As an employee at Kigali City Council, 31-year-old Hope Mbabazi, a graduate in social sciences, made sure that she noted down as many suppliers contacts as possible.
These contacts proved useful later when she decided to venture into the procurement world. “I noticed that the procurement department was paying good money to companies that supplied Kigali City Council with equipment. My dream then on became to supply,” Mbabazi told The Business Times.
Now the managing director of Zuba Trading Company, Mbabazi, said that her secret to success in the world of bidding and tendering came after a careful analysis of how the industry works, which gave her the knowledge of what she needed to emerge winner in every competition.
“I was lucky that my husband owned a retail shop, so my dream business was always nearby. So when he got a job somewhere else in 2009, I decided to quit my job and manage the retail shop. However, I had to convince him that I had the skills to manage it well,” Mbabazi narrates.
“Preparing bids requires a lot of professionalism, sometimes you invest a lot of money expecting to win and then you lose, it is demoralizing and requires a lot of patience.”
Her husband’s retail shop was worth a mere Rwf4million, but Mbabazi has since turned its fortune around to over Rwf100 million worth.
“My first approach towards tenders is always positive. I know I will pay a big security of 10 percent for that bid, as well as compete with some outstanding companies. But at the back on my mind I am also aware that I stand to gain a huge profit once I win,” she says.
She adds that the procurement business requires competitiveness, endurance, competence and above all trust.
“We sometimes supply on credit. This ofcourse is frustrating especially when clients take long without paying. Therefore, it is very crucial to be patient when you are in business,” she adds.
The sky is the limit for Mbabazi, who is now planning to set up a paper factory before joining politics to fight for women rights.