By ThingsKenya Team
Kenya Wine Agencies Limited (KWAL) has today launched its new depot in Meru County in an effort to grow and serve its Mount Kenya region customers better. The move to open the Meru depot comes at a time when the company is looking to grow its national market share in the alcoholic beverages market. This launch comes barely a week after KWAL .The launch of the Meru depot comes just a week after the launch of the KWAL depot in Eldoret
The Meru County depot is located within the Meru town central business district which is easily accessible to distributors from Embu, Isiolo and other towns within the region.
Present during the event was Meru County County Executive Committee (CEC) Member for Trade, Industrialisation, Tourism and Cooperatives Mr. Maingi Mugambi who congratulated KWAL on the opening of their depot and the steps that they are taking to grow the grassroot economy by ensuring the adequate supply of their products in the region. Also present during the event was the Meru County Liquor Board CEO Mr. Samuel Muriithi, KWAL Managing Director Mr. Carlos Gomes, KWAL National Sales Manager Mr. Paul Odeyo, KWAL Supply Chain Director Mr. Mwenda Kageenu.
Speaking at the launch event, KWAL Managing Director, Mr. Carlos Gomes noted the move as strategic due to the business opportunities and growth of the region. “Meru was strategic move for us, complemented by its growing business opportunities and strategic geographical position in the region”, he further noted “our existing dealer network will ensure that KWAL’s premium products are enjoyed across the Mount Kenya region”.
Once fully operational the new Meru County depot will include a Commercial and Supply Chain function, capable of the highest standards of service and efficiency.
KWAL currently has its footmark in various towns such as Eldoret, Nakuru, Kisumu and Mombasa. Adding a Meru depot under its wing will ease the companies operations within the region, maintain and improve client relations while ensuring business growth and continuity across the board. Meru County is among the top 20 wealthiest counties in Kenya, it’s also strategically located within the Mount Kenya region due to its access to other Counties like Isiolo, Kirinyaga, Nyeri and Embu. Meru is also home to other major corporate dealers and depos making it the perfect home for KWAL in the region.
The beneficiaries will also receive business development services to hand-hold them into developing thriving enterprises through the franchise container model.
By ThingsKenya Writer
The KCB Foundation has launched a revolutionary approach to business premises hosting for the beauty and personal care professionals through a franchise container model. The ‘franchise container model’ is a modified shipping container that has been retrofitted to host a beauty salon.
The container will act as an incubation hub for students who have completed hair and beauty courses where they can perfect their professional skills even as they prepare to go into business for themselves.
The launch today coincided with the graduation of 316 beneficiaries under the Foundation’s 2jiajiri programme, a transformative skill development and wealth creation programme that seeks to develop a new cadre of youthful entrepreneurs within the informal sector to ease the country’s unemployment crisis. The event was presided over by KCB Foundation Executive Director Ms Jane Mwangi.
The Salon Suites concept also known as booth rentals, is one of the fastest growing segments in the hair and beauty industry and brings a different approach to the industry. Under this, four beauty graduates can join hands and operate a 40- foot container that is equipped with four workstations.
The joint venture model takes into account the graduates’ minimal or lack of capital and assists them to meet the operational cost of running the salon container. This business model has a co-working style and provides a platform to incubate hair and beauty beneficiaries until they are ready to take up their own containers.
“The beauty of the concept is that it takes into account issues of space as well as mobility as the container can be moved from place to place depending on business performance and owner preferences. Additionally, the fittings are never disentangled as they are moved inside the container, hence guaranteeing their safety,” said Ms Mwangi.
Owners of the containers can assist their tenants to place them at vantage points for instance in learning institutions, public parking areas, church compounds or at market centres.
KCB Foundation is piloting this concept through its 2jiajiri programme, a transformative skills development and wealth creation programme that seeks to develop a new cadre of youthful entrepreneurs within the informal sector to ease the country’s unemployment crisis.
KCB Foundation will provide business development services to hand-hold the 2jiajiri beneficiaries into developing thriving enterprises through this model. This model is ideal for those who have dreams of being their own boss and in control of their own money.
It provides the entrepreneurs with a platform to become independent, decorate their own space and increase profits. It is encouraging to note that stylists are joining the salon suites revolution as they seek more control of their businesses.
Ms Mwangi reminded the graduates of the pivotal role that beauty and personal care professions play in helping people make a good first and lasting impression. She noted that the beauty industry was one of the fastest growing in Kenya having grown by 400% in 4 years from 26 Billion shillings in 2011 to over 100 Billion shillings in 2015.
