YUNUS ‘MAS’ MASABA is a young man on a mission. At just 28 years, he has rubbed shoulders with several high-profile business and inspirational personalities. Most importantly, he has achieved so much as an entrepreneur, motivational speaker and mentor. Moses Mugalu tracks down his inspirational story.
Mas, as he is commonly known, is the founder and chief executive officer of Mas group of companies. He has set the path for success in GPS tracking security services in Uganda. Previously, this sector was a preserve of foreign firms, especially from South Africa and Europe.
But through his company, TRACK24 Ltd, which he founded two years ago, Masaba has hit the ground running. Using Global Positioning Systems (GPS) technology, Masaba assembled a team of telecom engineers and programmers, who developed Track24, a mobile tracking application. The app is compressed in small devices, which can be installed on any mobile assets and merchandise.
In the era of increased car, motorcycle (boda bodas) and electronics theft, Track24 has come in handy. Once an individual installs Track24 device, they will be able to monitor movement and location of their car, boda boda and even assets such as parcels.
Masaba says Track24 has also become one of the most sought-after security systems on the local market because of its fuel monitoring facility. For instance, transporters use the app to monitor their drivers against stealing fuel.
By connecting a GPS tracker to onboard computer or installing fuel level sensor in the fuel tank, vehicle owner can identify drivers who waste and steal company fuel. The solution generates a detailed report and sends an email or SMS to the owner.
In case a driver attempts to tamper with the tracking device, the system detects and notifies the owner. Compared to the market rates, Track24 systems are affordable. They range from Shs 150,000 to Shs 300,000 per unit for a boda boda and car respectively.
In the last two years, more than 1,200 clients, mostly boda boda riders, have installed Track24 devices.
TRACK24 is one of Masaba’s five companies under the Mas Group. Masaba, who started out in business while still a student, has been outstanding in his endeavours and passionate about challenging the status quo in society for the past eight years.
“I always believe I will win,” says the 28-year-old, who studied economics at Makerere University and added an ordinary diploma in Law at the Law Development Centre.
“If we went to war and I was the army commander, I would burn my army’s boats. That way they would know it’s a do-or-die mission,” he adds.
His other ventures are in renewable energy with Khainza Energy, which has been recognised globally for its efforts in production and packaging of biogas for low-income earners as a substitute to firewood and charcoal. Khainza Energy was named among the top 50 companies in Africa by the African Entrepreneurship Award 2017 held in Morocco where it was among the finalists in the awards.
He has also consulted for both local and international companies seeking penetration in new markets in Uganda under his consultancy firm Mas Consults & Associates. He is passionate about entrepreneurship and women involvement in economic growth.
Named the Young Employer of the Year in 2014 by the Federation of Uganda Employers during the Employer of the Year awards gala, Masaba has gone on to inspire youths that anything is possible and passion plus determination are what have kept him focused.
His business conglomerate Mas Group was named the Gold Winner of the SME category for the Employer of the Year awards in 2015 organised by the Federation of Uganda Employers.
In 2015, Masaba was among the five entrepreneurs chosen to represent Uganda at the 6th Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Kenya, which was attended by the president of the United States of America, Barack Obama, Us artiste Akon and many other high-profile business captains.
However, all has not been a bed of roses for Masaba. In 2015, he founded an online portal, YoSupermarket.com, in an attempt to provide delivery services for e-commerce businesses. It folded last year due to stiff competition and expensive data costs.
To share story at UK Diaspora investment forum
He will share his journey of entrepreneurship achievement at the Ugandan United Kingdom Diaspora-organized investment convention on September 15 at the Troxy, Commercial road, London.
The annual forum attracts more than 1,000 delegates, who include private business owners in Uganda and the United Kingdom as well as government officials from either country.
Event organizer Willy Mutenza says the convention is designed specifically to promote bilateral trade between the UK and the diaspora with Uganda and facilitate foreign direct investment in Uganda.
It also provides a platform for businesses to expand into new markets and promote British businesses exporting to Uganda.
Masaba will not only be inspiring especially young Ugandans in the UK but also give an insight on how to successfully run a business in Uganda with all the hurdles. He will share tips, challenges and the no-go areas.