Apart from being the National Chairman of KNCCI, Mr. Kittony also sits in the board of other organization, including Radio Africa, Mtech and Betway and is also the CEO of Capital Realtime Limited.
During the session, Mr. Kittony walked the attendees through his personal business and career journey to where he is as the National Chairman KNCCI, a post he has held for the six years.
“Through my business journey, I have learnt that we are living in quite exciting times as Africans and it is time for us to seize the moment. Since the second world war Africa is experiencing more deployment of infrastructures laying better and bigger opportunities for entrepreneurs,” he said.
He also added, “By 2050, Africa’s population will be larger than China and India combined thus an exciting time for any consumer to be in Africa. It is also an exciting time to be Kenya where we have lots of Innovation. I mean who would have imagined that 45% of our GDP would be through M-PESA? This goes further to show how much great opportunities lie ahead for us.”
However, to survive this moment, Mr. Kiprono said that he has come to the realization that businesses must be willing to innovate and and adopt good corporate governance.
Businesses should also understand that it is never easy and should be ready to fail and understand that there is nothing like “Short-cut” in hardwork.
“Failure in business is learning how not to do that thing that you so much want to. Businesses should understand that success is the flipside coin of failure. The difference only difference is how many times you are willing to fail and stand again and try-out,” he said.
With that, Mr. Kiprono went ahead and shared the ten key lessons he has gathered through his business journey, a journey he started while in campus.
Here are the lessons:
Capital is overrated: A lot of people will tell you that they cannot run a business because they do not have capital. That is the biggest fallacy ever. You must start from somewhere and things will later fall in place with time.
Never lend business money to friends or relatives: Relatives will always remain relatives despite lending them your money and them not giving it back, they will always remain your relatives
Look for a wave to ride on: Instead of fishing out what everyone is doing, look for a leeway to ride on it. Despite having a media business, we recently formed a tech company called M-TECH that deploys AI and Blockchain. Through the company we deployed Jitambulishe, the firstvoice biometric solution for Mobile Network Operator Safaricom.
Keep learning: Through learning you will always be on top of things and the information curve giving yo higher chances to survive the competition
Network: Through interacting with diverse and interesting people you will get to learn new things and get new ideas that you wouldn’t have learnt anywhere else.
Always reward your employees well: If you reward your best employees well they will get far higher and better offers but still stick with you because you do your best to appreciate them and they stand a better chance to grow in their career through the organization.
Trust your instincts: The experts and professionals will not always have answers to your business idea or pain points. Here Mr. Kiprono gave an example of Safaricom, Kenya’s largest Mobile Network Operator. When the company was setting up in Kenya, the company hired one of the best research firms in the country to aid them with their business plan.
The firm confirmed that there was a business case for the company and a market potential of 150,000 mobile phones. The company didn’t give up, they set up shop in Kenya and are now the leading Mobile Network with over 29 million subscribers and counting.
Align what you love with what you do: Find things that make you happy. You will find your day more rewarding and more fulfilling if you link the two.
Be decisive: Some of the best laid out plans just remain that. People who get ahead of life are those who are decisive. When decisions need to be made, as an effective manager gather the facts, analyze the situation, consider alternatives, and decide on the best course of action. And do not procrastinate
It is always not about money: Some business people are always caught up in the unsearchable desire of making more money to just fulfill themselves. However, companies that survive the test of time are those that remain on innovative curve and those that embrace corporate governance as part and parcel of their ethos.
During the same session Mr. Kiprono called on business owners to shun away corruption when it comes to business and learn to appreciate the importance of networking.
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