29 days 29 startup CEOs: Meet Ivan Kiragga Part II


What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you after your business partner leaves? Ivan Kiragga the CEO of Exquizite Media breaks down how he dealt with depression and fear.

The gold in depression

My partners departure left a marketing void in the company, so as a team leader I decided to focus on the most important thing that would help us market without having to go around pounding on everyone’s door to work with us and that for us was creating great work and great design.

His leaving could have destabilized us but somehow it didn’t and I realized later that it was because as partners we had decided right from the beginning to create a stable system onto which the company runs so his departure didn’t affect the company’s systems but only created a gap that had to be filled.


That is why it is so important for any small company to create systems from the beginning that can stand irrespective of who leaves the company and when

That alone saved the company from turning into the classic startup statistic of dying before our fifth birthday and it is the only reason to why we are still here otherwise my depression thereafter would have totally destroyed us and that is something that happened right after he left.

I started worrying about the Uganda Revenue Authority debt, I worried that they would close us up, I feared the shame that we would encounter after the business totally collapsed and failed to pay off the debt. That made me stay away from everyone including church.

Sometimes I would wake up, get ready for work and walk 50 meters away from home only to go back switch off my phone and just get right back into my depression. Clients’ would call me and I was unavailable. I nearly took everyone under with me as everybody was wondering what was going on, client after client cancelled business with us.

…and within that time I realized everything that I feared came from within me and not from Uganda Revenue Authority.

I also realized that staying home and not working would actually make Uganda Revenue Authority come after us but if I kept on working, Uganda Revenue Authority’s sole job is to get taxes from us… if I paid them relentlessly there was nothing to worry about.

The depression took its course and I learned a lot about worry and fear. I learned that most of my fears came from within and they catapulted worry something I could easily deal with by renewing my oath to my dreams daily. That alone has helped me focus more and think about my business more like an empire and not just Exquizite Media Limited.

It’s now been two years since he left and the company has two new partners now. We’ve been able to branch into motor vehicle branding and currently the business is in a good place and I am emotionally stable.

P.S. It was great telling my story and my advice for any budding graphics designer is; always admire other people’s work and learn from the best. What you should keep in mind is GOOD DESIGN IS SIMPLE.

If you want to work with me, below is our design portfolio

Exquizite Media profile


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