Uganda: Paint Business Rides On Construction Boom

12 February 2019

Uganda's economy has achieved a strong performance, with a 5.2 percent growth rate reported in 2018, up from 4.6 percent in 2017.

This was largely attributed to high levels of public infrastructure developments and investment in housing and construction sectors.

This growth is a sign that many opportunities still exist in the construction industry, in which you can tap and make some money.

Closer to this is today's start up that shows some of the opportunities that lie in the real estate/ construction industry.

Producing paint, one of the items used to beautify buildings, is a lucrative business.

Paint is a coloured substance which is spread over a surface and dries to leave a thin decorative or protective coating.


Paint production involves mixing different chemicals at different sequences and at specified durations for them to set and form a thick or sticky solution that is used to coat structure surfaces when applied to give them a decorated look of the desired colours.

The mixing is done by a trained person with acumen in that field. This industry product is on high demand since the construction sector is growing very fast.

The capital outlay is a bit stretched but the return on investment justifies it.

According to estimates computed by Uganda Investment Authority's survey compiled to help Ugandans with money to pick on different investment ideas, starting the paint business requires an estimated fixed capital of $14,544 (Shs53m).

In order to sustain the business throughout the year, an operating cost of $491,765 (Shs1.7b) is needed.

This will generate for you revenue of $698,880 (Shs2.5b) in the first year of operation.


Mr Basil Ajer, an investment expert, says paint falls under the petrol chemical and these are from the oil and gas sector.

"The paint and petrol chemical is one sector that needs to be encouraged for people to invest in because there is a lot of opportunity and a lot of returns on investment," Mr Ajer shared.

In the paint sector, it would be wise to customise your brand.

If you take a random search around, many structures are wearing old paint coats.

Like in any other industry you would like to invest in, Mr Ajer suggests that you do research and be innovative.

In the same approach, Mr Newton Buteraba, the chief executive officer House of Wealth - a local firm offering business advisory services and with an over a 30-year family background in the paint business, says:

"The paint market is very profitable. This is because no paint lasts a lifetime. It weathers off. In terms of maintenance, it ranks high and this makes it profitable."


Experts say paint requires a lot of marketing. When you see a whole construction site with iron sheet barricades all painted with different brands, that's aggressive marketing.

"Look for different construction sites and market your products because the giants in the market are not taking chances. All these are fighting for a share of the market," Buteraba shares.

He adds that aggressive marketing by the giants should not scare you.

Mr Buteraba's advise to those who are just starting, is to opt for emulsion paint because it is less hazardous and cheaper where a 20-litre jerrycan costs Shs6,000.


When starting this business, talk to experienced painters about what makes good paint. It is from this that you have an informed decision when you are procuring the ingredients.

In order to succeed in this industry, make use of the knowledge from those people who sell paint manufacturing inputs. These can show you how to use the right ingredients for the results.

It is also wise to find out someone with the wealth of knowledge in the production of paint. This person will help you to get the right mixtures that are of good quality.

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