In comparison, she said, the beauty industry in Brazil was 31 times the size of Kenya’s and valued at 31 Billion Dollars in 2016.
Ms. Mwangi attributed this to three main reasons namely; increased participation of Brazilian youth and women in the beauty industry, adoption of new approaches such as franchises, specialty and personalised stores as modes of reaching out to their clientele and improved distribution and availability of beauty care products.
2jiajiri programme of the KCB Foundation was launched in March 2016. It is an enterprise development and wealth creation programme that aims to transform the youth of today into the employers of tomorrow.
The Foundation has so far sponsored 882 hair and beauty beneficiaries since last year out of the over 12,000 recipients across its industry sector programmes.
Upon graduation, the beneficiaries join the KCB Foundation incubation process as they walk through the journey of establishing their businesses. The Foundation currently partners with leading beauty colleges and salons in Kenya including Ashleys, Azizi, Amadiva and Strands on Fleek.
By Kris Senanu
Kenya has already established itself as a high growth market with a technology enabled society that it can build on to create a vibrant information technology based service industry.
With the East African market information technology related market expected to grow to a size of 128 billion USD in the next decade, Kenya is well positioned to benefit from this growth.
Without a doubt, this growth will be driven by Kenya’s Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) ecosystem that stands at a registered 17 million companies
Employing at least 85 percent of Kenya’s eligible human resource and contributing to more than 45 percent of Kenya’s economy, approximately half of Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product, it might all seem glorious but small businesses are not pulling their weight in the economy.
While lack of working capital, market access, red-tape are typically the reasons bandied around for limiting small business growth the remedy could as well be lying in lack of accessible and affordable ICT solutions.
There is market confirmation that digitizing business processes could bring unquantifiable benefits; reaching more potential customers, reducing the cost to serve customers, making production processes more efficient and making it quicker and easier to monitor and report business performance.
To get small and medium businesses using ICT services more extensively, there are four hurdles we have to overcome: complexity, affordability, connectivity and a compelling reason.
With a competitive connectivity landscape, it is increasingly becoming a complex task for small businesses without the foresight of an internal expert to find the right ICT applications to meet their business need.
Cost is another obvious stumbling block in the path of small businesses connectivity, while technology such as cloud computing is changing the equation; the panacea is really the operators’ investments in connectivity assets.
Telkom Kenya is among the companies that have made investment in connectivity infrastructure a key focus. Some of its investments include a 23 percent stake in 5000KMs TEAMs (through Fujairah in the UAE), a 10 per cent stake in 2,700-kilometre LION2, (through Mayotte in Mauritius), an 8 per cent stake in the East Africa Submarine System and management of the governments National Optic Fibre Backbone sets offering solutions distinctive on speed, accessibility and reliability.
Connectivity, or the lack of it, is an increasingly important factor. Without a reliable and speedy broadband connection, small businesses are constrained in capacity to use the myriad of opportunities at their disposal.
Granted, the web of complexity, cost and connectivity will be broken down by the marketplace competition increasing the use of ICT by SME’s.
But a final barrier stops many such businesses making effective use of ICT: they simply do not see a compelling reason to do so.
Key market trends are helping to overcome this barrier too. The revolution in consumer-friendly devices such as smartphones and tablets — and the fast-growing ecosystem of applications like Telkom Kenya’s E@synet Broadband for SME’s are changing things for small and medium business as much as for consumers.
Policy makers should also have access to better information on how to persuade SME’s of the benefits of being active online.
The explosion of social media is offering new opportunities for small businesses to market themselves and build richer relationships with customers. Buttressing this trend is the need and ability to connect enterprises’ business physical devices, otherwise known as “Internet of Things”.
This trend will play a dominant role in the future of Kenyan enterprises providing businesses with key analytics, data and informatics requisite for concise, thorough and more effective demand-side decision making processes.
Indeed, there’s evidence that companies that can most effectively use analytics to inform demand-side decisions about business processes outperform those that can’t
There are many challenges for SME’s in today’s market, such as increased competition, rising customer expectations and limited capital. However, by using the cloud to access the same tools and services once reserved for enterprises, SMEs can deliver a higher quality of service without placing additional strain on existing resources.
Finally, there lies an opportunity for government itself to act as a fulcrum for increasing uptake through its public services for SME’s across a range of departments, as has been acknowledged in the work already done by Business Environment Delivery Unit to digitize government operations to ease delivery to small businesses.
