Kenj Nabirye

Kenj Nabirye

Vice Chancellor Hosts Well Performing Students To Dinner

The Vice chancellor Victoria University Kampala hosted over 20 students who performed well in previous exams to a sumptuous dinner which was hosted at Nanjing Restaurant in Kampala. The University said this is one way of motivating students to perform well.

The Vice Chancellor, Dr. Krishna N. Sharma, recognized the good performance of Best performing students that got first class CGPA to motivate them. “The overall intention of this diner is to thank and motivate the best performing students to keep performing well.” Radhika Maniyar, the head of marketing and recruitment at the University told this website.

Krishna N. Sharma, when he had just taken over the office of Vice Chancellor last year, vowed to change the way education is delivered in Uganda by adopting a research and knowledge driven teaching methods.

“Students go to some universities and come out with the paper, not knowledge but the paper, I promise that when you come out of Victoria University, you will have the paper, you will have the knowledge, and you will have research papers publications,” he said at the time.

“Just compare a person coming out of university with say a bachelor of computer science and you coming out of Victoria University with a degree, published research papers, knowledge, international internship and innovations,” he further said of what he planned to do for Victoria University.

The private University owned by the Ruparelia Group, maintains a healthy and unique student-university relationship.

“If I may use personification, a university should be a students’ mentor. We also make the environment comfortable for students. We believe more in participant-facilitator relation than student-lecturer relation.”

How Ruparelia Investments Have Changed Uganda’s Tourism Sector

In the last decade, Uganda’s tourism sector has seen a tremendous growth on all fronts. Tourists’ arrivals have improved and grown to about two million annually. This growth, according to industry experts, can be attributed to an improvement in the hotel industry.

The improvement in the hotel industry is largely private sector driven with most, if not all worthwhile hotels belonging to private local and international individuals and organizations.

On such entrepreneur who has played a visible role in improving the hotel industry is Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia through is chain of hotels under the Speke Group of Hotels, under the Ruparelia Group of Companies.

The Ruparelia Group runs some of Uganda’s largest and finest hotels and resorts serving both the luxury and budget market. The Group offers the ultimate in luxury accommodation, leisure facilities and the finest conference and business meeting venues in Uganda.

All Ruparelia Group hotels and resorts are situated in the most strategic locations and offer an array of luxury services, intense hospitality, modern amenities and business facilities. Below we list some of the hotels owned by the group that have facilitated tourism in Uganda.

Kabira Country Club

With 95 luxurious guest-rooms and exceptional amenities, Kabira Country Club is perfect for a relaxing get away and somewhere to hold a special event or an impressive venue for a business gathering.

The Ruparelia family purchased the site from Mowlem Construction and has since established a country club renowned throughout not just Kampala, but all of Uganda.

Check them out HERE

Speke Resort Bujagali Falls

Speke Resort at Bujagali Falls offers banda, dormitory or camping accommodation with superb views and the roar of the rapids to lull visitors to sleep at night.

The green clad islands are home or resting place to many species of birds and the foaming blue and white water is an oxygenated heaven for Nile Perch, Tilapia and Tiger Fish.

Early morning the Nile valley shrouded in slowly lifting mist, fish eagles calling, a small flock of white egrets feeding on the lawns and bedraggled cormorants drying their wings on rocky outcrops, will stir every nature lover's heart.

The pounding rapids bring a rush of adrenaline to the day’s rafters and kayakers. Spectacular sunrises and sunsets reflect orange and purple on the river.

Check them out HERE

Forest Cottages

Forest Cottages are brilliantly designed luxury cottages nestled within a peaceful African forest setting. Situated on Naguru Hill in the Bukoto area of Kampala, Uganda, these lavish accommodations have been carefully landscaped to compliment the huge, shady indigenous trees that surround the area.  

Feel the touch of nature while enjoying the comforts of modern conveniences like, internet, telephone, television and locally made furniture. Selectively planted smaller trees, bushes, shrubs and flowers make Forest Cottages an inspiring destination for nature lovers and eco tourists alike.

The hotel provides a small sanctuary for forest wildlife such as coloured turacoes, hornbills, and an additional 20 bird species. Our friendly and courteous staff is always ready to welcome you with pleasure and serve you the best.

