CEO Today - Global Awards 2023

- 22 - CEO Today Global Awards 2023 - UGANDA - Do you foresee any specific trends emerging in the near future? The COVID-19 pandemic and its effects profoundly disrupted the way managers, entrepreneurs and decision-makers in the industry view the geo-ICT space. The pandemic shut markets and some organisations without geospatial capabilities operationally struggled to sustain their projects and field activities. I think we are seeing a magnified demand and uptake for geo-ICT platforms and tools for institutional work beyond the traditional practices. With the internet of things, for example, there will be deeper integration with real-time information, analytics and dashboards, etc. Governments have to strengthen policy and legislation to regulate (but also adopt) geoinformation science to bolster development in all fields from planning to oil and gas, environment, agriculture, climate forecast, defence and security. The private sector and academia will dive deeper into innovation and develop more applications and user-friendly tools for different user cases. In terms of your career to date, what obstacles have you overcome to get where you are today? GEO-MIK’s journey from the beginning through initial operations and into the development stages has been an uphill task for several reasons including access to capital and credit. At an early stage, I needed to defeat a common stereotype; that you can never start and succeed with your innovation, idea or any original business venture unless you are from a privileged family or supported by powerful connection in an organisation or government. Later, I realised it is never essentially so. For example, I was compelled to operate from home for the first seven months of registration. I only leased the first operational office in October 2008 at Suite C, Katatumba Suites, Coleville Street, Kampala. However, it closed within first three months. I was pushed out of the industry temporarily and went back to the labour market. I got a job at Geo-Information Communication in January 2009, and at the same time I established a side commercial enterprise for stationery service and a cafe as a complementary and fundraising drive to capitalise the start-up. Unfortunately, it also closed within the first seven months of operation. In August 2009, I secured a one-year part time offer at UNDP/UN Habitat and, six months later in January 2010, re-established the firm at the garage belonging to the Church of Uganda. Right there, everything started. Inspired by the vision, I immediately began to document, incubate and innovate the business concepts, crafting content, originating templates and scoping services and product portfolios and forming the initial team. After competitively securing the first, second and third government tenders in 2010, 2011 and 2012, things started slowly to look up. I moved operations to a more spacious office in 2013 and later in 2015 because there was a growing need to upscale and restructure our operational capacity. Six years later, propelled by the quest to reinforce and effectively consolidate GEOMIK’s growth and reposition our business for the regional and international agenda; it became necessary to relocate the office to a strategic city: Entebbe, the host of Entebbe International Airport. It also demanded I think we are seeing a magnified demand and uptake for geo-ICT platforms and tools for institutional work beyond the traditional practices.

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