Departments of government have a key role to play in stimulating the online activities of SME’s in a positive way – whether it be statutory obligations like paying taxes through Kenya Revenue Authorities’ iTax system where small businesses can file and pay their corporate income tax, VAT and PAYE electronically or new businesses can have a name search and reservation, KRA pin number, NHIF, NSSF and single business permit registration online, the interaction goes a long way in demonstrating the value of connectivity in business processes.
The Author is the Managing Director, Enterprise Division at Telkom
By David Njenga
In an exciting new direction, Huawei Mobile Kenya has introduced the Y Series range of phones in the country to provide consumers with quality and affordable smartphone options.
Speaking at the launch of the new phone range at Huawei offices in Nairobi, Huawei Device Kenya, Country Director, Derek Duh said the Y series will target the growing mobile market segment providing powerful budget smartphones which offer productivity, entertainment and a superb photography experience.
“The introduction of the Y series phone is part of Huawei’s strategy to target all categories of users and offer high-quality products at different price points by focusing on the high-end phone quality, technology and innovation in all our products to provide our consumers with a unique smartphone experience” said Derek
She added “The Y series powerful cameras, extended battery life and affordable pricing will allow a higher uptake of smartphones in country affording unique experiences that meets the needs and requirements of our users.”
Retailing at Sh. 22,999; Sh.12, 999 and Sh.8,999 respectively, the new Y series range of smartphones are all powerful upgrades of their predecessors that were launched last year in April.
The Y7 Prime comes with a 5.5-inch screen with HD 720, 4,000mAH battery capacity with intelligent power-saving technology for longer use, even with the advanced and faster latest android 7.0; fingerprint scanner for better security and 12MP rear camera for quality photography.
The Y5 2017 also boasts a powerful camera and a 3,000 mAH high density battery for extended battery life. The phone has 2GB RAM and 16GB ROM and convenient easy keys.The Y3 2017 has an increased screen size that provides the user with an amplified viewing experience with an 8-megapixel camera, a higher resolution than its predecessor.
A research on the Kenyan smartphone landscape by Jumia Business Intelligence and GSMA Mobile showed that 67 percent of Kenyans are classified as internet users. The rise of this internet penetration is attributed to an increased uptake of smartphones due to the emergence of various players in the Kenyan market. The current mobile penetration of 82 percent and the increase in purchasing power of middle-class in the country has further encouraged Huawei to invest in expanding its smartphone portfolio and overall presence the Kenyan mobile market.
The launch of the Y series phone ties into Huawei’s overall business strategy in 2017 to leverage its existing market in the country and grow local sales by 50 percent.
Through creating meaningful innovations and unique products Huawei intends to compete more favorably in the congested local mobile market to increase their current market share from its 14 percent as at end of 2016.
Entrepreneurs with unique businesses to get an opportunity to tap into millions of shillings from the Lions in partnership deals.
By Eddy Kobia
KCB Bank’s leading entertainment and entrepreneurship show—the KCB Lions’ Den—to the screens on Tuesday, September, 5, 2017, pitting 63 entrepreneurs seeking growth opportunities for their businesses.
Much like Dragon’s Den or Shark tank, the weekly Lions’ Den show, which will air on KTN every Tuesday at 8pm offers selected entrepreneurs an opportunity to get funding for the businesses.
Competing entrepreneurs will be expected to pitch their ideas and negotiate for the capital they need to catapult to take their enterprises to the next level in exchange for a stake in their business.
The financing will come from one or more of the five Lions—renowned Kenyan business gurus who are part of the panel who will be evaluating the ideas.
According to KCB Director of Marketing and Communications Angela Mwirigi, the second season promises viewers a high quality show with much expectation than the first season because applicants had time to learn from Season One. “We can tell from the quality of applications that the standards have changed so much for the better and we certainly have great applications that will without a doubt engage the Lions and the audience intensely.”
“Our desire as KCB Bank is to see young entrepreneurs connect with successful venture capitalist who have already cut their teeth in the business world, not only at the show but also SMEs out there watching the show,” said Ms Mwirigi.
The Show received at least 5,000 applications. After the rigorous vetting process, 63 successful contestants were chosen to face the Lions. Of the successful applicants, 32% are women while the rest are men with businesses cutting across agriculture, design, education, energy, ICT, health, publishing, food & beverages, manufacturing, environment, entertainment and service. At least 12 counties were represented.
