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Ashish Monpara: Why I had to invest in Uganda

Ashish Monpara: Why I had to invest in Uganda

Ashish Monpara, proprietor of Modern Group, together with Minister Evelyn Anite and President Museveni (Courtesy photo)

A CEO’s perspective on Modern Group’s success story

In the bustling world of global business, entrepreneurs often seek out opportunities that promise not just financial rewards but also a sense of purpose. Ashish Monpara, the billionaire proprietor of Modern Group, offers a compelling narrative that combines economic potential with the allure of Uganda’s natural beauty.

Speaking at the Uganda-UAE Summit in Kampala, Monpara shared his journey from initial apprehension to substantial investments that have not only benefited his company but also the local economy.

Discovering Uganda’s potential

Modern Group’s venture into Uganda was no happenstance. Monpara’s data and analytics team, operating from India and the UAE, meticulously studied several African markets since 2010.

Their conclusion? Uganda stood out as the most economically, politically, and socially stable market with immense potential for growth. Monpara’s decision to make Uganda the cornerstone of their investments was a calculated move driven by the promise of a vibrant future.

A surreal encounter with Uganda’s beauty

Monpara’s first trip to Uganda in late 2015 marked a transformative experience for him. As he traversed the lush Mabira forest en route to Jinja, he was struck by the breathtaking beauty of the land. This was his first encounter with Africa, and the middle of a thick rainforest wasn’t exactly the scenario he had envisioned.

However, as he emerged from the forest, he was greeted by a panorama of great landscapes, the serene flow of the Nile River, and the welcoming embrace of Jinja City. It was a moment of epiphany. Monpara felt a sense of peace and calm wash over him, and he declared to his father that he wanted to build his life and vision in this enchanting place.

This marked the inception of Modern Group’s journey in Uganda, with the establishment of their first plant, Modern Distillers Ltd, in December 2015.

A legacy of success and growth

Since that fateful day, Modern Group has made significant strides in Uganda’s industrial landscape. With a total investment of over $200 million and an import substitution value of $100 million, they’ve diversified into ten industrial verticals, including distillers, gas, aluminum, organic fertilizer, sanitizer, tiles, sugar, and more. Their commitment to quality is evident in the numerous awards they’ve received, underscoring their dedication to excellence.

Notably, Modern Group was honored with the Best Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) award for their Tiles Plant in the Global Investment Awards held in the UAE in April 2023, a testament to their remarkable contributions to Uganda’s economic growth.

A vision for the future

Looking forward, Modern Group has ambitious plans. They are deepening investments in refined and industrial sugar, committing $50 million in Buyende district.

Their foray into the iron ore steel plant is equally promising, with $200 million earmarked for the Muko project. Additionally, the group is exploring the establishment of a pharmaceutical vaccine plant with a budget of $100 million.

An exciting development is their unique partnership with Lamborghini, a global conglomerate with a brand value of 280 million Euros. Modern Group has signed a groundbreaking production deal with Lamborghini, making them the first group in the world to do so. They plan to produce Lamborghini products in Uganda for export to the US and Asian markets, a feat that promises to elevate Uganda’s global standing.

Ashish Monpara is quick to acknowledge the support he and Modern Group have received from Ugandan leadership, including President Gen. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, Hon. Minister Evelyn Anite, and the Uganda Investment Authority. Their vision and support have played a crucial role in creating an enabling environment for investments, enabling Modern Group to contribute not only to the local economy but also to the global perception of Uganda as a thriving business destination.

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