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Patrick Bitature Full life story
After losing his father to the tyrannical regime of Idi Amin Dada, one could say a young Patrick Bitature was drawn to business by tragedy.
At the tender age of 13, he hitch-hiked his way to Kenya to get his then grieving family some sugar at a period when it was the scarcest of household items in the country. He was able to get some sugar for free in Kenya then came back and gave him family members for free and sold the sugar that was left to the neighbors.
With the little money he made, he saw the lucrativeness of trade between Kenya and Uganda. He started going to Kenya, buying Sugar, salt and other items that weren’t or expensive in Uganda and reselling them for a margin.
This was the birth of Bitature as a business person.
Fast forward to today:
He is lauded to be one of the wealthiest people in Uganda. He ranks amongst Uganda’s Epic wealthy rubbing shoulders with Ugandans of Asian origin with Indian entrepreneurs Karim Hirji, Sudhir Ruparelia. He was worth 100m USD basing on the latest rankings.
Patrick Bitature is most popularly known for his proprietorship of Simba telecom, a company he started in 1998 that ended up becoming a subsidiary of MTN and dealt mostly in reselling MTN airtime, hitting figures as high as 80m USD in sales in 2010.
From his experience with Simba Telecom, he was granted a Vodacom dealership in Tanzania. This venture didn’t turn out lucrative as the parent company back home in Uganda but he speaks about his time in the Tanganyika with pride because of the life and business lessons he learned.
He exported his business acumen to Kenya and the lessons from Tanzania paid off – he successfully set out a Safaricom dealership with more than 60 shops in Kenya today.
Despite being known mostly for his work in telecom, Patrick Bitature says his wealth mostly emanates from a different venture: property.
Enter Sudhir Ruparelia
The businessman says he was introduced to him by his mentor Sudhir Ruparelia who is the current wealthiest man in Uganda on one afternoon after they had lunch together and he hasn’t looked back ever since.
He ended up in debt over 1 billion Uganda shillings with his first investment into property, but he says a few years later, each of the properties he invested money in is worth at least 1.5 million Us dollars at this time, and this is not taking into consideration other properties he owns in other parts of east Africa.
- UMEME: Patrick Bitature is also a major player in the energy sector in Uganda. He is the current chairman Board of directors of UMEME, the largest energy distributor in Uganda, providing 97 percent of the electricity used in the country. The company is listed on the Uganda Securities Exchange and also cross-listed on the Nairobi stock exchange, with assets at an estimated 670 million USD.
- He also runs Electro-Maxx Limited, a power company that owns and runs the Tororo thermal power station in Uganda. It was the first privately-owned power station in Africa to put out more than 20 megawatts of power. In September 2018, The company signed a contract with the government of Uganda in which they are paid $0.8 for every Unit of power they add to the national grid. They add 50 megawatts to the national grid of Uganda.
- Patrick Bitature, through his Simba group also owns part of the Tororo solar power station. Whose 10 megawatts of power is directly sold to the national grid. Its power lights up 40,000 homes in the vicinity of the station to reduce transmission costs.
Away from telecom and energy, Patrick also has his hands in the hotel business.
- Protea Hotels: He owns the Kampala protea hotel through his Simba group of companies. The establishment, founded in 2007, is a member of the South-African based Protea Hotels Group, owned by the Marriott Hotels chain. In December 2014, the hotel won the award of “Best Luxury City Business Hotel in Uganda” in the World Luxury Hotel Awards contest that year. It had won a similar award in 2013. It boasts 59 rooms, 11Suits, 1 restaurant, and many more amenities.
- He under the chain also owns Naguru Skyz Hotel and Protea Hotel Entebbe.
He also Owns Simba Mining Limited which is involved in Gold mining in Ibanda district
Simba diary farm in Ibanda is able to put out upwards of 750 liters of milk per day.
About the farm, he said: “I am into this [dairy farming] for commercial reasons and more importantly, to help others do it better because this is more of a model farm that will help my neighborhood to not only become better dairy farmers but also make more money for themselves,”
Patrick Bitature Documentary. A Full story from rugs to Riches.
For a continuation of the story, refer to the video below: View Video on YouTube here