BAAM scouts for a new ceo p.2
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Inside: Study shows CEOs, executives are out of sync
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Staff Writers Gayo Isalanoh Allan Wekesa Greg Okuogo
Marketing & Sales Amuyunzu Oscar Jacqueline Mbindyo Arnest Micheni Stephen Omondi Tabithah Warui
circulation Anita Ichami Bradford Kimathi Finias Adagala Apollo Angatia Malawi
Editor James Onyango
Photographer Amuyunzu Oscar Design & Layout James Onyango Peter Mwania
Publisher Cross Continents Venture
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Give more incentives to spur tourism growth There is growing consensus among the tourism industry players and other stakeholders that tourism has evolved as a key driver to economic growth across Africa Many countries have indeed emerged as strong regional economic players thanks to the tourism boom. South Africa has for instance become one of the African nations with shining examples signifying the impact of a well executed tourism strategy. Whereas in countries such as Kenya, hitting the 1 million mark in tourism numbers was a major milestone, in South Africa, Durban for instance recorded a staggering figure of five million tourists way back in 2006. This is significant given the fact that the five million is just a fraction of the total tourist numbers that the country registered. South Africa’s strategy has been clearly defined and has enough government funding to support the marketing campaigns run by South African tourism bodies. Kenya and indeed other countries can borrow a leaf from South Africa. The key lesson perhaps should be on the government to go out full throttle to financially support the tourism industry. Secondly, tourism players and more so the umbrella organization should strive to set up regional
offices that strictly try to market the regions both among the domestic and international tourists. That way there would be some form of focussed strategy to market the country’s diverse tourism potentials. It is not enough to just have major offices in the big cities and forget about other circuits which also play an important role in helping drive up tourism growth in the continent. As curtains came down on the International Tourism week in Berlin, a lot of lessons were learnt and it is hoped that African countries represented at the event will be able to put all those into action. Africa can not wait any longer to have the stage set by developing countries yet Africa is the leading key tourism market globally. Africa must rise to the occasion and claim its rightful share. There is a lot on offer and certainly the Continent is just beginning to uncover the massive potential of its tourism heritage. African countries must therefore guard against any attempt to waste this great heritage for it belongs to all.
James Onyango, Editor
CONTENTS Briefs 2 Study shows CEOs, Executives Out of Sync 2 BAAM scouts for a new chief executive business 6 Mumias TARDA Delta Project now set for Kickoff 5 LG and General Electric in Licensing agreement 10 KCB Card Centre: Leading the way in Card Business 17 BP Egypt makes gas discovery in the Nile Delta 19 Celtel unveils Ksh. 200m Customer Call Centre 19 Microsoft’s first Windows Embedded R&D Cente in Europe 22 Ericsson and Zain in Lake victoria 23 US firm to invest US $20 Million in Africa’s Cellcom 23 SAP releases Next-Generation Supply Chain Management Solution 24 Tourism stakeholders out to promote domestic packages 24 Microsoft supports Kenyan Youth 25 CEOs in the US ride the ‘Rough Waters,’ taking steps to Recession-Proof Business
24th UPU Congress switches location from Nairobi to Geneva
Study shows CEOs, Executives Out of Sync
BAAM scouts for a new chief executive
hen it comes to business priorities, CEOs could learn a thing or two from the senior executives who report to them, says leading business advisory firm Dissero Partners (http://www.disseropartners.com). That observation is based on a new study conducted by Dissero, in which over 50 percent of 115 senior executives surveyed identified focus and alignment as their companies’ primary issues. Yet, according to last year’s Conference Board survey, CEOs were primarily concerned with excellence in execution, top-line growth and consistent execution of strategy by their leadership teams. Judging by those conflicting results, it appears the senior executives concerned with corporate misalignment hit the nail on the head. “This survey uncovers a major gap that has not been addressed well by business leaders recently,” stated Michael Kanazawa, co-author of Big Ideas to Big Results: Remake and Recharge Your Company, Fast (FT Press 2008) and chief executive of Dissero Partners. “Less than half of employees understand their company’s strategic goals and only 43 percent believe there is ever any follow-through on
planned strategy shifts,” says Kanazawa. “What CEOs see as a lack of execution is more likely a symptom. The root cause is a combination of too many initiatives being called out as top priorities and lack of alignment across organizational boundaries. We call this ‘Corporate A.D.D.,’ for lack of a better name.” Kanazawa is uniquely qualified to diagnose organizations with Corporate A.D.D. Together with Big Ideas to Big Results co-author Robert Miles, Chairman of Dissero Partners, who developed the Accelerated Corporate Transformation (ACT) process that was previously available only to Harvard Business School students, Kanazawa has spent the last two decades helping to reinvent some of the world’s largest companies, including GE, IBM Global Services, Intel and Price Waterhouse. Today’s news is not all bad for CEOs, who are actually in agreement with their executives that their primary task is to set and execute growth strategies to generate profitable growth. But there is always room for improvement, and, said Kanazawa, CEOs and their teams would do well to develop a tighter strategic focus, stick with a limited set of core initiatives long enough to see them through, and engage their teams in aligning their work.
he Board of Directors of British American Asset Managers Limited (BAAM) has announced the stepping down of Mr. Dominic Kiarie as its Managing Director. Mr. Kiarie who was the founding CEO of BAAM, a wholly owned subsidiary of British American Investments Company (Kenya) Limited (BAICL) steered the company towards greater tremendous growth during his tenure hitting a Kshs 5 billion in portfolio investments within three years and bolstering its position in the asset management business. Announcing the change on behalf of the board, The British American Investment Company’s Group Chief Executive, Mr. Benson Wairegi thanked the outgoing Managing Director and highlighted the growth areas that the asset management outfit has embarked on as it consolidates whilst seeking new opportunities. “With our strong portfolio, BAAM is now ready to expand and diversify into new markets. We are proud for the role Mr. Kiarie played in setting up excellent systems, recruiting top notch human resources and mostly for the instrumental role in ensuring that BAAM becomes a major player in the asset management market in the last three and a half years,” said Mr. Wairegi. “The time is ripe for new leadership at the helm,” he added. BAICL, which also owns the insurance firm Britak, announced that the board was in the process of recruiting a new head to steer the investment firm in its new strategic direction. “We are seeking a top notch CEO who will provide stewardship during the next cycle of the growth phase,” said Wairegi. BAAM was established in April 2004 to offer asset management and investment advisory services to individuals and corporate clients. The company offers a wide range of domestic and offshore investment funds including wealth management services to private clients and portfolio management services to institutional funds such as pension funds, charities, NGOs, Endowment Funds, amongst others. BAAM is licensed as a Fund Manager by the Capital Markets Authority (CMA). March/April 2008
Mumias TARDA Delta Project now set for Kickoff
LG and General Electric in Licensing agreement
Top Government officials, environmentalists and Mumias and TARDA officials in Tana delta. Inset: CEO MSC Dr. Evans Kidero
he Integrated Tana Delta Sugar factory may start operations soon. A ten-man committee to finalize on an Impact Assessment Report forwarded to the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) has been formed. This is according to Dr. Muusya Mwinzi, the Authority’s Director General when he visited the proposed factory site in Garsen on recently. The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Joseph Kinyua who also toured the site declared that the Government fully supports the project. “The feasibility and Environment impact assessment teams had completed the process of field scientific and social economic studies, consultation and public participation before finally handing out their report to us,” said Dr. Mwinzi adding that the Nation’s and not a group of peoples interests will be given the highest consideration in the authority’s verdict. HVA, a Dutch firm working in collaboration with MA Consulting of Kenya concurred that the Tana Delta sugar project will stand the test of time after the firms carried out the study that took six months. Prof. David Mungai of MA Consulting who was at the site explained that an Environmental Impact Assessment that was conducted had offered a breakthrough for Mumias Sugar, which financed the study to the tune of Ksh.100 million. “We considered areas such as the use of water, resources, baseline economic activities and
relevant government policies,” he said. The assessment had investigated issues raised such as economic and financial viability of the sugar project, water supply and the suitability and availability of land resources, said Prof. Mungai adding that it had also looked at whether the project tallied with the government’s vision 2030. “This investment will address deep rooted poverty and as such it is sustainable because it meets the expectations of the local communities and the governments in ensuring that the country is self sustainable in sugar production. The report from NEMA will be the last step towards construction of a sugar factory in this area,” said Mr. David Stower, the Regional Development Permanent Secretary who was accompanied by other senior government officials in touring the site. PS Kinyua, disclosed that the treasury was waiting for NEMA’s verdict then give the needed financial assistance. In the meantime, he said that the treasury will finance TARDA by up to 20 million to repair a stalled dam that will be used in irrigating sugarcane plantations. When it finally starts operating the sugar facility will have a power generation plant and about 30,000 people will gain either direct or indirect employment in the factory, administration, workshops and plantations, dip facilities and other veterinary services, slaughter houses and breeding possibilities for stock improvement.
G Electronics (LG), a global leader and technology innovator in consumer electronics, announced that it has entered into a cross licensing agreement with GE Consumer & Industrial, an industry leader in major appliance, lighting and integrated industrial equipment, systems and services. The new agreement will allow LG and GE to use one another’s patents for refrigerators and cooking appliances without paying licensing fees. “We believe that this licensing arrangement with GE will enhance our ability to deliver winning products and move us further toward our goal of becoming one of the top global brands in consumer electronics and home appliances,” said Young Ha Lee, President and CEO of LG Electronics Digital Appliance Company. “Our long history of working together with GE will help us take advantage of this agreement even more quickly.” “This agreement is part of a win-win strategy for both GE and LG,” said Lynn S. Pendergrass, President and CEO, GE Consumer & Industrial - Americas. “We expect the synergies resulting from the strong relationship between our two companies will contribute substantially to the success of both GE and LG.” LG and GE have collaborated on cooking appliances since 1999, both in technologies and product development. The new agreement will help LG and GE strengthen their competitiveness worldwide. The agreement will be especially helpful to LG, in its push to expand its presence in digital appliances globally. LG has previously entered into key partnerships with other top companies to build its technology and customer base. In 2000 LG partnered with Matsushita’s air conditioning division and in 2001 LG allied itself with both Microsoft and Intel in the home networking sector. GE Consumer & Industrial, a $13 billion business, uses innovative technologies and “ecomagination,” a GE initiative to aggressively bring to market new technologies that help customers and consumers meet pressing environmental challenges, to deliver comfort, convenience and electrical protection and control.
