Passion is what drove Chris Rasugu, Managing Director, NewQuest Consulting Limited to take a bow in the corporate world after 16 years and take a bolder step in pursuing entrepreneurship, a journey that he describes as one that has had its own fair share of highs and lows, but has since embraced and grown to love.
We sat down with him at our Ngong’ Road Office Space, where the NewQuest Offices are and he let us into his world of entrepreneurship.
Here are the excerpts of the interview:
NG: Kindly walk us through your career journey?
CR: I am an accountant by profession and an entrepreneur at heart. My interest in working with numbers grew right after I finished my undergraduate degree, so I pursued the CPA course, and then did MBA right after.
Since then I have accumulatively worked for 16 years all over the continent, well majorly in the Eastern and Central Africa. During this time, I worked mostly with Non-profit organizations in Grants Management and the experience was very interesting and eye opening to say the least.
After working for a long while I decided to move to the next phase of my life to which I incorporated entrepreneurship with my accounting skills, and that’s how NewQuest Consulting Limited was conceived.
And so as the Managing Director, we do outsourced accounting for a number of clients, which basically Involves, translating the daily client’s expenses into financial management reports, we also ensure that they are compliant to all financial regulatory and statutory obligations.
NG: Define your role as a Managing Director of Newquest Consulting?
CR: I oversee most of the client’s needs, understand and help in working these through to final deliverables in each month. I guide the team in keeping up pace and ensuring that these is accomplished on time.
NG: Walk us through your day at Office?
CR: I am at the office around 7am, read through any mail that comes through the previous night (At times), I check on a specific cash flow position for a client, then embark on to do items for the day. I schedule most of my meetings with clients in the afternoon and evening.
NG: What are some of the key highlights through your career journey?
CR: The choice of deciding not to be comfortable in a position. I left an international work position for a local position with about a third pay and leaving employment to for entrepreneurship
NG: What was your lowest career point and what are some of the lessons learnt at that point?
CR: A while back in a similar type of business with a former business partner, we lost a client due to pretty negligence on aspects that would have been prevented. This was purely due to meeting timelines and keeping up to your work on tasks. And this much pretty shaped how I started on my own work and team. If we do promise, then we have to keep and live on that promise.
NG: What Gets You Up in the Morning/ what keeps you awake?
CR: Ensuring that my clients get their worth of support and seeing them grow in their respective ventures.
NG: Who influences you most in your career and life generally and why?
CR: Steve Jobs, His life and achievement inspires my career. In Life, my youngest daughter, her smile is infectious and she makes life worth living for.
NG: As a leader how do you achieve a work-life balance?
CR: The month work cycle has peak often in the 1st half of the month and in these weeks, I get to only rest over on Saturday with Family. While on the other half, it is a bit low and would ensure that the other aspects of the business are running well in a more relaxed way.
NG: What is your living philosophy?
CR: Being honest and living true self
NG: Which age of your life was important and sort of shaped you?
CR: Late 20’s. When my firstborn was born. I knew, I have to work harder.
NG: What do you think is your greatest weakness as a Managing Director?
CR: A friend tells me that my employees occasionally takes advantage of me. She says that am not so hard on them. But I believe working more as a colleague rather than the head achieves more from the team members. We learn the team enjoy their work.
NG: What can you as an MD tell the younger version of you let’s say you at 20 years?
CR: If you see an opportunity or Innovation that would certainly work. Pick it up, don’t shy in starting it. If you a missing part on the idea, present the idea this to guys who are in business to see if it does work and don’t give up.
NG: If you were to have dinner with one person who would that be? And what would you ask them?
CR: Magic Johnson… While I really do like his business acumen. I would ask him why he sold off his Starbucks stores.
NG: That there is quite interesting, I wouldn’t have thought of Magic Johnson in a hundred years. Well, What’s the secret to a fulfilling life according to you and would you say yours is?
CR: The secret to a full filled life would be doing what you really love however little it may reward in cash. You love waking up to fulfill
NG: Advice to young entrepreneurs that are starting off?
CR: Get a vocation that you enjoy and build it patiently, ensure you meet clients’ needs , comply to all regulatory authorities and separate your business and personal expenses .
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