Bosco Ddamulira’s bumpy but straight road to a celebrated city architectural design guru and beauty investor began when he was an envy of many, working with revered Fred Musisi’s Jeff Construction Company in 2006.
He earned handsomely but found the allure of following his passion for beauty hard to resist.
He quit overnight and with a meagre Shs3m, he delved into designing and beautifying homes and offices, ready for the cruel terrain that awaited him.
“I just love beauty and an organised environment. The passion to create beauty inevitably drove me into starting up my own company and later I added on landscaping and designing gate arches,” Ddamulira reminisces with pride as he leans back in his seat to take in the cool breeze at Centenary Park, where the interview was conducted. “I get energised when people appreciate my work and make referrals to their colleagues,” he says.
Ddamulira is driven by the dictum; ‘before it pleases a client it has to please me first.’
No educational limits
Born to a soldier dad Ibrahim Kambugu in Mutungo, Ddamulira struggled to get proper education under the care of his divorced mum and after educational stints at Mbuya Army, Kiswa Primary School, Entebbe Secondary School and Mityana Secondary School; he dropped out in Senior Six to pursue a certificate course in mechanics. “Plainly speaking, I started it from scratch. First I wanted to name my company Trims but went for Passions Services Limited because that name had already been registered.”
He wasn’t for a minute scared of going into the murky waters because he had to put a foot in there to see the depth, and it seems to have worked.
“I was evicted from the first office I had rented for more than a year upfront in Industrial Area because the owner and Indians had an ownership wrangle. After my property was thrown out, I resorted sharing an office with my home,” he reveals.
After a failed attempt to have another in Kabalagala, Ddamulira now has his office in Kungu-Kyanja but to his delight, most of the customers clamour for this services.
Dealing with high profile projects
Dealing mainly in the areas of compound designing and maintenance, landscaping, tarmacking and paver laying, stone cladding and painting, and employing more than 20 workers, Ddamulira’s company has worked on mega national projects such as Nyamwambwa Hydroelectric Power Station in Kilembe, Presidential Demonstration farm in Kawumu-Luweero District.
They have spread their works in upcountry areas such as West Nile, Soroti, Kabale, Fort Portal, Kasese. Ddamulira is close to scooping a deal with the Kampala Flyover Construction and Road Upgrading Project (KFCRUP) having worked with the project contractor, Shimizu-Konoike JV on the key designs.
Ddamulira spares time to advise active and potential business investor about the value of being trustworthy in a contract business such as his.
“I started with Shs3m in 2006 which I used to buy furniture and a computer. The businesses I have handled for my clients abroad who send their money for projects here have helped me cement the trust with my clientele. The company is now worth Shs100m,” he says. Ddamulira’s dream is employing more Ugandans so that the company benefits the nation.
Changing the people’s perception that it is not luxurious to embrace a designed office or home setting is easier as Ugandans travel and continue to embrace digital platforms.
“People used to just build for the sake but now they build with design in their mind. Like in love, first impression matters a lot in construction,” he added.
That aside, Ddamulira says there are many customers that want to cheat them using dubious means whereas others just misunderstand the quotation and the bill of quantity (BOQ).