Air Uganda stamps its authority in the regional air transport industry Africaâ€™s Aviation industry has no doubt registered massive growth over the years with safety levels quickly gaining momentum and industry players reaping from economic stability largely driven by the tourism boom. Every month, new players dive into the field potentially signifying the great business potential that is yet to be exploited. In this issue, Greg Okuogo engaged the Chief executive officer of Air Uganda Mr. Peter De Waal on a number of issues. Excerpts
Briefly take us through the history and core business of Air Uganda. Air Uganda started flying on the 15th November 2007 after a careful analysis of the aviation industry in Uganda and the market in East African Region. We discovered that there was a space left from other carriers that could be taken by a new operator with some care. The new carrier should be an advantage for the Ugandan market passengers, quality carrier, respecting the schedule, reliable and customer friendly. We decided to follow up this indication and we have built our airline based on these assumptions. Our core business is the connection of the EA countries, creating a hub in Entebbe. Kenya, which is billed as East Africaâ€™s premier air travel hub has recently experienced political unrests which resulted into travel advisories. How has this affected your operations? Kenya is vital ring in the EA economical life and all countries suffer from the supplies not regularly available at the moment. We had shortage of jet fuel, we registered an increase of jet fuel cost and decrease of passengers to and from Kenya. At the moment, what would you say are your strengths that differentiate Air Uganda from the rest? We are quality airline, with 94% on time performance, good appraisal from our passengers and zero flight cancellation. Which strategy have you put in place to ensure that the total customer experience with Air Uganda is highly satisfying and commensurate with global air travel standards? First of all we continuously monitor the quality level delivered to our customer and measure our performance. Any deviation from our quality standards is analyzed and corrected with proper actions. We benchmark with the best carriers in the region and measure ourselves to stay in line with the quality level we planned. Which African Routes are you dominant in and do you intend to venture into other international routes? We are well positioned in our Juba and Tanzanian routes; instead Nairobi is at moment suffering due to the actual instability, but we hope that we will recover in short time. Which are some of the measures that you have put in place to increase your revenues, profitability and further diversifying your customer base? First we look to keep the cost in line with best practice in the industry. Second we analyze what is the average revenue per passenger sustainable for each route and we try to offer fares un-
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Every African country has its own political program. As an airline we will never be able to influence political decisions. However we can offer guidance to our regional offices to employ as much as possible local nationals in order to transfer technology opening the doors for future development and improvement of the social and financial climate.
der that level in order to be competitive. Then we use marketing leverage to stimulate the customers to try and buy our services depending from their needs and spending capacity. Extensive corporate program and Frequent Flyer program started already. The mix of all these factors must generate a positive revenue result reaching the break even. How have you consolidated and entrenched your domestic position as a top Airline in the region given fierce competition from regional giants like KQ? Our position is to be a Regional Carrier with the objective to serve a niche market with creative non expensive solutions, we will be able to gain a substantial portion of the existing market. How many destinations do you fly to at the moment and how many departures do you currently operate? We fly to 4 destinations out of Entebbe namely: Nairobi with 2 flights a day, Juba with 4 flights a week and Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro 3 times a week. More Carriers are joining global alliances. Will you go this route? Presumably in the long distant future we will, but at short notice we will sign an inter-airline agreement with various carriers in order to streamline the feeder traffic to and from Entebbe. Which are some of the challenges that you think Air Uganda faces in the market? Maintaining our high quality level service in a market lacking infrastructure almost in all airports. It is normal that where there are challenges there always must be strengths, which are the advantages that you have against your strong competitors? The fact that we are high quality level company outstands us from the competition. Being part of powerful Group allows Air Uganda to plan long term.
10 March/April 2008
Some Airlines have modernized their fleet. Do you think you are in this category? Do you see the need to lobby the EAC governments to implement the Cape Town Convention resolutions to reduce Aircraft Financing costs? Yes we are modernizing our fleet with the arrival of the first MD87 from March and a second will follow in May. Due to the fact that Air Uganda owns their aircrafts we do not have any negative effect of the non adherence by Uganda to the Cape Town Convention. Do you think there is need for Airlines and governments to fast track the resolutions of the 1988 Yamoussoukro Decisions? This Agreement should be implemented in a controlled manner in order to protect smaller African airlines and avoid emersion of powerful airlines in other African countries. African Airlines are perennially bedeviled by flight cancellations and delayed departures. What are the risk management strategies that you have put in place at Air Uganda? Using a very balanced schedule and maintaining owned spare capacity availability. Is Air Uganda poised for long term growth, which is some of your short-term and longterm plans and objectives? Air Uganda plans to increase regional destinations not well served by competition with the objective to use Entebbe International Airport as a hub. Long term objectives are network expansion in a well planned manner in order to be an efficient carrier that satisfies the shareholders. How do you manage the values of your managers and employees in general? How do you really and motivate your staff to work in agreement with you as you both endeavor to achieve your corporate goals? Our management organization is based on a strict planning policy and respect of the deadlines based
on incentives for the entire staff with a clear definition of responsibilities and careful valorization of the human resources. What in your opinion needs to be done to boost East Africaâ€™s financial, political, social and cultural wellbeing? Every African country has its own political program. As an airline we will never be able to influence political decisions. However we can offer guidance to our regional offices to employ as much as possible local nationals in order to transfer technology opening the doors for future development and improvement of the social and financial climate. The African Airline Industry in general is weak, still fragmented and fragile. Your comments. In general yes but we strongly believe that Air Uganda is reverting the image of African airlines based on perseverance to achieve high efficiency level with extreme quality levels.
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KCB Card Centre: Leading the way in Card Business Currently in Africa we use a magnetic stripe card which can easily be counterfeited unlike in the developed world where pin and chip is used. This technology enables SMS alerts and also interfaces cards with cell phones — Mr. Sam Muturi, Head KCB Card Centre By Gayo Isalanoh
Mr. Sam Muturi — Head of Card Business, KCB 12 March/April 2008
cross the globe, business transactions are fast changing face moving from cash to cards effectively enabling people to slowly but steadily reduce the risk and inconvenience of walking around with bulky notes and coins in the form of money. In Kenya and now across the region, KCB Card Business Centre has been in the frontline driving the shift from the conventional money to the modern plastic money (card business). “My job is to change people from using cash to cards” says Mr. Sam Muturi, head of Kenya Commercial Bank Card Business Centre. “We offer an alternative to cash and my greatest competitor is cash”, adds the jovial, firm and focused card business expert. Mr. Muturi explains: “Card business involves two areas, acquiring and issuing. Issuing is the actual giving out of cards to card holders. At KCB Card Centre we have three types of cards; credit cards which a user pays after spending, a debit card which
is issued after a bank account is opened and is debited when a card is used, and a pre-paid card which a customer puts in money before embarking on a spending spree.” In the recent past Mr. Muturi reckons the use of plastic money is fast replacing the use of cash in many business transactions and the trend he says will certainly change the way people transact business in a big way. KCB credit card he reveals has partnered with global card giants Visa and Master Card as partners while its Debit card is issued at KCB’s quick server. The Bank has four types of pre-paid cards namely- Student, Payroll, General purpose and Travel cards. On the acquiring front, Muturi reiterates that the Card Centre involves merchants who accept card transactions. These include supermarkets and other outlets from where one can purchase goods and services using the card. With the ever evolving technology, Muturi contends that there is need
In its endeavor to offer unchallenged service provision, KCB Card Centre has partnered with Visa and Master Card, Card production companies and cooperates with other banks that offer the same services, merchants and technology providers to make it widely acceptable and convenient.
to have a card with modules that can carry out wide ranges of banking transactions without staff intervention. He cites the Asian example where card business is more advanced. “Currently in Africa we use a magnetic stripe card which can easily be counterfeited unlike in the developed world where pin and chip is used. This technology enables SMS alerts and also interfaces cards with cell phones,” he offers. Mr. Muturi says that KCB’s Card Centre is in the process of changing from magnetic stripe to chip card usage even though the cost of investment into this particular technology still remains prohibitive. “If you have a good product that customers are willing to pay for then you’ve got no option but to go for it because of its acceptability,” he observes. Still on the technological front, the head of the Card Centre says two years ago the Centre moved from Card Management System (cardman), to a new robust system ‘Prime’ which has provided them with a wide array of options. “The Prime a card management system that allows us to interface with the Bank management system hence offering customers e-statements.” While contending that the SME market is the next frontier as far as banking goes, Muturi says, “In our issuing business we have a payroll card targeting SME employees and has widely been used by workers in flower farms who can’t maintain bank accounts.” In order to make sure that a customer is credit worthy, Muturi explains that they have developed a system that automatically appraise the credit worth of a customer by using the Credit Rating Bureaus available in the country.
Mr. Muturi cites the excellent service the Bank offers as the main reason that has enabled them be among the leading card business Centres in Africa with one of the largest card issuance in the East and indeed the Central African region. In its endeavor to offer unchallenged service provision, KCB Card Centre has partnered with Visa and Master Card, Card production companies and cooperates with other banks that offer the same services, merchants and technology providers to make it widely acceptable and convenient. The Centre also gets lots of information from the country’s Credit Rating Bureaus (CRB). “KCB is among the first banks to give out information,” he states. The three Kenyan CRB’s include; the Credit Rating Bureau, Trans Union Kenya and Africa and Metro East African Ltd. Mr. Muturi decries high instances of fraud in card business terming it a ‘huge menace’. However, he explains that at KCB Card Centre they tackle this problem in the two phases of issuing and acquiring. In acquiring, he says they offer a training programme to merchants, lower floor limits (to ensure card transactions are authorized) and also blacklists countries that are prone to fraud. In the case of card loss, the fact that the Centre is open 24 hours ensures immediate blocking and hot listing of the lost card.
