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Hustler : Leon Kalema

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MOVIE BIZ: Ugandans in the diaspora are known to do odd jobs such as tending in supermarkets, fuel stations, cab drivers, among others but Leon Kalema opted for something no one thought of – selling translated movies.

What is the name of your business?
It is called Firimu256.com.

How much have you invested in Firimu256.com?
I have invested time. Since my background is in Information Technology development, I built the platform myself. So far, I have spent approximately Shs6m on advertising and paying VJs to translate the movies, plus other operation costs of the business.

How self-sustaining is it?
I run it as a business since I spend time and money. The business needs to be self-sustaining, so I created packages that people could subscribe to. This would later cater for operations, getting the latest movies and series plus making sure my streaming server is not clogged.

What inspired this idea?
There were clips being shared by friends in the diaspora of translated movies so I realised there was demand for this kind of service. When I started, everyone suddenly became interested.

Who are your target clients?
It is funny that people think this is only for those in the diaspora, but even Ugandans who have data have signed up and watch movies. This is an opportunity to show love back by buying them packages. People love the movies.

What is your business model?
I sell subscription packages and run video ads within the videos, just like those video ads you see on YouTube. The platform runs with three synchronised servers. One acts as the main, another as entirely on streaming then the other as a backup. One can sign up and pay with Visa Card, Paypal or MTN Mobile money.

How much profits have you realised so far?
Well, at the moment no profits but it returns the costs and operation fees. The Google ads bring in between 20k and 40k, depending on the traffic on the website.

What is your marketing strategy?
Social media, email marketing and word of mouth. Whoever joins spreads the word.

How has the idea been received?
It has been applauded. The number of subscribers stands at 3,625. I am looking at five million more people.

What is your grand plan?
My grand plan was to promote Ugandan movies more. Give the boys and girls in Uganda a platform for viewership and they also make money.

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