Apparently, many youth think their future is determined after their higher education with the hope of using their education transcripts to attain jobs. However, this is not the way with Tom Viane Gakumba, an entrepreneur.
Gakumba, 31, is the founder of Rwanda Vision Suppliers enterprise that deals in supplying IT equipments, office furniture, and stationeries and other stuff when it wins tenders.
According to Gakumba, success is determined by first of all having a dream. “I had always had a dream of starting my own business even before I joined university,” he confides.
“You see, where there is a will there is always a way for you,” noted Gakumba, adding that the most stumbling block to many youths and some adults’ dreams coming true is fear.
“People worry about how they will get capital, because there is no one to give them a push. They have a fear of losing. You can’t establish anything if you have such thoughts.”
He says that the only way to have a dream come true is to be determined with the desire and take a step to act on it.
When Gakumba completed his Bachelors degree in marketing last year from the School of Finance and Banking (SFB), within the first two weeks he began to think of a business project. That’s how Rwanda Vision Suppliers was born.
“I took some time to think of a business which would serve all Rwandans and hence I came up with the one of supplying equipments. That’s why I called it Rwanda Vision Suppliers,” said Gakumba.
When he was fully satisfied with the project, he didn’t hesitate on it. He immediately hurried to Rwanda Development Board to register it. It only cost him Rwf25, 000.
Gakumba said that after registering the project, he begun designing the project proposal so that he could acquire a loan from the banks.
“After I designed the project plan, I went straight to Bank Populaire du Rwanda to acquire a loan, and the bank promised that if I win any tender I bring the contract so that they give me an over draft,” Gakumba narrates.
According to him, the bank gave him more motivation.
“After the bank’s advice, I tried my best to win a tender. The first tender I won was that of supplying furniture to Rukara College in Kayonza district. So, there was my fortune,” the young entrepreneur recalls.He however says that much as it was hard starting, he couldn’t give up.
“There are some hindrances at the beginning but you have to work hard if you want to have a great future in something you want to achieve,” he says.
Gakumba says he started with only Rwf50, 000 to establish his project.
Although there is stiff competition in his business, Gakumba says every business has a secret it uses to win clients. “To beat competitors, one has to have a separate secret in the particular business you are dealing in. I see to it that I deliver on time, care about customers and ensure quality whenever I win a tender and that builds trust.”
Gakumba hires short term employees to facilitate his business and he says his greatest intention is to set up a manufacturing company.
Gakumba bases his manufacturing company intentions on the fact that doing business in Rwanda has been eased by the government.
“You see now it’s very easy to do any sort of business in Rwanda when you are focused, because our country if free of corruption, it’s not like in other countries,” he says.
He says that although his business is still in its initial stages, it has helped him sustain his family members.
He advises the youths to always have desire, determination and make decisions if they want their dreams to come true. He adds that life is all about sharing and inspirations.