Check them out HERE

Dolphin Suites

Dolphin Suites is a beautiful hotel complex nestled in the peaceful neighbourhood of Bugolobi, away from the hustle and bustle of Kampala. Located only five minutes from the city centre, Dolphin Suites is a well-planned easily accessible hotel with an expansive array of facilities and services that will surely grant you an unforgettable, blissful stay.

At Dolphin Suites you can enjoy a quiet moment to yourself in the secure private grounds, relaxing by the pool or visiting our health club — complete with gym, sauna and steam room — before enjoying a delicious meal in our restaurant with fully stocked bar.

It has spacious accommodation facilities, including one and two bedroom apartments, all at competitive prices, are fully air-conditioned with direct access telephone lines, separate kitchen, living room and satellite TV.

Check them out HERE

Speke Hotel

Speke Hotel is one of Kampala's oldest hotels. Speke Hotel was taken over by The Ruparelia Group in 1996. It was then given a major facelift to add comforts to age and grace.

The hotel interior is a dash of trendy sophistication with an afro-colonial look, reflecting philosophies of the early nineteen-century with modern comfort amenities, consisting of natural materials and neutral tones.

All 50 rooms are air-conditioned, have wooden floors, satellite television and a minibar. Speke Hotel is located in the heart of Kampala, close to banks and business centres and offers all the charms of bygone days complimented by efficient, modern services and facilities.

It offers various dishes, daily entertainment, well-stocked bar and business meeting venues. Speke Hotel has three Restaurants and a Bar: Pizzeria (Italian Cuisine), Khyber Pass (Indian Cuisine), Rock Café (Continental Cuisine) and Rock Bar (Cocktail Bar).

Check them out HERE

Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort

Set on 90 acres in the Speke Resort complex with majestic views of Lake Victoria, Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort is Uganda’s leading 5-star resort.

It was specifically constructed to host the 2007 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). It is dedicated to providing unrivalled comfort and unmatched services.

Boasting 449 rooms, cottages and Presidential suites, with a unique blend of traditional Ugandan and ultra modern furnishings, which merge into the Pearl of Africa theme carried throughout the décor, the many room features and amenities ensure a seamless transition from pleasure to business and vice versa.

The meeting rooms are designed around your convenience and are the ideal choice for any occasion, all under one roof. The comprehensive wellness and fitness facilities ensure body and mind work in harmony.

Check them out HERE

Speke Apartments

Speke Apartments provide modern accommodations in one of the best residential areas of Kampala. The Apartments are ideal for executives and their families who come to Kampala for a short to medium stay. They are set in their own pleasant grounds a few minutes from the city centre, but away from the traffic.

There are 27 one-bedroom and 16 three-bedroom apartments, all self contained, fully furnished and equipped with all the gadgets required for a home, including: 16-channel remote controlled satellite TV and a fully equipped kitchen with cooking range, cutlery, fridge/freezer, microwave etc. There is a full housekeeping service with cleaning and laundry services.

In the garden, there are bar and barbeque facilities that guests may use, as well as a small swimming pool, Jacuzzi & sauna. Guests may also make use of the facilities at Kabira Country Club & Speke Resort.

Check them out HERE

Speke Resort and Conference Centre

Speke Resort & Conference Centre, conveniently located only 12 km from the centre of Kampala, offers you the ultimate in luxury accommodation and leisure facilities together with the finest conference and business meeting location in East Africa, all situated in an idyllic setting at Munyonyo on the shore of Lake Victoria.

The Resort offers the best conferencing facilities for national and international clientele, providing a professional but friendly ambience that spells "Pleasure & Comfort" while at work.

It also offers you a choice of luxury accommodation to suit individuals, couples, families or groups on long or short stays, in cottages, one bedroom and two bedroom apartments or studio rooms.

Speke Resort & Conference Centre Munyonyo offers 10 state-of-the-art conference rooms including a 1,000-seat ballroom and 9 multi-function meeting rooms accommodating groups of 10-300.

Check them out HERE

What Sudhir Told Makerere University School of Law Students

In his maiden address of the annual Makerere Lawyers Annual Dinner, businessman Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia made an incredible mark as the Ruparelia Group chairman told a story of surviving as an entrepreneur in developing economies like Uganda.