However, there are some impediments to the otherwise flourishing card business. Mr. Muturi pinpoints increasing card fraud, card phobia and low levels of card awareness and penetration as the major impediments to card usage and acceptability in Kenya and the entire developing world. The other setback says Muturi is poor infrastructure, high rates of defaults, competition and the ever changing technological appliances which prove to be considerably expensive to adapt to. Asked about his management style that has certainly played a pivotal role in making KCB Card Centre a renowned and profitable outfit, he says he manages by objectives, involves everyone and uses an open-door and performance drawn management system in dealing with a multicultural and multi-ethnic group that is his staff. “A great leader is one who can inspire others to greatness, inspire performance through positive behavior, listens and is able to empathize without compromising firmness in dispensing his duties,” he affirms. Mr. Muturi, who has an MBA from the University of Nairobi, is a person very much interested in brand management. “I am passionate about taking a brand and repositioning it,” he says adding “I always yearn to be the best that I can ever be.” March/April 2008
Devki: The King of steel has eyes set on the big prize
By Gayo Isalanoh
hen you first meet him you may wonder how this man who enjoys friendly rapport with powerful people the likes of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and her Royal family and DRC President Laurent Kabila can be so humble in person. Yet with his humility, focus and firmness Dr. Ravendra Raval Guru the founder and chief executive of Devki Steel Mills has managed to steer the company to enviable height of success and stability. Today, Devki Steel Mills boasts of the largest steel production volume in East and Central Africa. He says the company is targeting 500,000 tons in production by 2010. In the current volatile market characterized by unpredictable economic upheavals and stiff competition, success is pegged on supply of high quality products at competitive prices, backed by excellent customer service, says Mr. Raval. “Devki Steel Mills started production in 1996 and from then has kept growing at a rate of approximately 25% per annum with the largest
14 March/April 2008
production volume in the whole of East and Central Africa,” he explains. The Managing Director lists efficiency in production and continued expansion and production range as key strengths that have ensured the company’s growth. Devki Steel Mills Ltd products are certified under the Diamond mark of quality from the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS).This ascertains quality. Devki Steel Mills produce an array of products which include; steel bars, plain sheets, water pipes, G.I pipes, hollow sections, reinforced bars, angle bars and windows among a retinue of other products. According to Mr. Raval, the last 5 years have been extremely good for the company and cites the country’s improved economy as the reason for this. “During this period we achieved 100% growth in turnover and in the process employed a record 3,800 staff,” he says adding that due to growth the company has opened new mills in Ruiru and Miritini in Mombasa.”
The company, Mr. Raval reveals is committed to supporting scrap metal dealers and collectors paying good prices promptly on delivery for all the steel scrap supplied. Owing to its impressive facilities, Devki Steel Mills have opted to make steel from locally available steel scrap. Asked about how the company has been able to cut a unique niche for itself in the market, Mr. Raval says, “Honesty is our main strength. It gives a good impression to our customers and suppliers also.” He also lauded the support that they have received from banks. The CEO reveals that the company is soon going into the business of making coloured and galvanized roofing sheets by May 2008. “We have set up a $24 million investment plant which will be the largest in Africa and will be called Maisha Mabati Mills Ltd.” However, Mr. Raval says that recently there has been an increase in steel prices. The reason being that during 2003-6 China was the net exporter of steel but since 2007 it’s the net importer hence destabilizing the supply and demand curves. “In the last two months steel prices have increased by 35%.Before what we used to import at $600 is now $900 dollars.” The above, Mr. Raval explains, may have been caused by 10% depreciation of the shilling against the dollar after the political upheavals precipitated by the now resolved crisis about the disputed presidential poll. Outlining some of the challenges that the company has faced since inception, Mr. Raval is quick to point that in the beginning the main problem was poor infrastructure especially at the port, electricity and road network. The
other impediment, he says was bureaucracy in importation and licensing. He however explains that most of the challenges have since been streamlined making it easier to import and operate freely. The other challenge he says, is import competition with neighboring countries in the form of inhibiting cross-border trading regulations. “At first we used to export 40-50% of our products to Uganda and Tanzania but currently there’s difficulty in exporting since a 20% duty is slapped on our goods while if you import the same products to Kenya they’re duty exempt. This leads to unfair competition,” he complains. In spite of the above mentioned setbacks, Devki Steel Mills has remained afloat sustaining a trend of profitability and market leadership that goes back several years. While competitors seem to flounder, volumes of production plummeting, Devki continues to expand employing 3,800 personnel in Kenya’s swollen job market. “We currently employ a total of 3,800 staff and will be employing 1,000 more in the new Mabati Mills that will be opening soon in Ruiru,” says Mr. Raval. Asked about the secret that he would leak to other players in the industry for them to be competitive as Devki is, he says; “Industry is the main source of employment, all industries should have one motive of keeping their staff in the job. Even during this time of uncertainty, companies should rather reduce working hours, than lay off.” The other strength, Mr. Raval offers is efficiency in production, citing the fact that they are more automated, use less energy and produce more in volume making the steel mill more competitive in the market. Another reason why the company has been
profitable even at the hardest of times, Mr. Raval reveals is because it has heavily invested in staff motivation and training. “Staff training is an ongoing process and we send some of our staff overseas to further their studies and then absorb them back in the industry,” he explains. In the spirit of maintaining the morale of company employees, the CEO says, “while contending that the most important thing to a person is the assurance of getting three meals a day, we are building a five star restaurant for our staff where we will be spending 2.5 million per month on food for the entire staff.” On the CSR front, Mr. Raval confirms that Devki Steel Mills has been active on the social front helping develop the local community and giving back to society. “We are always at hand whenever any problem occurs. We have built churches and hospitals in our locality and also operate a Children’s Home in the area,” he offers. The CEO observed that Devki growth can be said to be pegged on helping people adding that a company not giving service to the community cannot survive for long. He advises, “to succeed always stick to the truth and think about community service”. Mr. Raval has an Engineering Degree from India and a Doctorate in Divinity from the Champions Covenant Church. He is also a Hindu priest, an astrologist for many, including prominent people like majority of African leaders. “Set a goal, be most humble and dedicated and stick to your goal no matter how long it takes to achieve it,” are his parting words.
Diageo, Heineken and Namibia Breweries announce new joint ventures in South Africa
Alcatel-Lucent to Acquire ReachView Technologies A
iageo plc (‘Diageo’), Heineken International BV (‘Heineken’) and Namibia Breweries Limited (‘NBL’) announced that they have reached agreement to form a new joint venture for their combined beer, cider and RTD businesses in South Africa, to be called DHN Drinks (Pty) Limited (‘DHN Drinks’). The new joint venture builds on the success of brandhouse Beverages (Pty) Limited (‘brandhouse’), the parties’ current cost-sharing joint venture in South Africa which was formed in July 2004. Diageo and Heineken will each own 42.25% of DHN Drinks and NBL will own 15.5%. Each party will share in the profits of DHN Drinks in proportion to their shareholding. brandhouse will continue to market and distribute the parties’ products in South Africa. In addition, Diageo and Heineken will enter into a second new joint venture in South Africa (‘Supplyco’). Supplyco will construct a brewery and bottling plant in Gauteng province, South Africa, and will produce Amstel and certain other key brands. Heineken will own 75% and Diageo will own 25% of Supplyco. In the first two years Diageo will invest £100 million in DHN Drinks and Supplyco. The investment meets Diageo’s return criteria. The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to complete by the end of March 2008. Nick Blazquez, Managing Director of Diageo Africa said: “The decision by Diageo, Heineken
16 March/April 2008
and Namibia Breweries to commit to a closer relationship in South Africa reflects the success of brandhouse and acknowledges the changing nature of the beverage alcohol market in South Africa,” he said. He observed that the venture had already demonstrated that a combined beverage alcohol distribution company can capitalize on the growth opportunities in markets such as South Africa and that the new structure will enable the group realize further growth opportunities as a result of the strong platform it creates. Tom de Man, Heineken’s Regional President Africa and the Middle East, commented: “With Africa now Heineken’s fastest growing region, with the Heineken brand growing 70% in South Africa and Amstel very clearly still a favourite with South African consumers, there is no better time to invest in growth. The three businesses already have a strong, successful partnership and I am excited about the new opportunities that the combination of our brands and local brewing will create.” Sven Thieme, NBL’s chairman said: “Following the successful establishment of brandhouse in 2004, we have as a next step put our brands together so as to maximize the mutual benefits of a joint portfolio of premium products. For us this investment means that NBL now has a tangible commercial interest in the sales and distribution of all brands that are part of this new profit sharing venture.”
lcatel-Lucent has announced the signing of an agreement to acquire ReachView Technologies, one of the largest service assurance consulting and integration firms in North America. Upon completion this acquisition will enhance Alcatel-Lucent’s current professional services consulting practice, specifically, OSS/ BSS and software integration, enabling the company to deliver advanced service assurance solutions to carriers and industry and public sector customers. “Communications service providers are looking for advanced services assurance solutions, and by acquiring ReachView, Alcatel-Lucent will be able to more quickly meet that need,” said Andy Williams, President of Alcatel-Lucent’s Services business. “The skills of ReachView complement our own service assurance competence centers. Together we will be able to offer carriers the premier consulting and integration expertise they are looking for, no matter where they are located.” “Carriers and large enterprises have complex networking, services and business challenges, and they are looking for a partner that can help them with their operations requirements. ReachView is excited to be joining Alcatel-Lucent to offer customers our expertise in delivering quality of service and service assurance solutions,” said Ian Bresnahan, ReachView’s Chief Executive Officer. “Our combined skills, knowledge, network expertise and access to multi-vendor labs, will give us a competitive advantage in taking on very large and complex transformation projects.” Alcatel-Lucent’s service assurance solution provides tools to ensure that end-user services provided by a carrier or enterprise are continuously available and performing to service level agreements and quality of service performance levels. The tools monitor performance, availability and quality of experience, detect possible failures while at the same time assess services and impact on the user experience.