The KCB Lion’s Den mainly seeks entrepreneurs looking for financial, social and intellectual capital for their new and innovative businesses in the country.
Audiences will engage with the contestants as they battle in the Den.
The Lions are Kenyan-based business moguls who have risen through the business world and established themselves as trailblazers in their respective industries in their journey to grow Kenya-based businesses. Returning for season two are Myke Rabar, CEO Homeboyz Entertainment; Darshan Chandaria, Group CEO and Director of Chandaria Industries; Olive Gachara, Founder and Publisher of Couture Magazine Africa; Kris Senanu, CEO of Blackrock Entertainment and Wandia Gichuru, Co-Founder and MD of Vivo Activewear.
The TV show is part of the KCB Group 2Jiajiri programme expected to benefit at least 500,000 youth in a period of 5 years. The programme, which also encompasses a business challenge for start-ups, will enable young entrepreneurs to submit their business ideas for funding.
For the first season, over 5,000 applications were received from sectors such as agriculture, design, education, energy, ICT, health, publishing, food & beverages, manufacturing, environment, entertainment and service.
Arsenal star Sanchez looked set to join City as the Gunners lined up a replacement in Monaco’s Thomas Lemar.
But the deadline day deals didn’t go through, leaving City boss Pep Guardiola fuming that he couldn’t land his top target.
And reports in Chile claim City will not let the situation rest.
Newspaper El Mercurio claim City will file a lawsuit against Arsenal over what they believe is the breaking of a gentleman’s agreement between the clubs.
Sanchez had effectively been pledged to City and the club, therefore, didn’t move for another forward as they waited for Arsenal to act on Lemar.
However, the £92million deal for France star Lemar never came off as Arsenal claimed they ran out of time to discuss terms with the player.
City and Arsenal had agreed a £55m deal for Sanchez by midday on Thursday.
El Mercurio claim City may have a case to argue if they can prove Sanchez would have signed the contract offered to him on deadline day.
Sanchez himself has refused to sign a new deal at Arsenal and will now play out the remaining 10 months of the terms – unless he is sold in January.
The 28-year-old is on international duty with Chile and will head back to London next week.
By David Mwangi
- Leave Naked Women Alone:
Yes, those women who dress like they are in the process of undressing but they have not finished. Leave them alone. Most of them are up to no good and will only cost you a whole fortune in one weekend. Instead, get yourself a real woman: There is strength in a real woman.. Not these tuma chics that my colleague Mwaba Mutale calls ‘Bandits’. Get a woman who will not only support your vision but will also push you to achieve more. A woman who will inspire you to work hard and not a woman who just makes you hard. He who finds a real woman finds a good thing and obtains favour and power to create wealth.
- Minimise drinking. Just do it socially and at the right time.
- Stop being Lazy: “Man ooh Man, why art thou Lazy?” You are too lazy for your own good. You sleep the whole day and blame the govt for your poverty. “A Little Sleep, a Little Slumber, poverty shall overtake you like a political cadre in overalls”. A lot of men are just lazy when it comes to making money. They have enough energy to give a woman five orgasms, but have no energy to start one organization…. that’s why it is so easy for men to manufacturer children than it is to make even pegs for putting children’s clothes on the line..
- Know and engage in Productive Things:
You know too much about the, UEFA, EPL and LaLiga than you know about the Nairobi Securities Exchange and Wall Street… If you keep too much junk in your head, you get a junk life. I know a lot of men who are so sharp when you are talking about girls, about soccer and about street politics, but bring a topic about investment, innovation and business, they start looking at their phone, yawning or saying bye.. Useless things, videos and memes go viral fast than constructive things.. A man must know how to do at least one productive thing (have one skill) even without having gone to college..
- Get Connected to Big Men:
A lot of men are failing because they are not mentored. They don’t have anyone to whom they can sit down and listen, with obedience. In the old days, old men would sit young men down and show them how to hunt and kill animals… and no man was considered a man enough until he has personally killed an animal… now these men of nowadays are not mentored and can’t even kill a bird.. There are men out there who have made it in life, find a way to get mentored by big men who are making waves..
Bamburi Cement Ltd has announced its half year results for the six months period ended 30th June 2017 that are lower compared to the previous year.
Commenting on the Company’s results, the Board stated that the Group results showed mixed performance, in which Kenya experienced a difficult business environment characterized by a contracting market, low private sector investment resulting in slump in construction activity especially in the individual home builder segment and drought conditions.
In contrast, Uganda enjoyed better market conditions in both domestic and export markets with Hima recording a good performance. In general, across East Africa, the infrastructure segment remained vibrant.
