I have a confession to make before starting this. I must admit that I do not believe anymore the numerous advertising messages on billboards, newspapers, radio, television etc.
This is simply because I have often tried the advertised products and services and realized that they have nothing to compare with the initial advert. Since most of these ads are just to entice consumers, I have decided not to fall prey of them anymore.
It is for this reason that when I started hearing the Rwandan Development Board (RDB) advertisement on “It’s even Better to do Business in Rwanda” on radios; I never believed the message it was conveying. The ad was saying that one could register a company online or at their offices in Kigali within 24 hours.
But again, your columnist is so passionate about everything concerning service delivery that she often tries different service experiences so as to better understand what customers go through.
After a second thought, I decided to go and try myself the accuracy of this campaign. That is how on July 25, 2010, I started the process by checking online the necessary requirements for the registration of a sole ownership company. Their website was clear, simple and accurate.
I should say here that it is such a shame that many business owners neglect the power of websites in today’s modern and competitive world. Regardless of what type of business you are in, you need to know that most potential customers decide right with a simple click whether to try your business or not.
And for those who already have one, please make sure they are updated. The last time on a website, I read a Valentine Day offer in a month of June…..
Anyway, coming back to my experience in registering a company in 24hours; your columnist arrived on Monday July 26, 2010 at 10am at the RDB office and was asked to produce photocopy of her passport, a photo, a filled registration form and Rwf25,000. Because of my homework the night before, I had all the necessary documents.
At a certain time, there was some unclear information and when I went to ask the lady on the other desk; she took her time in explaining everything. After paying the Rwf25,000, I was asked to come back the next day.
Of course; I knew that the next day, he would ask me again to bring a missing document. It is sometimes so frustrating when service providers don’t take time in giving once and for all an accurate list of missing documents instead of asking customers each day to bring a different document.
Well, when I went back the next day at 8am, I was given a certificate of Domestic Company Registration officially signed and stamped. What amazement! “Are you sure everything is alright?” I asked the man? And his answer was as simple as this “you can start your business right today”.
Of course, even with the certificate in my hand, I didn’t’ believe my eye. For your information, your columnist has registered companies in 3 different countries and she knows the hassle that one has to go through.
In most countries, the administrative constraints actually discourage many and make them rather work in the informal.
I simply need to tell the whole world about this experience…Yes registering a company in less than 24hours is possible only in Rwanda.
The author is a customer service consultant working in Rwanda