Windows Live $500,000 Donation marks Operation Smile’s 25th Anniversary
BP Egypt makes gas discovery in the Nile Delta
peration Smile, a worldwide children’s medical charity, today announced that Microsoft Corp. donated $500,000 to the organization as part of a ‘sharing smiles’ campaign from Windows Live. The funds will be used to provide free physical examinations and surgical treatment to children in 26 countries in 2008. Microsoft partnered with Operation Smile to commemorate its 25th Anniversary, and celebrate the launch of Windows Live, a set of free online services designed to help people communicate and share with the important people in their lives from anywhere they have Web access across multiple devices. The donation culminates a two-month campaign that encouraged Windows Live customers to share photos of their smiles with people around the world to show their support for the cause. The donation from the Windows Live campaign will help enable Operation Smile to provide 2,083 free surgical treatments to children during the upcoming year. “Windows Live is proud to join with Operation Smile in its pursuit to change children’s lives, one
smile at a time,” said Chris Jones, corporate vice president of Windows Live Experience Program Management at Microsoft. Operation Smile celebrated its 25th Anniversary with the World Journey of Smiles (WJOS), simultaneous medical missions to 40 sites in 25 countries worldwide. From November 7-16, free physical examinations were provided to 7,414 patients, and 4,086 children born with cleft lips and cleft palates received free surgical treatment during the WJOS. The initiative mobilized more than 700 volunteers from the United Sates and more than 1,000 volunteers from 43 other countries working in 40 hospitals, care centers and clinics in 25 countries in Asia, Eastern Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. “This donation and partnership are a great way to culminate our 25th Anniversary and the World Journey of Smiles,” said Dr. Bill Magee, Operation Smile CEO and Co-founder. “This alliance with Windows Live demonstrates that a smile is a universal language, and this donation will help us bring new smiles to children in need.”
P has announced that it has made a significant gas discovery at record depths in the Nile Delta. The Satis discovery is located in the North El Burg Offshore, Nile Delta concession, some 50 kilometres north of Damietta. The well was drilled to a Nile Delta record depth of more than 6,500 metres and is the first significant high-pressure, high-temperature, offshore Oligocene discovery. Egypt’s offshore Nile Delta is an important part of the company’s upstream portfolio. BP has interests in four exploration concessions, with operatorship of three. BP has been operating in Egypt for over 40 years, primarily in oil and gas exploration and production. To date BP Egypt has produced almost 40 per cent of Egypt’s entire oil production and close to 30 per cent of gas demand with its partners. Satis is a major technical achievement that demonstrates the great potential of the deeper reservoirs within the Nile Delta and will require further appraisal and is BP’s third deep gas discovery in the Nile Delta after the first discovery at Raven in 2003, followed by the more recent Taurus Deep find in 2007. Andy Inglis, BP’s chief executive of Exploration & Production said: “This is a significant discovery, which will underscore our position as a major producer in the growing Egyptian gas market for many years to come.” Satis is in the North El Burg offshore concession; Raven and Taurus Deep are both within the North Alexandria A concession: BP, operator (60 per cent) and partner RWE Dea (40 per cent). Operatorship of the North El Burg Offshore Concession was awarded to BP Exploration (Delta) Limited in June 2005. March/April 2008
Celtel unveils Ksh. 200m Microsoft’s first Windows Customer Call Centre Embedded R&D )3/ Center in Europe
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eltel Kenya has unveiled an ultra-modern customer care call centre, built at a cost of Ksh 200 million. The new centre, installed with technical support from Tele’Train, a Netherlands based consultancy will see Celtel boost efficiency within its network, whilst bolstering customer care service levels. The setting up of the call centre and the installation of new training equipment will enable the system take optimal number of calls without compromising quality and service. In addition to investing in new software, the Mobile service provider has refurbished its call centre to conform to modern demands of a call centre that lay great emphasis on employees comfort in order to achieve greater efficiencies in the handling of customer queries. The service provider has set a precedent by separating the call centre functions into two – incoming and outbound calls geared towards boosting the efficiency. As an upshot of the investment, Celtel Kenya is hinging its continued penetration amongst other strategies on responsiveness of its call centre, clarity of its network and introduction of affordable, value for money products and services. Speaking during the unveiling of the new centre, Mr Caba Pinter, the Celtel Kenya acting CEO said: “At Celtel, we strive to combine service and quality, while responding to customer needs. This new centre, which is already operational, will enhance forecasting ability, enable faster scheduling of calls, and allow easy performance monitoring.” He added “The reason why our call centre and customer service responsiveness has received plaudits from our customers is not by default but by design. Over the years, we have proactively invested on systems, personnel, training and an atmosphere that meets the evergrowing demands of our customers.” The new system, which is fast and user friendly, will offer online response to customer queries, offer account modification, conduct internal customer survey programs and perform intelligent call routing to customer skill groups. Other services offered by the call center
include managing an automated shift planning, recording calls for quality monitoring and raining purposes, and enabling automated screen pop ups to quickly respond to customer calls. The decision by Celtel Kenya to upgrade its call centre and install one of the most advanced customer services software was informed by prudent analysis, forecasts and a clear matrix of needs, coupled with the ever-growing customer base. Currently, the new call centre employs about 200 members of staff who operate on shift basis. Mr Job Njiru, the Celtel Kenya Customer Care Director said the launch of the centre was necessitated by the need to upgrade the technology to be in tandem with the ever changing and increasing customer need, and to ensure that customer service technology evolves with the world technological changes. “By launching this new centre today, we want to demonstrate that Celtel does not take it’s customers for granted, and hence the need to provide them with the best service, coupled with excellent customer care. With the increased subscriber base as the company expands, it is imperative that we must provide impeccable service to our customers, benchmarked to international standards.” Other services offered by the call center include managing an automated shift planning, recording calls for quality monitoring and training purposes, and enabling automated screen pop ups to quickly respond to customer calls.
icrosoft Corporation has launched its first Microsoft Embedded Systems Development Centre (MESDC) in Aachen, Germany. The MESDC is part of Microsoft’s effort to expand regional development centers in Denmark, France, Ireland, Serbia, the U.K. and other countries across Europe. The center will support global product development and drive smart, connected, serviceoriented device development. Located within the European Microsoft Innovation Centre (EMIC) in Aachen, the MESDC is a significant part of the $75 million (U.S.) global R&D investment that the Windows Embedded Business is making in Europe this fiscal year. “Due to the immense engineering talent pool and high concentration of enterprise customers and key Windows Embedded partners in the region, we see tremendous growth opportunities for the Windows Embedded Business in Europe,” said Kevin Dallas, general manager of the Windows Embedded Business at Microsoft. “In addition, the MESDC is a significant part of Microsoft’s ongoing investment in research and development in the European Union. Our MESDC venture builds on our presence in Europe and further enables our dedicated partners to bring to market smart, connected, service-oriented devices.” The MESDC will support global product R&D, drive development of new and innovative features of Microsoft’s embedded operating systems, and accelerate collaboration between the U.S.-based Microsoft product groups and their counterparts in Europe. The MESDC will also support the needs of the active Windows Embedded customer and partner ecosystem in Europe by engaging with select members of this group to showcase highvisibility embedded systems projects that accelerate embedded development in the enterprise. Microsoft estimates that out of the 3 billion embedded devices shipping this year, about twothirds of them will be connected to a network or management service. March/April 2008
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Ericsson, Zain and the GSMA to save lives on Lake Victoria by extending mobile coverage
he 200,000 fishermen who work on Lake Victoria will soon have the opportunity to use mobile phones to call for help if they get into trouble on the world’s second largest inland lake. Pan-Africa mobile operator Celtel, a subsidiary of Zain, and Ericsson, in an initiative coordinated by the GSMA’s Development Fund, have committed to extend the mobile networks across the Lake Victoria region, fuelling economic and social development of the lakeside communities and potentially reducing the number of fishing-related deaths each year. Zain and Ericsson are upgrading Celtel’s existing infrastructure and building an additional 21 radio sites to provide mobile coverage up to 20 kilometers into the lake. This will take about six months and ensure mobile coverage to over 90 percent of the fishing zones, where up to 5,000 people die each year from accidents and piracy. The project will use Ericsson’s Extended Range software package to more than double the effective range of radio base stations and Ericsson’s Mobile Position System, a location-based service that enables emergency authorities to triangulate the mobile signal of fishermen in distress. Ericsson’s green site solutions, including solar and hybrid power* solutions, will also be utilized to provide electric power to the base stations in the more remote island areas. The GSMA and Zain are working with the governments in the region and not-for-profit groups to establish a rescue coordination service to provide assistance to lake users, which in the longer term will be run by the EAC’s planned Regional Maritime Communications Centre (RMCC). This initiative is helping to fulfill the objectives of the EAC Lake Victoria communications strategy, which was adopted in 2007. Ericsson, Zain and the GSMA’s Development Fund have spent the past six months investigating how to provide better communications for the 30 million people in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda who live in the immediate vicinity of the lake. The move to extend the region’s mobile network reflects the companies’ commitment to corporate responsibility and to improving lives through communication,
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and is supported by a solid business case based on increased subscriber numbers and a higher volume of data traffic, thereby ensuring the sustainability of the project. Dr Tom Okurut, Executive Secretary of the Lake Victoria Basin Commission says: “This is an exciting project that will contribute fundamentally towards the improvement of safety of navigation on Lake Victoria. It is the first major telecommunications infrastructure investment project that complements and aligns well with the planning and preparations coordinated by the EAC.” Zain also plans to provide value-added services, such as up-to-the-minute market prices, which will have a significant impact on local people’s livelihoods. Academic research** in India found that using mobile phones can significantly boost fishermen’s earnings by enabling them to find the best prices for their catch. The availability of mobile services is also expected to benefit the tourism, transportation and fish export industries and could be key to attracting further business development in the region. Dr Saad Al Barrak, CEO of Zain Group, says: “Zain is committed to supporting the communities we serve making vital telecommunications accessible to all. This investment will be further supported by our One Network concept, which eliminates international roaming fees for our customers who cross regional borders.” Jan Embro, President of Ericsson in sub-Saharan Africa, says: “This project is an excellent example of how Ericsson’s core technology can contribute to social and economic development. In this case there is a win-win situation: we are enabling the basic human rights of safety, security and economic development, while at the same time the project is supported by a sustainable business case.” Dawn Haig-Thomas, Director of the GSMA’s Development Fund, says: “Mobile phones and mobile networks have played a critical part in saving countless people’s lives in emergency situations all over the world. The expansion of coverage across Lake Victoria will extend this important lifeline to the thousands of people who depend on the lake for a living.”
