CEO Today - Africa Awards 2023

44 | Uganda pillar for this market in Africa. The history of GEO-MIK is the typical story of any small start-up in Africa. The beginnings, initial operations and development stages were an uphill task for several reasons, including access to capital and credit. There was a need to defeat a common stereotype – that you can never start and succeed with your idea or any business venture unless you are from a privileged family, supported by the government or have powerful connections. Later, I realised it is never essentially so. I needed to start anyhow. Along its growth path, the firm closed and reopened several times between October 2008 and 2009 until, January 2010 when it re-established at the ‘garage’ in Namirembe, Kampala. Inspired by the vision, immediately, there was a need to document, incubate and innovate the initial business concepts, craft content, originate templates, scope service and product portfolios. After competitively securing the first, second and third government tenders in 2010, 2011 and 2012, things started to look up slowly. We moved operations to a more spacious office in 2013 and later in 2015 because there was a growing need to progressively upscale and restructure our operational capacity. Six years later, propelled by the quest to reinforce and effectively consolidate GEO-MIKʼs growth and reposition our business for the regional and international agenda, it became necessary to relocate our office to the city of Entebbe, so we can be close to the Entebbe International Airport. This also demanded to upscale and add holistic value to the business – to evolve GEO-MIK from a firm to a limited liability company and to realign our product and service portfolios to the emerging domestic and foreign markets. For over a decade now, GEO-MIK has seen sustained domestic growth and has expanded its territorial footprint from project work to more than 13 countries in Africa. What is your vision for GEO-MIK as a means of empowering Africans? As a company, we remain consistent with our vision that is to become an international pillar and hub for geo information, land and spatial development solutions in Africa. Through this we will deliver our mandate and core portfolios as well as other initiatives that directly and indirectly benefit the company objectives but also supportive to development initiatives on the continent and beyond. Through GEO-MIK we would like to contribute to employment generation and support social economic development on the African continent through our mainstream work and also complementary initiatives such as the youth entrepreneurship development program. Through a synergistic program, to impact hundreds of indigenous startup enterprises and provide mainstream technology and value propositions that will address environment, climate change, create jobs to hundreds and thousands of youths on the continent by 2030 and in the overall contribute sustainably to the global economy. How are you working to align the firm’s policies and innovation to these goals? With our transformation and launching of new product and service portfolios, we are repositioning strategically the company policy to match the current and future industry and market demands in a way that will directly and indirectly contribute to value addition and job creation. We are scaling up our ICT infrastructure, boasting our risk mitigating plans, adapting business process outsourcing models, growing and strengthening synergies with partners while also fostering the uptake of our services and products domestically, regionally and beyond so as to support and play a complementary role to the different social economic development processes on the continent. We will establish tech hub and incubation programs that will give the market and the underprivileged youth and female innovators a suitable platform and to stimulate and tap into invisible talents, breathe new life to ideas and to establish a startup ecosystem in Africa. Within an s innovation tech hubs program, which is part of our organization vision, we aim at developing necessary capacity, training, skilling, technology, tech-platforms, policy and infrastructure that will spur, empower and support the mainstream market with offer value propositions that support development. . At a macro level, I see our longrange strategic focus, beyond the continent, where we want to

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