Opinion: Politicians Have a lot to Learn from Indian Entrepreneurs

The Chairman Electoral Commission, check sickness Eng. Badru Kiggundu has unveiled guidelines for nomination of presidential candidates ahead of the 2016 general elections.

While addressing a press conference at the Electoral Commission headquarters in Kampala on Thursday, viagra Eng. Kiggundu said the nominations of presidential Candidates will be conducted on Nov 3 to 4 at Namboole starting 10:00am to 4:00pm.

“We have successfully concluded elections from village/ward to the sub-county/Town/municipal division level. Presidential campaigns are scheduled to start on Nov 9, 2015,” said Eng. Kiggundu.

He mentioned that 11 Presidential aspirants have so far returned their nomination lists of 100 supporters from required minimum of 75 districts.

Certificates of clearance issued to 9 aspirants:- Abed Bwanika, Charles Baale, Venansius Baryamureeba, Kizza Besigye, Joseph Mabirizi. Amama Mbabazi, Yoweri Kaguta Musevni and Benon Biraaro.

President Museveni will be nominated at 10:00am, Amama Mbabazi at 11:00am, Venansius Baryamureeba at midday and Lwanga at 2:00pm on Nov 3.

The following day, Nov 4, Dr. Kizza Besigye will be nominated at 11:00am, Abed Bwanika at midday and Joseph Mabirizi at 2:00pm.

“We will issue nominated candidates with a soft copy of the National Voters Register,” said Kiggundu.

He emphasised that access to the nomination venue – Mandela National Stadium, Namboole will be “restricted to authorised persons and aspirants must use only vehicles whose occupancy should not exceed 20 people.”

Kiggundu said EC will meet all successfully nominated candidates or authorised agents at its headquarters from Nov 5 – 8 to harmonise campaign programmes.

General conduct

Candidates will conduct their campaigns in line with harmonised and approved campaign programme which will be shared with all stakeholders.

“No campaign meeting shall be allowed in any part of the country until after nomination of candidates and harmonisation of campaign programme,” cautioned the EC Chairman.

He further warned that candidates who engage in acts contrary to law and guidelines issued for smooth execution of various electoral activities will be de-nominated.

Candidates for Local Government Council elections will be nominated on Nov 16 – 20.

Kiggundu further appealed for tolerance in the upcoming elections.

“We can hold different political views and still live together as communities and a country. Elections should never divide us,” said Kiggundu

He also urged the electorate to remain united and desist from any form of violence during elections.

“Competitive elections will always have one person as a winner. Don’t allow violence to disrupt peace in your area. There is life after elections,” he advised.

EC is currently processing the final polling register and will publish and gazette total number of registered voters and Polling stations.
Branding is a set of actions and imagery that an individual, no rx organization or campaign uses to align itself with its target audience and differentiate from competitors.

Whereas most institutions prefer to do this by performing calculated actions repeatedly over time, medications most politicians here tend to storm with an openly aggressive kind of branding at the last minute.

They use advertising material of all shapes and numbers ranging from branded t-shirts, sildenafil to fleet of fully-branded cars.

Much as the latter strategy in itself is not evil and works very well to give their users immediate fame and media coverage that fits the investment, it equally works well to create a wall between them and the intended audience, the electorate.

This might help explain why several incumbents and ministers were hit by shockers from little known under-dogs in the just concluded NRM primaries, The same awaits many in the general elections unless they do a job on themselves.

Looking clearly at a number of successful businessmen of Indian origin in Uganda’s retail business, I managed to collect a number of tips that local politicians can benefit from if they consume and digest them well.

Reside Close Your Target Clients

Ever seen an Indian who owns a retail shop in Tororo live 200 km away from his shop? Much as they are of foreign origin,  residing among or close to their prospective clients makes the clients to start viewing them as if they are fellow locals thus creating an environment conducive for business.

TIP: Create a working environment by being close to your people as much as possible. As their leader,people are more comfortable seeing you face the floods with them, pass through the poor roads together and enjoy the good sunshine when it comes.  If you didn’t do this you can still spare sometime now and put across a few damage controls though the results will be, well just that, ‘few’.

Dress Like Your Target Clients

While they live and work around, an Indian businessman acts as if they don’t have a culture of their own, especially when out for engagement with Ugandans. You will usually find them clad in jean, kaki or plane trousers and neat plain or checked t-shirts just like the Ugandans of their age.

They do not wear suits to go and sell books or cement in town. Before you even realize, they are so embedded in our culture and fit among us.

TIP: Dressing appropriately doesn’t mean dressing too much. Being in an expensive suit and going with your ipad in-hand whenever you are meeting the electorate does nothing to put you across as one of them and someone worthy of their support.

Speak The Local Language

An Indian family that owns “Zeyne pharmacy” in Tororo speaks English, Ateso, Swahilli and Dhupadhola with their clients.

At an Indian stationery shop along Nasser road, the attendants tell clients prices in ‘Luganda’ and say ‘thank you’ and as many words as they can in ‘broken’ Luganda.

TIP: Whereas making communication, posters, stickers, announcements, public address and car branding in English might succeed in telling the electorate that the son of the soil is very educated, it shall not help to present you to them as a representative of their views. They might even doubt that you can understand their problem

Have a simple, clear system

Whatever the size, or location, any person visiting an Indian shop can easily identify who is in charge of accounts, the one in charge of sales etc. The process is simple and clear and there’s no signposts to show it. It is an action.

TIP: It is okay to hire several personal assistants at the same time, but if the line of command is ambiguous or unknown, you are spending in futility. Some politicians have a certain guy to manage their social media, another to receive and reply phone calls and another to plan their day (meetings and movements. In the arrangement everyone communicates what they guess is right at that time and end up mis-communicating.

Organised, Neat but Ordinary premises

Some people just over-do stuff, some seem not to understand the whole purpose of the concept. Most forms of branding are meant to create awareness but not really cause actions such as voting.

Imagine, can a fully branded car with logos and names of ‘Zeyne Pharmacy’ make you to walk in there and buy medicine for your sick grandmother? A full-color branded t-shirt of Café Javas even if given to every resident of Kampala cannot increase the number of people going there for dinner.

TIP:  Open aggressive branding can help a person get known by voters but does not inspire them to vote him or her. My humble grandmother in the village is very unlikely to vote a candidate simply because he came around in a 72 seater bus covered with his or her pictures.

I didn’t say you don’t need branding, in fact it is the job I do, but I advise that when you have a few coins to put out for it, first think it out well, as real branding doesn’t require so much money but so much actions.

By: Stephen Obeli Someday

Twitter: @StephenObeli


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