“Hello, my name is Edison from MTN, could you direct me to your office?” these words still ring in my head as I catch up on the memories of the 18th July 2014, business training we had at the Kampala Sheraton Hotel.
I arrived before 0730 hours as had been asked only to be welcomed in the yellow world. On entrance, Edison (the only one I knew ) and team took us through registration and handed us yellow name tags and yellow kits for the training and warmly ushered us in to the serene yellow conference hall. It has been said numerous times that Ugandans come early to book the back seats and this is exactly what, together with other fellow early birds, did. There was only one gentleman on the second raw on the left who quietly sat fiddling his laptop keyboard. After about 17 minutes of ‘don’t-interrupt-my-business- he invited us to take on the front seats. I was to learn later that he was our main facilitator of the day. Little wonder his outfit said it all. Draped in a navy blue fitting suit, thick lens-narrow strip specs, bold and confident, Mustapha Mugisa took on the podium and the day was ready to roll along with his colleague, Ovon.
Mustapha is the brain behind the Summit Consult and is partners with Ovon, a tax expert. Summit Consults in partnership with MTN Uganda came up to empower the people who are already in business through the Business Forum. This is run around the country and it is an avenue of equipping the business people with such the knowledge that they ought to have.
There are more people in business and giving them such an adequate training can be a backward run up hill. It is because of this that the attendance is by application and verification. We were told that more than 1000 businesses had applied but only 100 were needed to attend the training. We were privileged to be a part of them.
The training does not discriminate as it includes people from all walks of the business world. In our introductions, we were asked to talk about who we are, what we do and our expectations of the day. And behold the responses were pretty amazing. I was the only who came as a publisher.
The training was action packed. It differed from the usual trainings as it involved comprehensive interactions. By the end of the day, my expectations were short over and beyond. The training had various segments including; a case study on internal controls, using the internet to better your business, the tax case in business to mention but a few.
The training received the utmost from the participants as there was room for networking with other people. The segments were well spelt out with interludes of coffee here and there. Speaking of the Food, we had it all. From the heavy breakfast, to the full course lunch-on, the cocktail, and the serving was just on-point.
As if that was not enough of the satisfactory humiliation yet we had to endure it all till the end. The General Manager of MTN handed us certificates which came with a weighty carry home package. A few luckier ones were able to carry home I pads that were given out in the business card draw.
The minister of Trade, Commerce and Industry, Hon Amelia Kyambadde wound up the event encouraging the participants to implement what they had learnt. The band bid us a farewell dance that raged on till the collapse of the day.
If I am to summarize what transpired at the training, I can say, we met, we learnt and we partied.
Thanks to the organizers of the event and all that made it a success. Till we meet again.