Taxi business keeps UCU student in school
Originally posted at: https://www.ugandapartners.org/2022/11/taxi-business-keeps-ucu-student-in-school/
By Vanessa Kyalimpa
When one listens to the story of Jonan Tabura, a student of Uganda Chrsitian University (UCU), the most likely conclusion is that he is a living testimony of someone who has been pushed by fate to achieve success.
Tabura, a UCU graduate with a Bachelor of Human Resource Management working on a UCU Master of Development Monitoring and Evaluation, has a taxi business more about destiny than desire. It started small – with one cab – and has grown to two 14-seater passenger vans, or taxis.
When many people his age and education level would shun the job of being a cab driver, Tabura readily welcomed the offer. He had no source of income to continue with his undergraduate studies. So, when his sister presented to him the opportunity to drive her car as a cab, Tabura welcomed it with open arms.
From the cab business, he was able to save money which he topped up with a loan to purchase a commuter passenger service van. At the time, Tabura says he would make anywhere between sh60,000 and sh70,000 (about $15.6-$18.3) per day as a cab driver.
“While growing up, I was always told that it’s better to start small,” Tabura said. “Because that mantra had been ingrained in me, I opted to save some money that my sister was paying me as a cab driver and, with the additional money from the loan, I bought a van for public transport.”
The proceeds from the passenger service van business were enough to enable him to pay back the loan and save more money from which he acquired a second van. From the two vans, Tabura said he would earn a daily income of sh240,000 (about $63), which he used to enroll for an undergraduate course in the UCU School of Business.
Tabura’s might sound like a story of a man without any challenges in the business until you listen to it in full. One obstacle that reinforces fate over plan is that with no deliberate mastery, he had to develop the skill of fixing minor mechanical vehicle problems while employing skilled mechanics for major issues.
Although his business is growing faster than he had anticipated, like any other enterprise, he continues to face obstacles, namely financial. One such obstacle for people in the transport business is high fuel prices, which have nearly doubled in the last year. Unfortunately, he says, they cannot increase the transport fare at the same rate.
He admitted that there have been times when he considered giving up, particularly when his cars were involved in accidents and he had to pay for the damage caused and, at times, the medical expenses of people injured in accidents.
He encourages students who want to start their own businesses to do so, but to keep in mind the balance of entrepreneur gratification and challenges.
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