The dinner that was hosted Kampala Serena Hotel was used to mark 50 Years of the law school at Makerere under the theme “Bridging the Past with the Contemporary World for a Better Future. Below we reproduce the remarkable speech by Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia.

I was delighted as I am now before you, when I received the invitation to do two things this evening;

  1. To attend this dinner
  2. To give a key note address.

Delighted because sharing experiences with the youth is as delighting as it is rejuvenating. Moreso future lawyers. Thank you for the invitation.

The topic is “the relationship between business and the Law; and the opportunities that will be available for Lawyers in the future.”

In this address the topic is viewed within the School of Law at 50 theme; “BRIDGING THE PAST WITH THE CONTEMPORARY WORLD FOR A BETTER FUTURE

This is too broad and rather complex a topic. Luckily what is requested of me is to speak to you as a businessman and that is who I am- a seasoned entrepreneur who is neither a Lawyer nor an academic.

Being seasoned carries with it a tag of weathering storms and soldiering on a challenging journey and that I have done to the extent that I was deemed worthy of speaking to such an audience at a dinner.

What you put at risk and I will be talking about risk business and law, is your appetite. I hope you will excuse me if my address takes your appetite with it.

My address will be in two segments.

  1. The Relationship between business and the law
  2. The Opportunities that will be available for Lawyers in the future.

But before that, a brief over view of my journey will assist in giving a proper perspective of my experiences and what I have to share with you.

I was born in Katwe Kabanyolo, Kasese. I left Uganda in 1972 for the United Kingdom when Asians were expelled.

In the United Kingdom, I pursued some studies and at the same time worked.

A typical day was a combination of studying and working for up to 16 hours. I was a cab driver in London and had a part time job in the accounts department of a well-established mid-size enterprise.

I returned to Uganda in 1985 on a scouting mission.

In December, 1986 I started business-trading business on Kampala road with a capital of USD 25,000. Like Chairman Mao said a long journey starts with one step.

From the one trading step in December 1986 to date the Ruparelia Group is comprised of 14 Companies in different sectors.

-Real Estate with Meera Investments Ltd as the group’s flagship Company.

-Hospitality under which Speke Resort Munyonyo, Kabira Country Club, Speke Apartments and others fall.

-Education. In this sector we have Kampala International School offering an International Curriculum, Kampala Parents School offering the nation curriculum, Delhi Public International School and Victoria University.

-Insurance- We have Goldstar Insurance Co. Ltd

-Media-We have the oldest private FM broadcasting entity in Uganda, Radio Sanyu.

-Rosebud Ltd- this is a floriculture Company currently exporting 400k roses daily to Europe.

Until recently Crane Bank Ltd was one of the Group Companies. When all court matters are over I will be glad to return and share invaluable unwritten Crane Bank lessons – not what we see in the press.

The group’s human personnel is 7,000 strong. That’s a snapshot of the Ruparelia Group.

As you can imagine, the group deals with many suppliers, many clients, many regulators including Workers Unions, European authorities for the flower exports, etc. The wheels of business to a great extent run on the Law. Should the rule of law malfunction business will follow suit or put in other words the healthy check of businesses is as good as the rule of law prevailing at any one time.

To do all this one needs good professionals, good dependable people and this includes good lawyers.

I will not define who a good Lawyer is but professionalism, reputation, knowledge and agility are key attributes. A good lawyer must constantly be ahead of the curve in the profession

Back to the topic;

  1. The Relationship between business and the Law.

When we talk of business, there is one key pillar of it that is inevitable. That is Capital. One thing we must constantly remember about capital is the now famed phrase; CAPITAL IS A COWARD. This phrase first came in print in October, 1884 in the Jersey Journal.

As you know when threatened, a coward flees and so does capital under threat. It goes where it is safe and stays where it is protected. It flees when threatened and unprotected.

The biggest protector of capital and therefore business is the Law. This sums up the relationship between business and the Law.
The importance of business in economic and human development cannot be over emphasized. The protector of
capital and the entrepreneur that uses capital to create value for society is therefore very linked and very important

This protector of capital called the Law is very crucial from the basic elements such as incorporation of a Company, the concept of limited liability to complex competition and anti-monopoly regulations, labour laws, complex project structures and contracts such as the recently signed agreement relating to the oil refinery in Uganda and now cyber Laws, privacy laws that have seen face book on the spot after the etc.

