Johnson Kibirege who is in his early 30’s is the founder of Wion Motors garage and he does not regret venturing into the business. Matooke Republic sat down Kibirenge and he narrated the journey of his business that he thinks has changed not only his life but also positively benefited his clientele.
Why do you decide to start up this garage?
I opened up a car repair business after a long spell of importing cars and I had built a clientele that always asked me where they could repair their cars from. When such inquires became many and consistent, I saw it as an opportunity to further my business relationship with the customers.
Further still, I studied mechanical engineering from KYU and later, I was privileged to get exposure and training on automation while in Japan.
Majority of the garages in Uganda are informal and unprofessional. I opened up Wion Motors garage with a sense of making a difference. The car repair industry is tainted with an image of unethical mechanics; hence I opened this garage to change such perceptions on the industry.
How much capital did you invest at the start?
My skills and few tools, monetary wise maybe Shs10m
Was the capital a donation of a sort or it was your savings?
Personal savings coupled with a strong sense of CAR DREAM
How is the business so far and how much did you make like in a month?
Our average monthly revenues are up and about Shs23 million
How many people do you employ?
Nine resident staff and close to 20 car specialists on a basis of “Call-for-job”
What have you learned from mistakes you have done in this garage business?
Keep Professional at all time, jobs will always come your way. Develop systems and be Consistent to your dream.
What challenges are involved in this kind of business?
Since it’s a business, Yes it faces largely the same challenges just like any other business.
Describe a typical work week for this garage?
We work averagely on seven cars per day and our busiest day is Saturday. We work seven days a week 7am to 6pm and we always on standby to attend to road rescues for our clients who may get issues while on road.
What is your biggest weakness?
Providing substitute/Courtesy Cars to my clients while I have their cars in garage under repair.
Any physical assets you have gained from this business?
This is still work in progress.
What are your expectations from this business years to come?
I look forward to having a very strong brand that has presence in all the commercial towns of Uganda. We envision expanding first to the 5 divisions of Kampala City and later spring-out to the upcountry commercial centers.