As a result, the Group turnover at KES 17.5 billion was KES 1.6 billion behind prior year.
Operating profit reduced from KES 4.1 billion to KES 2.7 billion due to lower revenues, higher coal prices driven by increased global prices and higher power costs following drought conditions in Kenya.
Profit before tax declined to KES 2.7 billion from KES 4.3 billion due to lower operating profit, impact of lower cash deposits at lower interest rates and lower foreign exchange gains.
Cash decreased to KES 7.4 billion due payments for the capacity expansion in both Kenya and Uganda together with lower cash from operations.
The Group was pleased to note that Phase 1 of the capacity expansion project in both Kenya and Uganda that will see the Group’s cement capacity increase by 1.8 million tons is on course and commissioning of both projects scheduled for the second half of 2018. Studies on Phase 2 of the expansion are at an advance stage. These actions will solidify the Group’s position as the least cost producer in the region.
‘While the underlying business remains solid in Kenya, the market faced softening demand. However, we expect the Kenyan market will rebound in the last quarter while the Ugandan market is expected to continue performing well in line with the projected growth in both the domestic and regional markets’.
The Managing Director Bruno Pescheux said in a statement. ‘The Group is well positioned strategically given its strong cash position, strong human capital and diversified brand portfolio. It will remain focused on execution of its route to market and logistics mastery initiatives, enhancing the customer experience and creating value to all its stakeholders in the medium to long term’.
By Mukurima X Muriuki
Kenya is a mosaic of 42 tribes. We have hundreds of languages and a multitude of cultures and histories. Some Kenyans are sedentary, others are nomads; many are farmers, quite a number are herdsmen; some are fishers, a few are criminals, many are corrupt; some are highly educated, others are just literate; some are very successful, many others are not so fortunate. Every Kenyan has a unique history, culture and pride.
Though we are as many and diverse when grouped and classified, there is something that inseparably weaves us together-our national anthem. It is a prayer where we bow before our Lord with the following in the 3rd stanza:
Let ALL with one accord
In common bond united
Build this OUR nation TOGETHER
And the glory of Kenya
The fruit of OUR labour
Fill EVERY heart with thanksgiving.
This prayer is premised on ALL Kenyans, not some Kenyans. This prayer raises the manhood of ALL Kenyans and not just Kikuyu. This prayer humanizes ALL Kenyans and does not push away the Luo. This prayer binds ALL Kenyans to better days ahead and does not exclude the Mijikenda.
We cannot however, pretend that in this marriage, in this union called Kenya, that we have been as faithful and fervent to this prayer.
I however, refuse to agree with David Ndii that the answer to this predicament is a divorce! Divorce, even in relationships, is for the lazy, those who do not want to explore options to avoid that D word!
It reminds me of a mediation I was part of a while back. A couple wanted to go separate ways, or what we say in my local “Gwitana mirura”. The wife was adamant the husband wasn’t in love with her, or if he was, he wasn’t showing that love! On hearing this, I further queried the wife on what it would take for the husband to show that he loved her.
“He always leaves dirty dishes on the sink. And because my nails are made I can’t do the dishes. So they end up being on the sink for days. But he doesn’t see it that way”she said.
When it came to the turn of the husband, the realization was that washing dishes wasn’t manly. It was the responsibility of the woman to do such chores. He could not imagine himself in the kitchen cleaning dishes. Not when he had paid dowry for a woman to do that!
See, this couple was looking to put to waste 14 years just because they couldn’t explore ways to communicate and avoid the constant fights over small issues such as cleaning dishes. And in doing so, they had not thought of a dishwasher as a solution. We advised them and the issue was resolved
They are still happily married today.
In our Kenyan marriage, what we urgently need is to find ways to grow and mature. The answer on how we can grow and mature-perhaps, is to be found in words of Friedrick Nietzsche:
“It’s not simply a question of having the courage of one’s convictions, but at times having the courage to attack one’s convictions.”
If you are in Jubilee, have you tried to oppose what Jubilee stands for? Call it critique. If you are in NASA, have you tried to pause and question what it is NASA stands for? If you are a Kikuyu have you opposed Uthamakism and if you are Luo have you opposed Odingaism. After all, in words of Nelson Mandela, we create demigods if we don’t criticize people!
Above all as a country, we must start talking with each other. We must have dialogue even with those we hate. That is the only way we shall build an amazing country that those who will come after us will be proud of.