When we hear of Money transfer from one place to another, we quickly think about Mobile Money, Western Union, Money gram, Walmart and many more but thinking outside the box has changed the whole system.
Most Ugandans living in foreign countries always send money to family members, relatives and friends via the available means.
Bikwasi Haruna is a Ugandan based in South Africa who has ventured into the business of money transfer at lower rates compared to other transfer systems.
Red pepper online talked to youthful Bikwasi about his life and on how he started the business of money transfer.
Who is Bikwasi?
Bikwasi Haruna was born in Ruhinda, Mitooma District and grew up in an extended family with over 10 children.
“Having grown up in a poor family, I faced difficulties while studying but I later completed my secondary education from Nganwa High School.”
Bikwasti also said that it was a serious struggle since he had to take care of their family despite poverty and the current situation of unemployment.
“The hard times inspired me to work hard and dedicate my life to God. This helped me a lot and I can thank God because I have come from far.”
What I can tell these young boys is that never say no to any job if you can earn money from it.
Heading To South Africa and Establishing a Money Transfer Agency
After I had finished my studies, I started Bikwasi Tours and travel company Limited. Business was not ok at the start but things later changed when I started to receive tourists from Australia, China, Europe and South Africa.
As I received tourists, I realized that they face difficulty while exchanging money to Ugandan currency.
That is when the idea of helping them to exchange money at a certain cost came in. The idea was more lucrative than I thought and I made many friends since most tourists started to trust me with their money.
In 2006 I received a tourist who later became my friend and we headed to South Africa where I started to operate the business from.
There are many Ugandans working in South Africa and yet they don’t have work permits.
It’s very hard to send money back home using the banking means when one has no work permit.
As I continued with my tours and travel business, I realized there was a great potential in money transfer.
I decided to register BSC Suppliers, a company that would help Ugandans based in South Africa to send money home quickly and at affordable rates.
Ugandans based in South Africa who don’t have work permits have embraced the initiative because the company successfully transfers the money to their respective families, friends and relatives.
Over the years we have grown and we have tried to earn a living out the small rates we charge to transfer money.
We offer other services like Hotel Booking for tourists, Money lending services, Tour drives, financial advisory services and others related to tourism.
Business wise we are doing well since we can do over 300 transactions in a month.
As youthful young Ugandans, we mainly focus on creating more employment opportunities and this will contribute greatly towards the development of our country.
We have our main offices at Amber house in Kampala opposite workers house.
We have the idea of expanding to other parts of the country in the coming years. We will soon open offices in Mbarara, Gulu, Mbale and Fort Portal.
We also have partners in Pretoria, Johannesburg, Santon, and Durban in South Africa.
We are also planning to open up a Forex bureau to help the tourists under our company to easily exchange their money to local currency.
We recently received messages from our clients appreciating the services that we offer and the one who has appreciated most is Mr. Kwitegera from Masaka.
Message to the youth
We need to work very hard and we will be there. We should not reject job offers as long as we can get some money. No one started from the top. We all started from Zero but with hard work and determination, we will be there.