US firm to invest US $20 Million in Africa’s Cellcom E
merging Capital Partners (ECP), an international private equity firm focused on investing across the African continent, has announced a U.S. $20 million investment in Cellcom Telecommunications Limited (Cellcom), a mobile telecommunications company with operations in West Africa. The funds will be used to expand Cellcom’s network and operations in Liberia and launch service in Guinea and Sierra Leone. “Cellcom is the leader in the Liberian mobile telecoms market and has a very attractive business model that combines pre-paid services, low cost handsets, aggressive marketing and superior customer service,” said Tom Gibian, chief executive officer of ECP. “We are confident that the company will be able to expand its operations and repeat its success in Guinea and Sierra Leone as well as new West African markets.” The mobile phone penetration rates in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone are among the lowest on the African continent at around 17 percent, 6 percent and 10 percent respectively. Cellcom sees significant opportunity to expand capacity and coverage in these markets where demand still outstrips supply. Mobile telecom subscriber growth in Africa in 2006 was 45 percent, making the continent the world’s fastest growing market for mobile telecommunications. Wireless Intelligence forecasts predict additional growth of 50 percent by 2010. West Africa has led the African continent in mobile telecom growth, recording 75 percent subscription growth in 2006 alone. This investment in Cellcom is ECP’s seventh in the African mobile telecom industry. This includes current stakes in MTN Cote d’Ivoire, Starcomms Nigeria Limited and Celtel Gabon as well as successful exits from Telecel Faso, Orascom Telecom Algeria, Celtel International, and Sonatel. The Cellcom investment was made through ECP’s U.S. $523 million ECP Africa Fund II. established in December 2005 to capitalize on the numerous investment opportunities throughout Africa in sectors such as telecom, natural resources, financial services, agribusiness, transportation, and power and water.
SAP releases Next-Generation Supply Chain Management Solution
urther delivering on its commitment to provide software solutions enabling companies to increase visibility into essential information and simplify collaboration with their global network of business partners and customers, SAP, the world’s leading provider of business software with more than 46,100 customers in more than 120 countries has unveiled the upcoming new release of its industry-leading supply chain management solution. The software maker observes that in today’s global economy with its accelerated speed of change, a company’s business network is becoming its primary source of competitive differentiation. By transforming its network of employees, suppliers, customers, partners and distributors into a collaborative, customer-focused, demanddriven community, SAP believes a company can intelligently adapt to changing market conditions and gain competitive advantage through accelerated innovation. A flexible supply chain management solution builds the foundation for the seamless integration of geographically dispersed business partners and optimized planning, execution and coordination of business processes within such a network. The announcement was made at the SAP Insider Conference for Logistics and Supply Chain Management, in Orlando, Florida. “Managing relationships with geographically dispersed customers, suppliers and partners has resulted in a need for increased levels of adaptability, collaboration and visibility when dealing with supply chain solutions,” said Andrew White, research vice president, Gartner. “As companies expand their operations globally and outsource production, they are faced with the challenge of maintaining timely and accurate supply chain data, responding to shifting customer demand, and reducing costs to remain competitive. The more that these companies can optimize their supply chain software solutions to better collaborate with the various parties involved, the better positioned they are for long-term success.” New Capabilities Will Help Companies Meet Global Business Challenges Developed in close collaboration with existing SAP customers to address challenges such as supply
chain responsiveness and integration with partner ecosystems, the latest release of the SAP(R) Supply Chain Management (SAP SCM) application will include enhanced functionality for supply network collaboration (SNC), extended warehouse management (EWM) and enhanced planning. Highly targeted business benefits will include: • Closer collaboration with business partners to improve visibility • Enhanced capabilities for outsourced manufacturing in SNC to improve supply network inventory and work order collaboration. • Functionality for supplier collaboration enables suppliers to create Web-based invoices, leading to quicker response times for improved product turnaround. • Enhanced replenishment collaboration (vendor-managed inventory) with new and broader capabilities and a unique menu approach displayable in various levels of detail, depending on the supplier’s needs. • Maximized workforce planning to increase productivity • Enhanced labor management functionality to maximize the productivity of the warehouse workforce with out-of-the-box reporting, designed for direct and indirect labor. • Enhanced planning to improve efficiency • Enhancements to advanced planning and optimization, mainly in supply network planning as well as production planning and detailed scheduling to help businesses create new innovative planning scenarios that optimize capacity utilization and help ensure timely delivery. • New features such as capacity reservations help shorten delivery times to strategic customers. March/April 2008
Tourism stakeholders out to promote domestic packages
Nakumatt Operations Director Mr. Thiagarajan Ramamurthy (left) and Mr Kuldip Sondhi Chair Mombasa and Coast Tourist Association
ocal tourism operators still smarting from the devastating post election skirmishes are set to lose more than Kshs 70billion in lost sales as the high season draws to a close in April. But in a bid to mitigate further negative effects, tourism stakeholders are now imploring Kenyans to consider engaging in domestic tourism. According to the Mombasa and Coast Tourist Association (MCTA) Chairman Mr. Kuldip Sondhi, the fragile local tourism sector has suffered heavy losses which will be hard to recover in the subsequent seasons. Speaking when he presided over the coast regional launch for the ongoing Nakumatt Smart Safari Promotion, Sondhi expressed regret that the current high season fortunes have gone down the drain. “This year, our projected revenue was going to be almost Kshs 70 billion and a good deal of that was to come in the high seasons month of December to April,” Sondhi explained. He added: “This season has been lost and with it most of the potential revenue. However, Kenyans can now take advantage of our tourism product at greatly reduced rates.” In his address, Nakumatt Holdings Operations Director Mr. Thiagarajan Ramamurthy reiterated the supermarket chain’s commitment to facilitate inter economic sector partnerships. “As players in the wholesale and retail sector, we are committed to ensuring that we support other ailing economic
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sectors for the common good of the Kenya economy,” Ramamurthy affirmed. He disclosed that as part of the firm’s corporate expansion strategy, plans are on course to enhance Nakumatt’s coast province presence. Alongside the two existing hypermarkets in Mombasa, construction works for a third 24 hour branch he said are now nearing completion ahead of a scheduled opening in the next 3 months. “For Nakumatt Holdings, the opening of a third outlet in this island and the opening of a 24 hour outlet is further aimed at facilitating the quick recovery of the local economy. We are fully aware of our role and obligation in the national economic front and are therefore sparing zero effort in ensuring that we meet such obligations.” By launching the “Smart Safari”, “Lets Tour Kenya” and “Buy N Fly”, shopping promotions, Nakumatt Holdings is presenting all Smart shoppers with an opportunity to sample and indulge in the beauty and splendor that Kenya is known for the world over.” Through these promotions, Ramamurthy expressed optimism that some jobs and livelihoods will be saved while raising awareness on the Kenyan tourism product locally. In all the three promotions, Nakumatt shoppers stand a chance to win getaway prizes revolving around Kenya’s beach and bush safari tourism products valued at more than Kshs 10 million in the coming weeks.
Microsoft supports Kenyan Youth
enya’s Ministry of Youth Affairs and Microsoft Corporation have signed a memorandum of understanding that will help drive ICT growth and provide opportunities for the Kenyan Youth. General Manager Microsoft East and Southern Africa Mr. Louis Otieno and the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Youth Affairs Mr. Kinuthia Murugu signed the pact which will help increase the capacity of ICT literacy in Kenya. Microsoft is also engaged in similar ventures with other developing countries in Africa and across the globe. Mr. Otieno explained: “Knowing that we live in the 21st Century, where ICT plays a central role in the economic and otherwise development of a nation, the launch of ICT strategy becomes critical. Our deliberate and guided effort by all partners, both in private and public sectors including the civil society to join hands and deliver a promising future for the young people has never been urgent.” The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth Affairs Mr. Kinuthia Murugu, said the youth are the key stakeholders and assets in realizing the information Society and knowledge-economy vision of Kenya and have great potential as leaders in using ICT to achieve more sustainable development in communities and around the world. The PS reiterated that there will be great need to provide opportunities for young people to acquire ICT literacy and technical skills and urged more corporates to support such intiatives. This ne noted was key to job creation for the young people.
Microsoft’s Louis Otieno (l) and PS Kinuthia Murugu
CEOs in the US ride the ‘Rough Waters,’ taking steps to Recession-Proof Business
Xerox makes a comeback into the Kenyan market
“While CEOs certainly recognize the current, tough economic times, they have also prepared for it by managing costs, offering customers highquality products and services, and communicating openly with their employees -- good, solid business practices,
hen it comes to the “recession,” many CEOs feel that the nation’s economic waters are most definitely rocking their business’ “boat.” But according to new information, compiled by the 2008 Management Action Programs Inc. (MAP) Quarterly CEO Survey conducted by Vantage Research, nearly 60 percent of the survey participants envision an end in sight -- either just after the presidential election or sometime in 2009. What’s more, these top executives say the recession’s rough ride won’t sink their ships. But since the slowdown has the power to damage business and affect everyone “aboard,” CEOs are implementing recession-proof strategies to stay the course. “While CEOs certainly recognize the current, tough economic times, they have also prepared for it by managing costs, offering customers highquality products and services, and communicating openly with their employees -- good, solid business practices,” says Allan Hauptfeld, principal of Vantage Research & Consulting of Valencia, Calif. Lee Froschheiser, president/CEO of MAP, a veteran business-consulting firm that has accelerated sustained growth for over 13,000 companies and 160,000 executives since 1960, says people are often surprised to learn that it’s not the risky strategies that help ensure success during an economic slowdown, but rather a return
to or reliance upon business fundamentals. Having these in place is the best way to recession-proof a business, he says. “During prosperous economic times, overall business growth can hide many flaws, including a company’s failure to establish and manage the business fundamentals,” Froschheiser says. “This lack of focus can cripple or kill a company when the economy goes soft. Strong companies, no matter what the current business climate, keep maniacal focus on all key business indicators (costs, revenues, staffing, etc.). “When these companies face an economic downturn, they react much more effectively and are better prepared to ride out revenue shortfalls because they have a good grasp on their overall business fundamentals.” In addition, the survey uncovered other newsworthy topics, including: The three greatest challenges CEOs are facing in business today: 1. Revenue growth; 2. Hiring talented employees; and 3. Cost containment. The people behind a product are about as important as the product itself. Customers are only slightly more loyal to a company’s products and services than they are to its employees. “Cost” isn’t driving customer loyalty -- even in tough economic times. To attract/retain customers, many CEOs won’t slash prices, but will increase service/product quality and personal customer experiences instead.
