10.15AM PERSONAL OBSSESSION 'HURTING BUSINESS'
Collymore tells the participants, who have now filled that KPS auditorium, to be innovative. "Try to create new stuff and move away from what we have taught you," he says. He goes on to talk about computation and how today's young people need to "make sense" out of the so much data is available, especially on the internet.
10.15AM PERSONAL OBSSESSION 'HURTING BUSINESS'
The Safaricom chief executive, who told the audience that he has working in various parts of the globe, says personal obsession for business has retarded progress.
"Personal goals override clientele satisfaction," he says.
10.00AM INTEGRITY IS KEY
Bob Collymore says integrity is one of the key ingredients that employers want. He also says that the ability to communicate appropriately and effectively is the top-most skill that majority of employers look for.
9.50AM 'FIRST TIME IN UGANDA'
Vision Group CEO Robert Kabushenga starts us off by welcoming everyone to the event and introducing the keynote speaker.
"This is his first visit to Uganda. And the first time he is coming to Uganda, he is coming to share wisdom. Even better, we are not going to pay anything. The only gratitude we are going to show him is to take his lessons seriously," says Kabushenga.
9.40AM BUILD-UP: MINGLING
This was much earlier . . .
9.20AM URBAN TV LIVE STREAMING
Vision Group's Urban TV will stream the event live. So if you are interested, you will have to CLICK HERE to watch the forum live.
9.20AM FORUM NUMBER 8
The venue is getting filled up by the minute, and the keynote speaker, Bob Collymore, is already in the building. As you might have seen already in the image below, Collymore is the chief executive of Safaricom. With minutes to the start of the forum, he is in the company of his counterpart, Vision Group CEO Robert Kabushenga.
9.00AM FORUM NUMBER 8
8.45AM GOOD MORNING!
Hello and welcome along to live text coverage of the 8th Pakasa Forum in Kampala. Already settled here and it's still early days inside the Kampala Parents' School mainhall where the forum will take place. Camera crews are setting their equipment as a handful of young participants start to trickle in.
Be sure to stick with me here.