We are in interesting times as businesses. But as I have come to know, great disruptions birth even greater innovations and solutions.
Having started my entrepreneurship journey over 20 years ago, I must say this has been a worthwhile journey. I have enjoyed every bit of it. I have established businesses in Telecommunications, hospitality, Micro-Financial services, Digital Media and Entertainment, Events design and management, Fintech, Real Estate, Health and Agribusiness. My diversification has really helped to reduce my business risks during these uncertain times of Covid-19. Various sectors were affected differently, and some cushioned the bottom line of otherwise a challenging season.
In this, my business focus will be growth and diversification in more sectors, regions and having more collaborations. I have taken this downtime to prepare myself and my team for what will be the best time in business.
I strongly believe our partners and collaborators must represent the future we want for Kenya, Africa and the world at large. We must be the shining light in this “dark continent”. As an entrepreneur in the market place, I am aware I will be the greatest influence in the population of emerging markets like Africa and therefore must set out with the right foundation and values. My vision is to create shared value-based wealth.
I believe in honesty and integrity, a strong entrepreneurial spirit, care and concern for all we engage in business with, focus and consistency in delivering to our customers, fairness and equality in our business dealings and putting God above all things that we do. These have been our guiding principles over the last 20 years. This is the solid rock upon which Samchi Group is founded. The rest have been anchored on that bedrock.
To grow and diversify, we have to ask what the next big thing is? Where is the next opportunity? Which is the next frontier market? Most of my business ideas and ventures were born in challenging times. In fact, during this Covid-19 period, I have managed to start two new business ventures and started publishing a new book.
As I look into the future of Samchi Group, some of the new businesses I want to be engaged in is in Digital education and training. Transforming the mindset and attitude is high on my agenda. I want to be able to share and disseminate the knowledge, wisdom and experience I have acquired in the last 20 years. By creating an e-learning platform, I will be able to conduct Masterclasses and webinars, share nuggets and videos on various aspects of a business.
Any business that affects the Youth is close to my heart. We must design business models that are youth facing, and BOP focused. Those models are sustainable and forward-facing since over 54% population in Africa is youthful.
A few factors have favoured business in this region. A pool of affordable medium and high skilled labour and a growing substantial domestic market of about 1B puts Africa as the next frontier to do business. However, more needs to be done to make this the next frontier as the Next-Generation Manufacturing Ecosystem.
In the immediate future, I see a lot of opportunities arising from technology-driven ventures and enterprises. Some of the emerging and
Power to Our Economic Recovery and Growth
Covid-19 has had many socio-economic effects in continental Africa and especially the emerging markets. In May 2020, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) revised the continent’s growth projections downwards to from 4% to 2%. Last week, The World Bank said that Africa is headed towards its first recession in 25 years. These gloomy figures can largely be attributed to disrupted value chains, reduction in FDI and remittances and direct hits to sectors such as tourism and oil.
While no industry can truly be recession-proof, tech-enabled sectors may be more likely to withstand these shocks. Digital technology is getting a boost as people find new ways to work and communicate, and sectors take their services online. There are three sectors that are likely to survive and even grow in the face of the coronavirus-sparked economic crisis.
Mobile payments are likely to become more popular, spurred by stay-at-home orders and debates over the risk of infection due to the handling of cash. Companies like Kenya’s Safaricom, which operates mobile money service M-PESA, and Nigeria’s Paga are enabling that shift by reducing fees during this period.
Digital Supply Chain
The traditional value chain has been disrupted. Producers and final consumers’ interaction will be shortened to create value to end-user. This is especially in the Agribusiness sectors
Manufacturing FDIs and Technology Transfer
The realization that a global crisis can adversely affect supply chains will make manufacturers and companies rethink their manufacturing models. Decentralization of manufacturing centres to reduce the risks associated with one location manufacturing. Chinese manufacturers and a few American companies that had outsourced their manufacturing to China are reconsidering their locations with Africa being on the high priority list due to their cheap factors of production and availability of a 1B market.
The question on every business owners mind now is, when the Foundations have been shaken, what do we do.? Is my business foundation fortified enough on principles to withstand such possible future shocks?
I will encourage us to take stock and relook at the WHY our businesses exist. Then build from that strong conviction into a great future. To build a generational and legacy business. Ten years from now, we should look back and thank God for this dark Covid-19 season. It has helped us recalibrate and strategize.
Let’s grow, diversify, collaborate and partner. We are strong together.