Eric Rutayisire, the Founder and CEO of Rwandan drone company Charis UAS, recognised early on the potential
of drones while he was studying at the University of Minnesota in the United States. With the $1,000 he gathered from his savings, he bought drone parts and built one for himself.
He would later realise a great opportunity for drone business in his home country, and in 2014, launched Rwanda’s first drone startup – Charis UAS. The Rwandan-based startup currently focuses on mapping for industry, property development, maintenance, and mining, as well as create new jobs for passionate and innovative youth.
In this exclusive interview with Business Elites Africa, he talks to us about what drives him as an entrepreneur. Enjoy the read.
Q: Please, tell us about yourself.
A: I am Eric Rutayisire Muziga, CEO and founder of Charis UAS. I am the last born in a family of 8. I was born in Kinshasa, Congo to Rwandan parents who had fled the country due to the political instability and persecution against the Tutsi at the time. In 1995, my family returned home to Rwanda where I grew up and did my schooling until high school. I then pursued my higher education in the US where I got my undergrad and master’s degree in electrical engineering.
Q: How did you discover yourself as an entrepreneur?
A: Since I was a kid, I was always involved in finding solutions to challenges that my community was facing. This gave me a mindset where even in school, whatever courses I was taking, I always wanted to find ways to apply lessons learnt in there to solve issues around us. Hence, when I saw that I can use Drone technology to solve many problems in Africa, the vision was born.
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Q: What’s the one thing you wish you’d known before you started in business?
A: Frankly, nothing comes to my mind here. I rather like to learn as I go. I believe there is a level of naivety or ignorance you need to succeed in business. If you know much before starting, you might be reluctant or afraid to take risks that are necessary to succeed in business…
EDITOR’S NOTE: This interviewed was conducted by Victor Oluwole. You may read the rest of it in our 40 Under 40 issue.
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