“Cost” isn’t driving customer loyalty -- even in tough economic times. To attract/retain customers, many CEOs won’t slash prices, but will increase service/product quality and personal customer experiences instead.
X & R Technologies CEO Lucy Njoroge, company officials and Xerox Corporation representatives in Nairobi
erox Corporation, the document management company is officially making a great re-birth in Kenyan market with a planned flurry of investments expected to cost close to two hundred million shillings in the coming one year. With its local partner X&R Technologies, the company announced that as part of its radical corporate transformation that started with the change of its logo, it will introduce the latest documents management solutions into local markets. The new range of Xerox equipments comes with modern software designed to radically cut the cost of documents handling in the workplace. X&R Technologies CEO Lucy Njoroge said that the comeback was very timely with most companies grappling with the huge costs of owning equipments, processing documents and storing them for prosperity. “We already have put in place equipments worth Ksh100 Million that is destined for various customers in the region,” She explained adding that the firm had also put in place an new warehouse for housing all the equipments that they needed by the market to ally fears of stocks running out. The new Xerox corporate identity which was globally unveiled last month is expected to move the world leader in document copying and imaging to a more holistic technology platform with a vibrant, energetic and young look representing Xerox as a global company with human connection made through its global reach and the 50 million touch point Xerox people made each year. March/April 2008
BP says it can Pump four million barrels a day until 2020, even without new finds “However, bearing in mind a rise in exploration spend to nearly $1 billion this year together with significant additions of fresh acreage in established areas such as the deepwater Gulf of Mexico and a continuing drive to access new provinces around the world, we expect to do better than this,” — BP CEO, Tony Hayward
Exploration & Production chief executive Andy Inglis said BP had found a major new reservoir below the Shah Deniz field in Azerbaijan, one of the largest discoveries in the world last year. Other big finds were made in Egypt, Angola and the Gulf of Mexico.
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ith world crude oil prices hitting record levels and the global economy bearing the brunt of the ever rising fuel prices, BP says it is capable of pumping up to four million barrels a day until 2020. The company says it replaced its annual production by 112 per cent in 2007, taking its proved reserves of oil and gas to 17.8 billion barrels. It also added some 2.4 billion new barrels to its non-proved resource base which now stands at a further 42.1 billion barrels of oil equivalent. Assuming a $60 oil price, the strength of this position – reinforced by recent access to new opportunities in Oman, Libya and Colombia, along with heavy oil in Canada – supports production potential of around 4.3 million barrels a day by 2012, BP chief executive Tony Hayward said today. Highlighting key elements of the company’s
annual strategy presentation to financial analysts, Hayward said that in a $60 price world BP was confident not only of boosting output over the next four years but of being able to sustain production of at least 4 million barrels a day until 2020 even with no new discoveries or access to new opportunities. “However, bearing in mind a rise in exploration spend to nearly $1 billion this year together with significant additions of fresh acreage in established areas such as the deepwater Gulf of Mexico and a continuing drive to access new provinces around the world, we expect to do better than this,” Hayward said. In its downstream business he said the company now had a clear, step-by-step plan to close the performance gap with rivals over the medium term, focusing spend on manufacturing over marketing and aiming for an improvement in pre-tax profits
The company added 2.4 billion barrels to resources in 2007, boosting the resource base to 42.1 billion barrels. This combined with year-end reserves of 17.8 billion barrels, took resources plus reserves to 60 billion barrels, extending the life of BP’s production from 41 to 43 years at current rates. of up to $4 billion within three to four years, assuming an average refining margin of $7.50 a barrel. He said BP expected to spend some $1.5 billion in Alternative Energy this year – a frontend acceleration of its longer-term $8 billion plan to build a new business, based chiefly on solar, wind and biofuels and offering significant growth potential as world demand rose dramatically for low- or non-carbon energy. Exploration & Production chief executive Andy Inglis said BP had found a major new reservoir below the Shah Deniz field in Azerbaijan, one of the largest discoveries in the world last year. Other big finds were made in Egypt, Angola and the Gulf of Mexico. The company added 2.4 billion barrels to resources in 2007, boosting the resource base to
42.1 billion barrels. This combined with year-end reserves of 17.8 billion barrels, took resources plus reserves to 60 billion barrels, extending the life of BP’s production from 41 to 43 years at current rates. Inglis estimated 2008 upstream spend at $15 billion, or $17.5 billion including BP’s share of spending by TNK-BP and Pan American. This included a 50 per cent rise in funding for research and development – in part to advance ten major technology projects, each with the potential to add 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent to reserves. He said BP expected to bring more than 25 new projects on stream between 2007 and 2009, and progress a further 30. TNK-BP chief executive Robert Dudley, also attending the presentation, said the Russian company had invested some $3.5 billion last year,
excluding acquisitions. “In 2008, we expect this to rise to around $4 billion as investments in major projects and downstream increase. “We now have over $15 billion of new major projects in various stages and we expect to see a production contribution from these post-2009. Therefore, in 2012 we expect production to be around 1.9 million barrels a day.” Hayward said that since taking over as CEO ten months ago he and his senior team had conducted one of the most wide-ranging reviews of the BP Group’s operations in its recent history. They had now established a clear and focussed agenda for operational recovery and longterm renewal which took pragmatic account of the changing external environment, including continuing high oil prices.
New secure motor insurance Eskom wins certificates for Kenyan motorists Gold BPM The need to introduce new motor certificates with enhanced security features has been triggered by increased complaints from vehicle owners on fraudsters selling fake motor certificates and purporting them to be genuine
Award for work with Graham Technology G
he Association of Kenya Insurers (AKI) has unveiled New Generation Motor Insurance Certificates with enhanced security features at a ceremony that also saw the Association introduce a Motor Cycle PSV category to cater for the increased usage of motor cycles as a means of public service transport in major towns in Kenya. The need to introduce new motor certificates with enhanced security features has been triggered by increased complaints from vehicle owners on fraudsters selling fake motor certificates and purporting them to be genuine, says AKI chairman Benson Wairegi. “In such a scenario therefore, many were left exposed to the high third party liabilities since ultimately there is no insurance in place,” he says. The new certificates to be issued by licensed insurance companies are in a set of three unlike the current ones which are four. This is because the earlier requirement for a copy to be presented to the registrar of motor vehicles has been discontinued. Similarly, AKI has introduced a Coin Reactive ink
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placed at the back of the original certificate for use by the purchaser. When this part is scratched with a coin, the word “VALID” is revealed. The new certificates will be used concurrently with the current ones until the stock is exhausted. Its hologram has a new design with a dual channel watermark, comprising AKI logo and a head of a giraffe. “One challenge that we have always encountered is on how the purchaser can identify a genuine motor certificate. This, as you will now discover, has been taken care of in the new certificates,” says Wairegi. AKI is currently pursuing a number of criminal cases where fraudsters have been apprehended and will continue doing so until the menace is curbed. The Association has through the media and public education platforms been actively involved in educating the insuring public on the need to verify the authenticity of the motor certificates, with the issuing company indicated at the bottom of the insurance certificate.
raham Technology, a provider of customer-oriented business software and services, announced that its customer, South African energy giant, Eskom, has won the Gold Award for the Middle East and Africa region at the International BPM Awards and Technology Showcase in Nashville, Tennessee. Eskom, South Africa’s state-owned electricity company is the seventh largest utility in the world in terms of generation capacity, and ninth in terms of sales. The winning project, codenamed UBUSO (the Zulu word for “face”) created a Customer Service and Relationship Management solution underpinned by Graham Technology’s business process platform, which provided the means to control routing and monitoring of work over Eskom’s vast operational arena and sharing workloads across their seven regional call centres. The platform was also essential in providing campaign management, segmentation and customer profiling capabilities. “It is an honour to receive an award of this nature at such a well-respected industry event,” said Gabriel Kgabo, Divisional Customer Service Manager, Eskom. “We have focused entirely on our people and processes over the last few years and with Graham Technology’s software platform, we have been able to strip out waste and dramatically improve the customer experience.” Eskom, with revenues of over US $5 billion, serves more than 3.7 million customers throughout South Africa. The vertically integrated utility generates 95% of the electricity used in South Africa and generates over 50% of the total electricity produced in Africa, making Eskom by far the continent’s largest utility company. March/April 2008
Western Union donates Desks to Kenya Schools A
estern Union, a worldwide leader in money transfer services and the Western Union Foundation – a philanthropic organisation that facilitate charitable giving programmes worldwide – have launched a KSh10 million desk placement project to support the free primary education and revamp some of the schools affected by the post-election violence The initiative is under the continuing efforts to fulfil the motto “We send so much more than money”, through supporting programmes to various non-profit organisations and community projects with the emphasis on education and human services. In Kenya, the Western Union Foundation and Western Union Agents have joined forces with Computers for Schools Kenya (CFSK), a nonprofit making Non-Governmental Organisation built on multilateral partnerships, to carry out a joint project to donate desks to needy primary schools in Kenya. The joint donation of desks was towards the deployment of 1050 desks to 35 needy schools. In addition, this initiative is in line with Government plans to support the education for school going children. Dr Benedict Banda, Western Union Country Manager for East Africa said: “We at Western Union continuously seek to make a difference within the communities we operate in. This is the ímpetus to the development of a foundation designed to support and enrich the lives of many, globally, by facilitating access to education.”
