Magunda tips on cutting costs

Baker Magunda Ugandan businesses have been tasked to adapt to flexible and smart ways if they are to operate efficiently and cut costs in the current competitive business environment.

Baker Magunda, the managing director of Guinness Nigeria PLC, while making the keynote speech on business growth in a volatile economy, said CEOs should not only be competitive but also build from the bottom up.

Magunda said urbanisation, technology and environmental change play a key role in how people work and live in a said economy, adding that “businesses with smart and flexible options are likely to win in 2019 and the following years.” He was speaking at the 10th edition of the CEO Annual Forum held at Kampala Serena hotel.

The revitalization of Uganda Development Bank (UDB) and Uganda Development Corporation (UDC) has enabled some manufacturers to lower their cost of production. The manufacturing sector currently accounts for more than 60 per cent of UDB’s loan portfolio, according to available figures.

The plan is to reduce commercial bank borrowing for the industrial sector from the current 90 per cent to 50 per cent in the medium term. One of the plans is to increase financing UDB and UDC to enable more manufacturers to access cheaper capital.

Mathias Katamba, the CEO of dfcu bank, also urged Ugandans to adopt to digital banking to ease the way they do business. Katamba added that the use of technology improves financial inclusion.

“It will be a move forward for our economy if Ugandans adopt digital banking. Three quarters still prefer to use cash,” Katamba said.

Katamba added that in a country where 77 per cent of its population are youths, the application of technology will attract many of these young people to take part in various areas within the financial sector.

“I would encourage regulation that is in line with technological advances, addressing cybersecurity, consumer education and localising content to increase relevance for the Ugandan user,” Katamba said.

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