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Midland Diversifies Operations in Uganda

The Midland Group, the parent company of MiDCOM is one of Uganda’s leading business conglomerates. The group, with a strong presence in Uganda, has since diversified its interests and ventured into an array of business interests.

To date, they are into flower exports, international education, pharmaceuticals (through institutional supplies of AIDS prevention drugs) and foreign exchange. They also import fertilisers, agrochemicals and engage in mineral water bottling and transportation.

Bhasker Kotecha, chairman Midland Group of Companies says their strengths lie in the amalgamation of diverse resources of the group, combined with professional management practices, and latest technological systems. This, he says, has provided an efficient and seamless business environment, which has benefited the stakeholders and society at large.

“At Midland Group, we make sure that we continuously keep on upgrading the vision of the group according to the changing global economy. Change being inevitable needs to be followed correctly for a true picture for near future and best possible results for the present,” he says.

Kotecha strongly believes that the best asset for any company is its manpower and product mix.

“Today, we have one of the best manpower for Uganda operations. We are at a stage of product expansion and are continuously in touch with the best companies, worldwide to provide tailor made solutions for our customer base,” he says.

He explains that with a blend of modern management tools and ethical theories of management, they have successfully designed a system, which operates to understand the exact need of the internal affairs and customers for their organisation.

These operational tools, he says have since helped them deliver the desired customer value, resulting in 100% customer satisfaction. “We have diversified our arms to various markets or products according to the changing environmental needs. We stand committed to serve our customer better to stay ahead of the competition and keep adding value to our products, our services and ourselves,” Kotecha points out.

He says the Midland Group portfolio includes, Midland Emporium Ltd, Venus farms Ltd, Rainbow International school (2003) ltd, Uchumi commodities Ltd, MiDCOM, Midland Forex bureau, Kots Uganda ltd and Opal industries ltd. These, he says have helped them track all levels of customers, enabling the group as a whole to position itself and cater for nearly all sectors of the economy.

He says trading was the pioneer sector since the inception of the group and the flagship Midland Emporium Ltd, was formed in 1937 in Kakamega, Kenya. It later strategised to capture the export market of Uganda stationing at the border in 1988.

Realising the potential in the Ugandan market, it spread its arms across the border and was incorporated in Jinja in 1994 under KOTS (U) Ltd. It has since spread throughout Uganda.

Kotecha says the Health Care Division was also formed after experiencing the success in the pharmaceutical sector. KOTS acquired a license to trade in pharmaceutical sector. The company also started a new pharmaceutical showroom in Kampala.

KOTS has since acquired tenders to supply medicines, HIV test kits, surgical gloves, aprons to the Uganda AIDS Commission, adding onto its success story.

He says they haven’t restricted their activity merely towards domestic markets. They also market across the globe. “Our strong presence in Africa has given us an advantage to grow and export rose flowers to Holland through Venus Farms Ltd in Entebbe,” he states.

Kotecha notes that Midland Forex Bureau Ltd. was started in 1998 but has since become one of Uganda’s top most foreign exchange houses. He adds that with a view to produce Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) in Uganda, OPAL Industries Ltd., was started and was involved in bottling of mineral water. “To provide employment to the upcountry labour, we located the factory in Mbale.”

Rainbow International School has showcased the group’s potential on the education front. Drashna Kotecha, a Director says ever since they took over the school from the International Finance Corporation, a private lending arm of the World Bank, it has since transformed. She says the school is by far the largest international school in Uganda with over 700 children on roll.

“Offering a full British Curriculum isn’t the only feature of Rainbow that makes it unique. But since we are the only international school in Uganda offering full boarding facilities, we are the most sought after,” she says. With almost 50 nationalities and a 15-year history, she affirms they can only get bigger and better.

© Midcom Group.