Badyamba Jovan loves fashion and design to the extent that he is even passionate about his business of selling clothes. He is a young man with a dream of making it big in the fashion industry. Our reporter asked him a few questions about what he loves to do.
Please tell our readers about yourself.
My name is Badyamba Jovan. I studied HDG/ICT [History, Divinity and Geography/ Information communication technology] in my senior six and now a second year student of BCM [Bachelor of mass communication] at The Mutesa II Royal University in Mengo. I am also a businessman and I deal in clothes just as you see me.
How did you start this business?
I love designing that is why I am into this business. I started saving money when I was in senior two. I would put aside a small part of my pocket money with the aim of starting a business. I had many ideas in mind at first and it was hard to decide, but I was very much inspired by Abryanz collection [a leading designer in town]. So after my senior six, I approached my mum with the idea of starting a shop and told her how much money I had. She was impressed and immediately gave me some more money, which I used to pay rent for the premises. After that, I joined the trade.
Where do you get these nice clothes?
Well, there are several places we get these clothes from in town. As you may know, there are many wholesalers who import these things, so from time to time, I see what is in stock. If they are of the quality, which I want, then I purchase.
How do you profit from the business?
I make a handsome cut from my sales. I cannot complain really because, for example [pointing to one of the shirts on display] I buy that shirt at about UGX: 8,000/= and then sell it for a minimum of UGX: 15,000/= depending on the customers bargaining power or even the mood I am in. However, sometimes it can go for much more money than that. One time, I bought a shirt at UGX: 5,000/= and sold it at UGX: 25,000/=! So, can you still ask me how I profit? [With a smile on his face]
Do you ever think of any other alternative business?
Not really, at the beginning, I would think maybe I am being too ambitious, but so far, I feel satisfied. This is because I no longer ask anything from my mother. And sometimes I help her with contributing towards my tuition. I think this is the right business for me.
How do you manage the competition?
I do a lot of research. I make sure I know what is trending. It’s a very competitive business. If you look around, you will see that there are many people in this type of business, but ask yourself what will lure a customer to me other than them? My collection attracts the youth mainly because they are quite many. I know what they like, so that is what I bring; something that is to their taste.
My collection has brands which the dot-com era likes. Just like me, I also dress to attract them all the time; that is a silent statement. I am always playing music because it also attracts the customers, they like it, and I also have soft cold drinks [pointing at a freezer in the corner] to keep them relaxed while they make their choices. I sometimes offer them a free drink if they have made a purchase, which I have gained from much.
How do you balance school and business?
To me, it is easy because I now know what to do. During my senior six vacation, I became very used to the business. So, when I started school, it was not that difficult for me to adopt. Actually, I have too much time to read my books as I wait for customers. I even don’t go to school every day, so, I schedule myself in a way which does not stress me.
What is your plan for the future?
I have many plans. First, I want to finish with my books even though I rightly understand that what I am studying is not what I will do as a profession! I want my mum to be proud of me, even people who know me. I want my business to grow big, I want to operate from town and open many branches around town. I also want to bring many other designer outfits like: shoes, watches and the many other things people like because they always ask me for things and sometimes I don’t have them. I want to be an employer when I leave school. I will not look for a job and I want many of my friends to be like me and set a goal, which they follow and not depend on looking for jobs but creating them. I am confident, God willing; I will make it and be admired in Uganda like Abryanz and the like.
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