What then, with this protector does a businessman or rather businessperson to be gender sensitive, takes risk with faith in the protector that is the Law?

The protector above the law is the Almighty.

Risk taking is an attribute of entrepreneurship. That said, risk must always be weighed against rewards and possibilities. What is undisputed is that every business has risk well embedded in it. The Law is the strongest insurance against many risks.

That is why confidence in a functioning and reliable judicial system is key for business. The compliance and regulatory environment is important too. Business thrives when the rule of Law exists. As a businessman you always want that comfort that the law will protect you and you can run to Court or a Regulator should the need arise.

This applies even when it is against the State. As you will appreciate the State is mighty. The Law though is mightier
and in that lies the strength business derives from the Law.

A case in point. In 1994 Meera Investments Ltd, our group’s real estate company obtained a Certificate of Incentives from Uganda Investment Authority. To qualify for incentives there was a monetary investment threshold that one had to attain.

On attaining that threshold Meera Investments Ltd applied and demonstrated that it had 5 properties whose value exceeded the threshold thus the grant of the Certificate of Incentives that gave an exemption from corporation tax, withholding tax and tax on dividends for 5 years.

This enabled Meera Investments Ltd invest more. That indeed is the essence of incentives. To attract more capital and more investments. With more capital and more investments in a country the spin offs are numerous.

In 1999, Uganda Revenue Authority slammed Meera Investments Ltd with a Shs. 36 billion tax assessment claiming that only 5 properties listed for purposes of demonstration of attainment of the threshold were exempt. Meera Investments Ltd on the other hand maintained that a threshold is a minimum qualifying mark and not the ceiling .Therefore all of its properties were exempt.

Meera Investments Ltd run to Court and sued the Commissioner General, Uganda Revenue Authority as well as Uganda Investment Authority.

The case moved from High Court to the Supreme Court on a technicality raised by the Commissioner General of Uganda Revenue Authority to the effect that it is only URA that could be sued.

The Supreme Court ruled that the Commissioner General could be sued and referred the case back to High Court. In end the Certificate of Incentives was respected. The Supreme Court decision should be good reading for Law Students.

For Meera Investments to have succeeded against a government agency illustrates the strength business derives from the Law. Perhaps Meera Investment would be no more had the law not offered that protection.

With all challenges that institutions face, the Judiciary in Uganda is still a good place to resort to. I hope the future generation that you represent will make it even better and not worse.

Beyond litigation, the Law, through regulatory tools ensures sanity in a very competitive business environment. Business rivalry can be chaotic. The law is at hand in containing what would otherwise be anarchy in business. The law ensures predictability and provides, appropriate checks and balances.

As you can imagine, the group deals with many suppliers, many clients, many regulators including Workers Unions, European authorities for the flower exports, etc. The wheels of business to a great extent run on the Law.

To do all this one needs good professionals, good people and this includes a good lawyers.

I will not define who a good Lawyer is but professionalism, reputation, knowledge and agility are key attributes. A good lawyer must constantly be ahead of the curve in the profession.

I will now turn to the second and last segment

  1. The Opportunities that will be available for lawyers in the future.

In the Journey I started in Uganda in December 1986, I have seen opportunities in all sectors and professions; the legal profession included.

For opportunities in the future you must be constantly aware of the changes in this digital world. They are more rapid than most of us imagine and that is where your opportunities lie. Innovation is now the center stage of everything and you young lawyers must be innovative.

Major opportunities lie beyond the traditional litigator, the traditional Registrar of Companies, the traditional Judicial Officer. This is a narrow way of looking at the future. Lawyers have an edge in building careers in tech firms, insurance banking, and the internet of things.

To prepare yourselves for the future, business literacy, financial literacy, and communication skills will give you a premium. You have to start challenging yourselves and challenging your curriculum.

Are you getting any training in these aspects?

You need to equip yourselves to be visible in the increasingly challenging world. You must be resilient.

