Sudhir captains in Ruparelia Sports Gala

KAMPALA, UGANDA- One of East Africa’s big businessman, Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia, is still going strong. He has graced acres of space in the media since his Crane Bank was taken over by Bank of Uganda.

This time round, on the pitch was the skipper dribbling the ball tactfully, an opponent is dodged before he guns for the goal post. Other sports enthusiasts engaged in; scrabble, sprinting, swimming, javelin, discuss, tug of war, high jump and other team building activities. It is the annual team building exercise called Ruparelia Sports gala at Kampala International School of Uganda (KISU.)

“The theme is winning. My goal is to put a spirit of competitiveness among the different Ruparelia Group of Companies with more than 800 employees,” confided the CEO Ruparelia.

“I hope the occasion opens up their minds to the perspective (employers) of each business being complimentary to the other.”

The numerous investments comprise of the winners; Speak Resort Munyonyo. Others include Rose Bud Flowers, Radio Sanyu, education and more than 400 prime properties in Kampala City.

“Business the world over has never been this competitive,” revealed Ruparelia. “The sophisticated clients need reasons as to why they ought to have a given regional workshop in: Kampala, Nairobi or Dar Es Salaam. They consider: security in a terrorism threatened world, the price and services offered.”

After hosting the 2007 first CHOGM symposium in Africa, Kampala City, has generally become a destination for numerous workshops. The hotels rooms available have increase. According to Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) Chief Executive Officer Stephen Asiimwe this translates into big business.

“The trick is for the organizers to slot in some time for the participants to tour what Uganda is endowed with,” tips Asiimwe. “The nearest attractions are the Source the River Nile, Uganda Wildlife Education Center Entebbe (UWEC) and Lutembe Beach where migrant birds refuel from before proceeding or returning home.”

On the same note the Executive Director Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) Dr. Andrew Seguya beams with smiles of satisfaction about the tourism way forward.

“All our nature based attractions are accessible after importing five Scania buses and five boats. We are determined to exploit the improved infrastructure put in place by government. Contrary to past targets this time round we need to trigger domestic tourism to enable communities, within the parks, fight poaching.”

“Uganda gorilla tracking, the flagship of tourism, remains the cheapest in the world at a price ranging between $450 and  $600. It all depends on the season,” stressed Seguya. “The entire chain of tourism is getting into tip top shape.”

He said the onus is upon all facilitators of workshops in places like Speke Resort Munyonyo to showcase: the mountains, forests, 1065 birds and reptiles that the country is endowed with. Resident expatriates enjoy a good discount although Uganda nationals enjoy bigger discounts