Kato turned a challenge into an opportunity to build a system that secures homes and property

Cutting a niche in any field doesn’t come easy, but for Eng. Richard Kato Sembatya, he is determined to become a force to reckon with when it comes to security systems.

Born 33 years ago, Kato graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Telecommunication Engineering from Makerere University but also has a background in computer engineering and power systems.

Jerm Technologies

Kato vividly recalls a 2014 incident at his parents’ home that left them traumatized.

“We woke up with the entire house open and with valuables such as laptops and phones missing. I tried to think hard about how this incident could have been averted. This led me into security systems, systems design, and generally trying to innovate and come up with ways to secure assets at affordable rates. With this idea, I birthed Jerm Technologies,” he says.

The company was a direct solution to the challenges of break-ins and thefts in homes and other places.

According to Kato he used his personal savings worth $10,000 that he had accumulated for some time to start the company that now deals in software/hardware designing, automation, electrical installations, asset tracking and fleet management.

He explains that the company runs services including asset security enhancement for vehicles, motorcycles, TVs, and other home entertainment systems as well as CCTVs.

“We also do spare parts sales and sourcing, computer solutions designing, professional electronics maintenance and repair services.”

Kato says that the start was not easy and this prompted him to run adverts on radio as well as pushing his innovation on social media to ensure it gets the required visibility.

He says this paid off with some strides made, save for the Covid-19 pandemic that hit them hard.

“We have a robust client retention strategy owing to our outstanding customer care. We hope to keep pushing with new ideas and innovations in agriculture, education and renewable energy.”


He says whereas security for homes and property is essential, many Ugandans don’t take it seriously, adding that coupled with little disposable income for the population, few are willing to make use of his services.

“We hope that participation in the East African common market can solve this.”

Kato adds that the Covid-19 pandemic hit the company so hard since a number of their clients including businesses were struggling with finances and therefore could not afford to pay for the services.

He says that the local talent pool is still short on some high end technical skills which ensures that few people can be employed in his company.

Kato says nevertheless, the company is making strides.

“Government should engineer policies with bold incentives like a favorable taxation regime for local start up ventures,” he urges.

“To the youth, try to identify early on what your passion is inclined to and strategize to actualize it. This can be by offering to volunteer with the people who are already doing some work in that space, or doing short courses. Be patient and deliberate with your actions. Believe in God and serendipity,” he says.

The telecommunication engineer says youths lose nothing by being good people on their way up and having good interpersonal skills is invaluable.

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