By Ivan Mwine
Many business entities have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to loss of many jobs due to its effect on the economy and operations of various businesses.
However, amidst the challenging economic environment, some entrepreneurs have managed to soldier on.
Shedruch Mwesigye, the founder Mesh Executive Limited, a bridal and corporate car hire company, is among those entrepreneurs that have persisted in business despite the COVID-19 challenges.
His company started seven years ago and has made a mark as a reliable bridal and corporate car hire service provider.
“I started this company with nothing. All I had was a small secondhand smartphone that I had bought at Shs100,000 and it was that phone that I started with to build Mesh Executive Services,” says Mwesigye, and below he tells the story of how he started the company.
How Mesh Executive Services Started:
I started Mesh Executive after a friend of mine tasked me to be in charge of organising bridal cars for his wedding. I moved around looking for reliable car service providers but it was hectic because most of them were brokers. I failed to get a trusted company and I decided to call people I knew who owned the car type that my friend wanted (Mercedes Benz E class.) I bargained with them and they agreed to offer the service.
It was at that time that a thought of starting my own company crossed my mind and I decided to fill that gap so as to save people from hustling to find bridal car services.
Starting wasn’t easy because I didn’t have any money on me and I had just lost my capital in a trading business that I had been operating.
I started by opening up a Facebook page which I named Mesh Executive Services an abbreviation of my name Mwesigye Shedruch.
Using photos and videos of cars from my friend’s wedding, I started sharing them on my social media platforms and telling people that I offer bridal car hires and corporate transport services.
It took me over two months before getting any client but one of my friends on Facebook contacted me one day about his uncle’s wedding and asked if I could provide car hire services to them, which I happily did.
I used profits from that function to register the company and used the balance to run adverts on social media, before I went fully operational.
Since then, the company has been growing day by day and our previous clients have been recommending others after being satisfied with our services. Basically, most of our clients are referred and others come from our adverts.
What Mesh Executive Does:
At Mesh Executive we offer executive bridal car hires, corporate transport whereby we offer high-end Luxury cars to individuals and or diplomats coming into the country, we also work with many NGOs, corporate companies and government ministries.
We wanted to diversify by offering many services apart from bridal car hiring.
So, we introduced helicopter charter services, where a client can book and be flown in a helicopter for a wedding, business meeting or sightseeing.
We also do boat cruises every Sundays for people who want to freshen up from the work stress.
Overcoming COVID-19 Challenges and Birth of Mesh Tours and Safaris:
Being a service provider, our business was among those hit most during COVID.
People were not gathering and we registered almost zero clients.
In a month we would get one client who only wanted two or one car for the wedding, yet before that people would order for five, eight or ten cars.
It was challenging but again it’s through tough times that you think a lot to find a solution.
During the first COVID-19 lockdown phase, the idea of including tours and safaris among our services came into my mind and that was how Mesh Tours and Safaris was born.
I did research and consultations about how safaris are done and we were set to go.
Mesh tours and safaris is doing well and since I am into weddings too, I sell safari packages to clients for their honeymoon vacations.
We also get both international and local clients who want to go for excursion in Uganda, Kenya, Zanzibar and other clients. The client turn-up is still low but we try our level best to minimise losses and sell affordable tour packages.
What Makes Mesh Executive Stand Out:
Ever since I started this company, we have never disappointed any client. Whoever has given us business can be our witness. If you book for bridal cars we give you cars in good mechanical condition, clean with good music of your choice. All our chauffeurs are smart and well trained.
That’s the same case with our tours and safaris, boat cruises and helicopter charter.
I am proud because of that company record, because for all the years we have been in business no client has ever complained about us.
Even if there is a technical problem, we always have backup plans waiting on standby.
Besides that, our variety of cars has made us stand out amongst other service providers because we have Limousines, Range Rovers, G Wagon Benzes, Jaguars, Open roof cars, Benz 4matic cars, Benz E class, vintage cars among others, which gives clients a variety of choice to choose from.
Where I See Mesh Executive in years to come:
I want Mesh Executive to be the number one luxury service provider both in Uganda and East Africa. We can achieve this by maintaining a good reputation and delivering to clients as promised.
Advice To Budding Entrepreneurs:
My advice is simple; never wait for a perfect time to start. Start with what you have and always make a lot of research about that idea you that you want to work on. If I had waited to have a lot of capital I wouldn’t have started. It’s not easy but it’s worth trying because I started with a secondhand phone only and the rest is history.
I also advise young people to use the internet wisely because many people are making lots of money from it.
If you have an idea, start marketing it online, because you never know who is watching what you’re posting.
It might not be your friend but a friend of your friend might be that one client who is going to change your life.
Lastly, never take a client’s money if you’re not sure of delivering as promised, because that will kill your business forever.