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The donation for the desks was made by the Western Union Foundation and the Western Union Agents, Kenya Post Office Savings Bank, Diamond Trust Bank Kenya Limited, Kenya Commercial Bank and Bank of Africa. The project dubbed ‘Helping Hands’ was presided by the Education Permanent Secretary, Prof. Karega Mutahi “The placement of desks to needy schools is a very timely project that would benefit over 3000 school going children in Kenya. We look forward to working with and harnessing relationships with organisations that ensure that children from Kenya have basic equipment and infrastructure that will make learning more effective”, he added. “While the Western Union Foundation has a proud history of giving back through disaster grants, employee giving, and the Agent gift match programme, the “Our World, our Family” initiative of the Western Union Foundation is better connecting philanthropy with Western Union consumers and its business. Western Union is more than money transfer; it is about excitement, sharing, love, care and appreciation. Not only are our clients assured of fast, reliable and convenient ways to send money around the world, in addition, we strive to support those in need” concluded Dr Banda. With approximately 12,000 Agent locations in 48 countries and territories across Africa, Western Union is well represented and actively involved in the life of African and brings its service even closer to the continent. In Kenya today, Western Union has about 400 Agent locations.
nyone who tells you, that he or she would not like to hit the golf ball further is either a liar, or Tiger Woods. Drive for show and putt for dough maybe sound advice, but if you ask the average weekend golfer whether they would like to putt like Brad Faxon, or regularly belt the ball like Tiger, most would opt for Tiger’s power off the tee. This fascination with power in golf calls for a few golf tips. A couple of facts first, that were discovered two or three years ago, by the teaching profession in the USA. These were, that by using the golf swing, test robotic arm generating a club head speed of 100 mph, the golf ball, on average, would go around 265 yards. However, if the clubface is opened by 2 degrees only, then the distance reached was only 225 yards, with the same club head speed. Again by opening up the face to 4 degrees, the distance covered was only 185 yards. This shows that distance is not just about power, and club head speed, but also hitting the ball squarely with a nice golf swing. This may sound like common sense, however many golfers are trying to hit the ball with the incorrect golf swing. So, what is the secret of achieving maximum power? My golf tip is this:- Speed, can be increased, by setting the wrists into a cocked position early, and on the downswing keeping the wrists cocked for as late as possible, and then swishing through the ball. This is similar to flicking your wrists, when using a badminton, squash, or tennis racket. Power, comes from having as full and flexible a body turn as possible, plus creating a wide arc. The powerful muscles of the legs will also help. To generate maximum power, it is essential that the start of the downswing be calm and unhurried. This enables the golfer to build up speed, so that the golf club is still accelerating when it reaches the ball. Finally, ensure that the arms are fully extended through to a high finish. A key point to note is that the hands control the position of the clubface, keeping it square at impact. Golfers, who are inclined to hit at the ball with their hands rather than a nice even tempo golf swing through the ball, find that they lose a lot of power, and hence distance.
orld Travel & Tourism is expected to generate close to US$8 trillion in 2008, rising to approximately US$15 trillion over the next ten years, according to the latest Tourism Satellite Accounting (TSA) research launched today by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and its strategic partner Accenture. Overall, the new TSA results reveal a moderate impact on the Travel & Tourism industry as a result of the global economic downturn, with its annual growth rate experiencing a slowdown in 2008, to 3%, in comparison to 3.9% in 2007. Looking past this present cyclical downturn, the long-term forecasts point to a mature but steady phase of growth for world Travel & Tourism between 2009 and 2018, averaging a growth rate of 4.4% per annum, supporting 297 million jobs and 10.5% of global GDP by 2018. WTTC President Jean-Claude Baumgarten explained “Challenges come from the US slowdown and the weak dollar, higher fuel costs and concerns about climate change. However, the continued strong expansion in emerging countries - both as tourism destinations and as an increasing source of international visitors - means that the industry’s prospects remain bright into the medium term.” Regionally Africa, Asia Pacific and the Middle East are experiencing higher growth rates than the world average, at 5.9%, 5.7% and 5.2%
respectively, while the mature markets, most notably the Americas and Europe, are falling below the world average with a growth at 2.1% and 2.3 % respectively. The overall impact of this slowdown for mature markets is expected to be offset by the strength of the emerging markets explains John Walker, Chairman of Oxford Economics “In particular, China, India and other emerging markets are still growing rapidly, which will increase both business and leisure travel, while many countries in the Middle East are undertaking massive tourism-related investment programmes.” Moreover, even in countries where economic growth slows, there is likely to be a switch from international to domestic travel rather than a contraction in demand for Travel & Tourism. Among the 176 countries covered in the TSA research, the United States continues to maintain pole position as the largest Travel & Tourism economy, with its total demand accounting for more than US$1,747 billion this year. With a growth rate at 1.1% in 2008 the credit crunch is leading to a marked slowdown in US economic growth and is likely to restrict the business travel of those working in financial markets. Considerable ground has been made by the
emerging markets which are experiencing rapid economic growth. In 2008, China will jump from fourth to second position above Japan and Germany and is forecasted to increase its Travel & Tourism Demand four-fold by 2018, accounting for US$2,465 billion, with an annual growth rate of 8.9%. Among the fastest growers in 2008, Macau leads with a growth rate at 22%. Highlighting the challenges of market volatility and external events faced by the industry, Alex Christou, Managing Partner of Accenture’s Transportation & Travel Services said “High performance companies will differentiate themselves by being highly focused on their individual customers. The winners will be companies that take a balanced view, driving customer intimacy and product innovation while driving non-value added costs out of their operations.” March/April 2008
Panpaper to set up an electricity Generating Plant from Biomass
ebuye-based Pan African Paper mills (Panpaper) plans to construct a Kshs1.5 billion biomass co-generation plant to reduce dependence on imported fuel oil. Panpaper’s Chief Executive, Mr. Niranjan Saha says the firm spends Kshs80 million per month, which rises to Kshs960 million per year on fuel oil. “We are currently involved in working out the logistical modalities and viability the plant. The project may be taken up after 3 years to start,” says Saha. Saha says the company has also identified other investments especially in the energy sector that would make it profitable if implemented. “We are currently having an ongoing business process re-engineering exercise and have identified other investments worth over Kshs600 million mostly in energy conservation areas to make us more competitive. This is expected to be implemented by the end of next year,” he reaffirmed. The move is also expected to boost the company’s revenue even after it incurred a loss of
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Shs300 million due to the post-election violence that rocked the country in the last two months. Saha expressed optimism that the signing of the peace-deal by President Mwai Kibaki and Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga would have a positive impact on their business. Since the peace deal was brokered, the company has started moving the more than 2,000 tons of finished products worth Kshs120 million that had piled up in the Webuye warehouse due to lack of transporters. The company operations are still under capacity due to the effects of the violence. Panpaper lost over 4,500 tons of production when the plant was operating at lower than 60 percent capacity. The firm’s production now stands at 80 percent but Saha says it would soon go back to normal operation as the security situation improves. Also affected were imports like specialty chemicals and engineering spares and consumable items that come through port of Mombasa. Other items include chemicals like salt, soda ash, alum etc that are procured from different parts of the country.
Push-ups, ‘The New Fitness Nirvana’ “Move over yoga, your competition has finally arrived,” says Ted Skup, the new Dalai Lama of fitness. When it comes to harmonizing the body, mind and spirit, push-ups (not yoga) are fast becoming the fitness nirvana of choice. With some yoga instructors now charging $2,500 for a 30-day workout program, it’s no wonder people are looking for a cheaper alternative -- like free! “Why should I pay some yogi $2,500 to help me become more flexible when I could go to Toys ‘R’ Us and buy the Twister game for $13.95?” laughs Skup. Right hand on red, left foot on blue. “We have the making of a new cult following, gravitating towards push-ups,” says the new fitness Dalai and author of the book “Death, Taxes & Push- Ups.” Skup is an authority on his subject, deciding to write his book only after officially doing more than 10 million push-ups. “My book is the first and only book ever dedicated entirely to the most explosive exercise on the planet -push-ups!” he says. Push-ups have always been perceived as a warm-up exercise until now. “This is not just an exercise, but a fitness lifestyle,” Skup says. “My routines and formulas work wonders for men, women and even children of any fitness level. You’ll soon find out why I call my pushup routine ‘Horizontal Jogging.’” Skup goes on to say, “As a new Dalai and spiritual leader in the fitness movement, I have a moral obligation to go after the 35-billiondollar fitness industry.” In his book he explains why the industry is clearly failing us with its bogus claims, magic bullets and quick fixes. Although the fitness industry may not want to hear it, push-ups are free, require no equipment, are totally portable, and there are no gimmicks. They work for busy executives as well as people with tight budgets. Skup’s definition of good health is having a sense of well-being, and “Death, Taxes & PushUps” will be your guide to reaching that goal.
Safaricom finally set to go on sale Three was a crowd N
he Government of Kenya, through the Treasury and the Privatization Commission, says that it will now proceed with an Initial ublic offering of 25% of the issued ordinary shares of Safaricom Limited and the subsequent listing on the Nairobi Stock Exchange. The Capital Markets Authority has granted permission for the public offering and listing of the ordinary shares of Safaricom on the Nairobi Stock Exchange. A prospectus describing the company and the offering is set for publishing by late March. Speaking after announcing the transaction, Kenya’s Finance Minister Amos Kimunya, encouraged Kenyans just emerging from a near precipice occasioned by the announcement of the disputed December 2007 presidential elections to use the opportunity to foster a healing process. “As this healing process proceed, we believe that the Safaricom IPO offers an opportunity for all of us as Kenyans, irrespective of where we come from, to come together as one family, rally behind our flagship company and be united through common ownership of a company whose services we consume on a daily basis and whose brand we instantly recognize, not only because it is a strong brand but also because Safaricom through the Safaricom foundation has impacted most Kenyans through their Corporate Social Responsibility programmes.” The offering by the Government of
Kenya comprises 10 billion shares with a par value of Kenya shillings five cents each in the ordinary share capital of Safaricom. The offer to individuals and institutions in Kenya shall open on Friday 28th March 2008 and close on Wednesday 23rd April 2008. The offer shares are priced at KShs 5.00 per share which implies an equity value of Safaricom of KShs 200 billion (approximately US$ 3 billion). It is estimated the offer will raise approximately KShs 50billion in gross proceeds. Dyer & Blair and Morgan Stanley are the Lead Transaction Advisors for the offering. Faida Investment Bank and Afrika Investment Bank are the Lead Sponsoring Brokers, while Sterling Investment Bank, Discount Securities and Ngenye Kariuki & Co are the Co-Sponsoring Brokers. Safaricom operates a mobile telecommunications network in Kenya and is currently the county’s leading mobile operator, with an estimated market share of 80% at the end of December 2007 and approximately 10 million subscribers as of today. The company has the broadest mobile network coverage in Kenya and has the benefit of experienced shareholders, attractive tariffs, a nationwide network of experienced and effective dealers and customer service, a modern network and high calibre management, enabling it to maintain its position as Kenya’s mobile market leader.
