When Peter Mukiibi agreed to start Addmaya, he was still had a timid entrepreneurial mind. He admitted he was good at receiving and executing instructions but not giving them. Until that defining phone call from Robert Mukasa, he had only envisioned himself as the remarkable employee he was. However, the path had already been set for him. He called Arthur, then a university student to join him, and together they created one of the most enviable digital platforms in Uganda today.
Addmaya has strategically positioned itself in the fields of website design, film and graphics. They stand for a reputed mark of quality, timely delivery and a warm relationship with their clients. By 2014, Addmaya had grown to employ 10 people, from an original team of 2 in 2009, and to move into their own office space. Before this though, there was a story of determination, risk taking and sacrifice at play.
To start this venture, Peter had to quit his full time job. His Partner Arthur was a student at this time, so the sources of income to run the project were strained. For the registration, money had to be borrowed. In an interview with Diginited in 2014, Peter tells what this registration felt like.
“I remember leaving the Company registrar’s office with a document stating that on this day I and my friends had started a company. We had no premises, no computer – we had nothing. We realized we had to be smart and act fast so as to get” he said.
With more borrowed finances, AddMaya purchased its first computer, which they stationed at friend’s apartment on the dining table. Work was done in the said apartment, but occasionally in Arthur’s campus residential room. With a little more growth, they moved to the garage, a typical incubation spot for innovations.
At about the same time, Peter was hit by perhaps the most important realization in his journey as a creative-and it came right from the best person; his father. After a phone call between the two about how hard it was for Peter to roll AddMaya out, his father gave him one important quote.
“Companies don’t start small because they are small, companies start small because that is the place to Start”.
Peter and Arthur then acknowledged Addmaya as a startup and vowed to work hard to grow it to the scale they believed in. On this journey, juicy opportunities of funding and sponsorship came their way. However these funders often asked for a significant percentage of ownership in the company that sometimes even stretched to 51%, something Peter and Arthur weren’t willing to side with. Instead they placed more focus on cutting down their number of projects to ensure quality for their few clients.
Today, Addmaya boasts of 40 clients locally and internationally, without having to sell off ridiculous percentages of their company. It is a fairytale of patience and belief. As the duo notes, believing in your idea is the best part. As long as you have that, then you won’t be shaken and you will work at it. One thing is for sure; if you make it to AddMaya clientele, you will enjoy an experience of mixing work with friendship, and when the time is due, you won’t have to worry about last minute edits.