On a rainy Saturday morning Coach Phil and I started the drive from Kampala to Jinja. 14th August 2021 was the day President Museveni was to lay the foundation stone at Kiira Motors Corporation facility located in the Jinja Investment park. I must admit though I was responding to the invite, this was a selfish trip. Being an innovation enthusiast I wanted to soak in as much on the visit as I could.
Here are the lesson I learnt on the trip:
Choose a big problem to solve.
Uganda spends about $500m per year on the importation of automobiles. Most of these are used cars which have ramifications on the environment. Put in context if seventy per cent of imported cars cost an average of $5000 each, it means Uganda imports in one year the country imports 70,000 cars that affect the environment. Imagine the effect in 10 years. Kiira Motors Corporation chose a big problem to solve as you can read. What problem are you solving through your innovation? It better be big and worth solving!
- Discipline action makes innovation fruitful.
While in Jinja, we had a chat with one of the members of staff involved in manufacturing the buses. Though he wasn’t speaking directly about discipline the conversation was filled with undertones of the discipline it takes to make these buses. For those who think innovation is holding hands and singing Ku-mba-ya, you are hugely mistaken. You will need discipline throughout the journey.
- It takes the team to make the dream work.
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” —African Proverb. KMC is a clear depiction of Teamwork; the corporation team, supporting ministries -Technology and Science, Finance, The National Enterprise Corporation (NEC)-a state-owned corporation in Uganda. It is the commercial arm of the Ministry of Defence among others.
- Start and keep pivoting.
Though the factory facility is not 100% complete,KMC did not wait to start production, they have been using a facility in Nakasongola to do the assembling. Don’t wait for situations to be the perfect start.
- Delight in the work of your hands and Celebrate milestones.
Finally, you can’t miss the pride staff hold about their, “ this machine is beautiful you enter and check it out” said one referring to the Kayoola EV bus.