Building on a strong foundation: Lachen Investments, Uganda

Passion, persistence and perseverance are the hallmarks of Lamech Asabyara Ruronyi Kiiza, who started his career as a cashier at Red Fox Bureau but has grown leaps and bounds since to establish his own forex trading entity, La Cedri Forex Bureau. It has been an enriching experience of over two decades for Lamech, who started his entrepreneurial journey with a desk and a chair and capital of Ugx 400,000, and today owns a thriving enterprise that employs over 60 people and is a household name in Uganda.

Lachen_apartments funded by GroFin
Starting with forex trade, Lamech has since forayed into hospitality and accommodation as well. Lamech planned the diversification as a deeply-thought out and well executed strategic move, since his forex trading business was already well-established and was channelling back huge profits that were significantly over and above the needs of the existing entity. Against the background of Uganda’s annual housing requirement being far in excess of supply, Lamech established Lachen Investments in 2003 to build and sell residential housing units.

However, as Lamech expanded his business scope to encompass developing and holding housing units, his funding from Shelter Afrique, which covered construction of housing units for residential use only, was no longer sustainable. Also, his second financier was the Uganda Development Bank, which simply did not have the appetite for such a large and lengthy exposure. Moreover, Lachen needed the loan to be provided in USD as raw material had to be procured in USD and the company’s main source of income is also denominated in USD.

“I was desperately searching for a single financier that could meet all my growth needs under one roof. It was at this critical crossroads that GroFin stepped up and partnered with me,” says Lamech.

Lachen_interior of apartment funded by GroFin

Backing Lamech’s long-standing experience and sound market reputation, GroFin provided his business with a sizeable loan.

“Our loan facility has been structured in line with the business’s projected cash flows to lower Lamech’s debt burden and ensure that the business grows sustainably,” says Ivan Ndaula, Investment Manager, GroFin Uganda.