ew Medium Enterprises, reacted sharply to the withdrawal of Toshiba’s HD-DVD format from the market last week, effectively leaving two successors to DVD: Blu-ray and VMD. Both formats offer the capacity required for High Definition film on a six inch optical disc; both formats have a pipeline of players and content hitting the market; however only one can be produced by the world’s current manufacturing base at a consumersustainable price, and that is VMD as it is DVD based. The blue laser format has struggled to gain a market foothold and very few manufacturers have acquired the equipment needed to produce ‘blue’ players and discs. With a market lifespan being shortened by satellite, cable and download, the significant investment required to produce them makes economic viability difficult for manufacturers, particularly in less affluent markets where the high street price will always have to be much lower. In contrast, as NME’s multilayer format is based on existing red laser DVD production technologies, it requires no such significant investment by OEMs, disc replicators and authoring houses. With production costs close to DVD, VMD is now coming to market and to provide a commercially viable High Definition product range for manufacturers and of course, their customers. “The way is now clear for VMD to be embraced by the industry, our technology is robust and our format is clearly equal to the quality required to deliver a true HD experience for the consumer at a price they are prepared to afford” Said Interim CEO Geoff Russell. Critically, a movie recorded on VMD (Versatile Multilayer Disc) will display a full High Definition format 1080p, namely a picture consisting of 1080 lines and 1920 pixels on each line. The VMD technology owners NME, Inc. have also created the necessary authoring and firmware tools to read VMD discs and yet still play DVDs and CDs. With commentators starting to pick over the remains of HD-DVD, it is clear that Toshiba’s strategy had been to target a wider market with lower pricing, but failed due to technical difficulties, delays and significant losses even on modest sales. “NME, Inc. have developed the VMD technology independently and are poised to come to market in several territories in the next quarter. All indications are that VMD can fill the void left by HD-DVD for a hungry production industry and rapidly growing HDscreen enabled consumer market.”
When it started De Clercq says Swissport Kenya was primarily doing passenger handling, it then expanded to ramp handling and in 1998 added Security Service on its service menu.
Pioneer Global Ground and Cargo handlers “Last year, our main challenge was managing the unprecedented growth but with the skirmishes we are looking on how to manage the effects,” says Jeroen adding that as a CSR initiative, the company has donated Kshs1 million to Red Cross to assist the internally displaced people. The CEO reveals that the firm is in the process of embarking on a more structural CSR philosophy. By Gayo Isalanoh
wissport Kenya started its operations on September 1st 1997 as a leading service provider in the global ground and cargo handling business handling three airlines and manned by only 24 staff members. Swissport handles a majority of foreign airlines coming to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport; these include but is not limited to British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Swiss International Air Lines, Brussels Airlines and Qatar Airways. Others are South African Airways, Saudi Arabian Airlines and Air Uganda to mention but a few. At the helm of Swissport Kenya is Jeroen de Clercq who is the company’s Chief Executive Officer. Through his prudent and focused leadership the company now boasts of a 370 strong staff and
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handles close to 20 airlines. Swissport Kenya is a subsidiary of Swissport International Ltd. Currently the parent company serves more than 70 million passengers, and provides ramp handling for over 2 million aircraft per annum. In 2007, Swissport International reported revenues of over US$ 1510 million and employed more than 30000 people in 43 countries worldwide. The number of airports served by Swissport rose to 187. The combined volume of cargo handled was more than 3.5 million metric tons. When it started De Clercq says Swissport Kenya was primarily doing passenger handling, it then expanded to ramp handling and in 1998 added Security Service on its service menu. “In 2002 Swissport International bought Cargo Service
Center, initially a KLM Cargo Company which was renamed Swissport Cargo Services”. This makes Swissport Cargo Services-Kenya a separate legal entity from Swissport Kenya but the two companies are headed by one management team under the leadership of De Clercq. The CEO points out a full range of value-added airport services the companies offer to their customers in Kenya. These include; passenger services, ramp and baggage handling, aircraft interior cleaning, airport aviation security and cargo and mail handling. The other services offered by Swissport Kenya are executive aviation handling, flight operations and crew administration. According to De Clercq, Swissport International which is owned by Ferrovial, one of the world’s
largest infrastructure and service corporations with 100,000 staff in more than 12 countries, is recognized as the benchmark in terms of value for money, customer dedication, and cost management. “Being part of a leading global company ensures we tap into resources, innovation and knowledge of the parent company,” he asserts. The company has established a global reputation of being a valued business partner, not only because of its financial resources and modern ground support equipment states De Clercq, but also due to its intangible assets, particularly management expertise and a brand name that stands for superior quality. “One of our major strength is living up to the Swiss brand which stands for quality, thoroughness and efficiency,” he says. The other strength of the company, De Clercq says is their culture of fair recruitment processes where merit is given priority over anything else. “We offer extensive training program for staff at all levels,” he says and add, “You can only deliver the right services if you recruit the right people and train them thoroughly to do their work professionally and efficiently.” The company’s technical and managerial expertise has enabled Swissport to offer customeroriented, tailor-made solutions that have ensured they consistently provide high quality standards in the region. “We offer competitive prices which give value for money to our customers and being the only ISO certified ground handling company has ensured we give our clients services true to a globally renowned
handling company.” De Clercq cites another Swissport advantages as being the fact that the company is not an airline hence not a competitor with airlines that they handle. The CEO who once worked for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines in different capacities, says the company has been going through a period of profitable growth by primarily cashing on the growth of Kenya’s economy. He is however quick to add that the post election unrest has reduced the volumes they now handle. “Last year, our main challenge was managing the unprecedented growth but with the skirmishes we are looking on how to manage the effects,” says Jeroen adding that as a CSR initiative, the company has donated Kshs1 million to Red Cross to assist the internally displaced people. The CEO reveals that the firm is in the process of embarking on a more structural CSR agenda. However, Swissport’s confidence in the positive development of Kenya and its economy is underlined by their plans to build a 9,000 sq meter new cargo handling warehouse that will offer unparalleled services to customers. Apart from being the CEO of Swissport Kenya, Jeroen 45, is the Executive Director of Airside Ltd, Nonexecutive Director of both Swissport Tanzania Ltd and Nieuwe Sumber B.V (Dutch capital investment firm). He also doubles up as a Non-Executive Board Member of Foundation ‘de Olmenhorst’(non-profit organization) and is the founder and administrator of JSK Fund, a smallscale charity fund active in Kenya.
Swissport Kenya Chief executive Mr. Jeroen de Clercq March/April 2008
Conservationists discuss the future of Whales in London
New gold zones discovered in the Brazzaville Congo
he International Whaling Commission (IWC) held an intersessional meeting in London to discuss an impasse between those countries which support whale conservation, and the minority, lead by the government of Japan, that advocate a return to widespread commercial whaling. A global ban on commercial whaling was approved by member nations of the IWC in 1986, yet since the ban came into effect, more than 30,000 whales have been killed for commercial purposes, most by Japan and Norway. The London attempt to resolve the issue comes as Japan’s Southern Ocean whaling season comes to an end and plans are made for next year’s hunt. “Our planet’s great whales face more threats than ever before, yet the Government of Japan continues to hijack an international forum for a pro-whaling agenda,” said Patrick Ramage, Director of IFAW’s Global Whale program. “Unlawful whaling activities should not be used as a bargaining chip to legitimize and expand commercial whaling in the 21st century. It is time for the great nation of Japan to stop whaling.” Respected international panels of independent legal experts have found the whaling currently
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conducted by Japan -- which is killing some 1,400 whales this year in North Pacific and Antarctic waters -- to be illegal. Many argue that the 1946 Convention which was conceived to regulate whaling activity agreement should reflect the new global consensus to promote the conservation of whales. “The range of threats to whales has expanded far beyond what the original signatories to the Convention could have foreseen. Given these grave threats, the IWC must emerge from the London meeting with a clearer and reinforced mandate for whale conservation as opposed to whaling,” Ramage said. With new and emerging threats such as ocean noise pollution, global warming, ship collisions, entanglement in fishing gear and countless others, whales face more threats today than at any other time in history. Founded in 1969, IFAW is an international animal welfare and conservation organization working to protect wild and domestic animals and to promote solutions that benefit both animals and people. With offices in 15 countries around the world, IFAW works to protect whales, elephants, great apes, big cats, dogs and cats, seals, and other animals.
exivada has announced that it has discovered five new gold zones at Mayoko, in the Republic of CongoBrazzaville (“ROC”). Two gold belts, the North Gold Belt and the South Gold Belt, extend through Mexivada’s exclusive Malambani Permis de Recherches concession for gold and connected substances. Mexivada has discovered one new gold zone in the South Gold Belt and four new gold zones within the North Gold Belt, where chip samples contained gold values of up to 11 grams per tonne gold in 1-metre (“m”) channel samples in altered, sulfidized banded iron formation (“BIF”) host rocks at the Lemagna prospect. Two of the new zones contain anomalous gold-bismuth mineralization, which could be indicative of “Fort Knox”-type intrusive-related open pit gold targets. NORTH GOLD BELT - Lepindji-BingoumiNgouhada-Lemagna Prospects: A series of gold prospects have been found along the +15 kilometre long North Gold Belt, tracing “leads” of placer gold up to their source outcrops. Mexivada’s prospectors filled up a glass Coca Cola bottle with gold nuggets and flakes at the “Coke Bottle” zone near the Bingoumi prospect, and subsequent hand trenching work delineated a +20m true width of magnetite-rich Archean BIF, which is one of the main host rocks for gold mineralization at Mayoko. Samples of oxidized BIF at Bingoumi were crushed and panned on site, which yielded recovered gold contents of more than 30 grams per tonne of rock, with gold aggregates up to 4.4 grams in weight. The zone of auriferous BIF (see photos on website) extends northeast for at least 2.8 km to Lemagna, and possibly an additional 2 km to the Tsopo prospect, for which a Mobile Metal Ion (“MMI”) geochemical survey has delineated a large gold-(bismuth) soil anomaly. Tsopo could represent an intrusive-related “Fort Knox”-type gold system. The belt of BIF also extends for a further 8 km to the west-southwest to the Lepindji prospect where gold has been found with BIFs as well as diamonds in the nearby creeks.