I have built resilience and this has helped me weather many storms. Resilience has many attributes. They include;

  • Emotional intelligence i.e. ability to control one’s feelings, get out of the human weakness of looking at others from your perspective, step outside and look.be able to anticipate. Have a vision.
  • Authenticity- i.e. be true to the values and goals you stand for. Drive the identity that you are even when the going is tough.
  • Agility- i.e the ability to think through situations quickly, transform challenges into opportunities.

Each time we hear of Artificial Intelligence, crypto currencies e.t.c. we tend to imagine they are too remote or rather that we are too remote. This is a big mistake. These times are with us. We must understand them.

The opportunities available for lawyers in the future are enormous but they demand a shift from old school in all ways. Business automation with the modern computing power is already providing accurate answers to legal questions.

Are you preparing yourself? Are you adaptable to new thinking, new tools, and new technology?

That in my view is the outline of the opportunities for lawyers in the future.

As I conclude I will leave you with an article that I read in one of the Harvard Business Review Magazines- It is titled; The case for Plain-Language Contracts.

It is an amazing shift from the legalese of WHERETOFORE, NOTWITHSTANDING, HERETOFORE to plain language. A shift from unnecessarily long contracts. It illustrates the need, even from a language perspective, for a change in how Lawyers go about their business. The change is not only in technology and business environment.

I have a few copies of the Article for you. I hope the organizers will make it available for each of you.

I wish each of you a bright and successful future.

I will end by reminding you that there is no dignity in poverty. The key is in hard and Up-To Date work skill tool yourself to avoid poverty but avoid poverty in dignity.

Thank you.

Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia

Crane Bank Sale Has Had Major Consequences On Economy - Youth

The catastrophe surrounding and emanating from usurping of Crane Bank operations by Bank of Uganda and eventually selling it dfcu bank has had major consequences on the economy, Youth Power Research-Uganda (YOPRU), a group of youths that advocate for economic empowerment told a press conference.

“Crane Bank was involuntarily precipitated to close without taking time to analyze the impact of the bank to the economy. Our indigenous bank that was a rock of refugee to the business community was unceremoniously closed by weevils from Bank of Uganda,” a statement addressed to President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and read by Ben Ssebuguzi, the team leader at a press conference on Tuesday said.

“Traders suffered hard because it had tailored needs with flexible terms. Youths lost jobs and worst of all, the directors, who have dedicated all their time to develop their country Uganda have been frustrated by mafias through depriving them the sweet of their investments. A bank that had Net Assets worth Ugx1.3 trillion was sold a paltry of about Ugx200bn,” it read in addition.

“Your Excellency, this is a significance of day robbery by people with selfish interests from Bank of Uganda who want to reap where they have not sown. As youths of Uganda, we castigate such attitude as it may scare other potential investors who would like to commit their resources in our country,” adds the statement.

“Mr. President, Crane Bank would have been saved if we had patriotic people in BOU given the fact that the Bank was the second largest indigenous bank which does not repatriate profits but ploughs back.

The bank needed special supervision because it had defied all odds and decided to penetrate the countryside where other banks fear hence promoting financial inclusion where the largest number of the unbanked population live, hence indirectly supporting government Vision of transforming rural communities into the money market through bank services,” continues the statement.

“By virtue of this, the bank was carrying ‘systematic risk’ where by the decision of closure was not supposed to be hastily done. We believe that this bank needed due diligence with utmost good faith.” They say that by letting Businessman Sudhir Ruparelia unfairly lose his bank, government was cultivating a bad investment culture both locally and intentionally.

“In the same vein, as the trustees and management of YOPRU, extend their sincere thanks to President Museveni, for implementing our recommendations in the petition highlighted above like prevailing over the anguish of BoU against Crane Bank directors by allowing negotiations outside court,” says the statement.

“This is very crucial because the frustration of Mr. Sudhir Ruparelia, the director of defunct Crane Bank by BoU can be equated to a local adage of washing and drying in mud. Mr. Sudhir is made by Ugandans themselves hence making Uganda to have one of the most successful investors in the region. So destroying him would mean destroying a thousand jobs for youths; it is easy to breakdown an investor, but very difficult to make another one.”

Subscribe to this RSS feed

26°C

Kampala

Mostly Cloudy

Humidity: 74%

Wind: 22.53 km/h

  • 24 Mar 2016 28°C 22°C
  • 25 Mar 2016 28°C 21°C