Today as we mark 20 years of the adventure, I believe God has been on our side
By Andrew Masinde
In 1996, two siblings Freddie Katamba Mukiibi a lawyer and Regina Mukiibi, a banker made history when they registered a funeral service management company, the first of its kind in the country.
It was registered as an investor by the Uganda Investment Authority in 2003. At the time, management of funerals as a full-time occupation was considered rather odd. That, however, did not deter the siblings as they registered the country's first professional funeral management company.
Incidentally, it is the only company in the Great Lakes Region with a chair at the World Organisation of Funeral Operatives based in the Netherlands. It is also a member of the National Funeral Directors Association based in Washington DC in the US. Perhaps even the Registrar of Companies at the time, had no idea that 20 years down the road the industry would blossom and attract more than a dozen other players.
According to Regina Naluyima Mukiibi, the Managing Director of UFS starting the company was a very risky venture. "We took a financial risk, which is taken by any investor; but investors usually calculate their financial risks based on past experiences of similar investments and the reigning economic environment. We had no earlier reference point to bank upon; neither did we have any idea as to whether the environment for such a service in Uganda was good or bad at the time," she notes.
"Today as we mark 20 years of the venture, I believe God has been on our side," she says. The idea of starting the service was a result of their many travels abroad.
"During such travels, we got interested in various aspects of life. We were impressed by the dignity with which people abroad celebrated their funerals and the hygienic way they handled and buried their dead, and we wished it could be mirrored back home in Uganda. That was the spark," she says. CLICK HERE FOR MORE