Category Archives: aly khan satchu


Yes there is! In countries where corruption is rife, you give in to corruption because you know you will get whatever it is you want, but here in Kenya, you could pay for it and pray for dear life that you get it.

That’s inefficient corruption.

These are the kind of insights that get me out of bed every last Saturday morning of the month.

But the Topic was not on Inefficient corruption:-).

Woflgang Fengler, who is the Lead Economist for the World Bank in Kenya was the main man at Aly Khan Satchu’s, :Mindspeak.The Business Club”, this past Saturday. After quite a party on Friday Evening, I made it just in time for the short and sweet look at Kenya’s Economic Outlook for 2010.

It felt like I was in a Mini Davos, engaging with critical minds on the shape that the Kenyan economy is likely to take in 2010. ( I dare dream!)

Fengler’s presentation was great, straight to the point and very well researched. Being an economist for the World Bank is no mean feat.

It is a common notion that Agriculture is the backbone of the Kenyan economy, contributing 25 % of GDP and employing over 70% of the population. But the Service sector, according to Fengler contributes much higher to the GDP. This point raised quite some reaction from the audience, with some asking about the sustainability of the Services sector, being one that is somewhat intangible and averse to shocks both internally and externally, based on the nature of the sector itself.

That of course led to other questions about Vision 2030 and its focal areas. Fengler projected that Agriculture and Tourism may reduce their contribution to the economy, as urbanization drives the populace from the farms. Concerted efforts and good strategies by the government can however drive the sectors forward.

Interesting observations: One young man asked if Piracy was included in the economic outlook for 2010. We laughed about it, but it is not funny how much Piracy is entrenched into the economy, just talk a walk down river road, or please do try finding an original DVD in your house. Original does not mean one that has an ink stained stamp” Original.” This form of economic contributors falls under “others”.

Other topics raised at the Silverbird theatre included lessons learnt from the Global financial crisis, Capitalism, free markets, Investment, Innovation, and other economic issues.

Tell me, isn’t this what was being talked about in Davos?


If you have kept up with me here in my blog journey, you know this already: I have a very short attention span with things that are constant.

I know that this can easily be confused with inconsistency especially in blogosphere where brand building is not just an option, but THE mantra. I love to see things from a different angle. I have changed the look and feel of this blog countless times, because I am looking for something I am yet to find.

I get tired of status-quo, at home, at work, with my food, my look …everything. I even get tired of seeing myself in the mirror; looking the same way, everyday. Being on leave (or off duty this past week) gave me lots of time to re think, re focus, realize my potential in every way I could think of. I even got contact lenses:-). Hazel ones; that gave me a new reason to stare at myself in the mirror, I am told that can be classified as vanity, but I am a woman, it is expected under the feminine dynamics pie chart.Oh..and i drank cappucino, even if I swear by Mocha.

Well, I think my blog will remain as is…for now :-) ( little tongue out.)

This past Saturday, I went for Aly Khan Satchu’s “Mindspeak” (here) at Westgate, (and forgot to wear my contacts!!) where Graham Gilmour, CEO The Business Phone,(website here) was speaker.

I try to take a break at least once every six months to re-charge, I hate feeing counter productive, usually it gives me great satisfaction to put my heart into my work, I love giving 120% to whatever I do, and feel extremely wasted when I don’t do that. So Saturday morning, I woke up and was looking forward to the monthly event: It was in many ways a turn around for me

The 30 min session by Graham Gilmour almost got me shooting off my seat into a corner office over looking the Himalayas…..ok, that’s over stating it, but it was a chance to look at what we make out of life:

We are all in the business of selling, ourselves, products, service…if you make money, then you are selling something:

Here’s a few pointers that I’d like to share which I picked out from Grhams presentation:

Third party story:
Use the third person to sell. “When I sold this Prada bag to Caroline Mutoko, she ordered for 5 more in different designs”(example is pure fiction) but I hope you get me drift.

Never Pre Judge a contact:
Graham once sold (owned the company actually) luxury boats in Australia and almost missed a 17% commission on 2 luxury boats when a young “ginger haired” boy walked in to enquire on the super boats.His employees were out having a beer, he stayed on to listen to this “kid” Ginger bought two boats; he had just won the lottery.

Recognize an opportunity when you see one.
Always look for opportunities where everyone sees gloom:I met Graham afterwards and asked this: When entrepreneurs are starting off, should they do what they love to do or, like him find an opportunity? Graham looked for opportunities and put his all in it. He sold houses, ran a hotel that was bankrupt, and now sells the Business Phone.(

Debt is good. (Personal debt)
Gets us into trouble, but it makes you wake up in the morning with a target in mind.

Set targets
Know what you want, a great home, great car, great family: then work backwards from there.

Do your research well:
For Instance, now that Fiber is landing in Kenya, look out for what business models made it big when fiber optic hit other continents. Countless Oportunities.

You don’t get a second chance at first impressions:
This is self explanatory. A friend came in this afternoon off to meet a potential new employer; I asked her if she was going home to change. First Impressions happens once. Take advantage of it. This is from how you dress to how to make your pitch.

Surround yourself with successful people:
You are who you hang out with & the more you communicate with people, the more opportunities you find. Period.

Ultimate confidence:
Faith, Courage & enthusiasm. These are three things you must carry with you every single day. Someone has to like you to listen to you, to buy from you, to work with you. Believe in yourself, you will either sell, or starve. You make that choice.

This may seem a writing targeted to entrepreneurs, which I am not currently, but made me re think the amount of energy we give whatever it is we work for, or work at. It made a lot of sense for me that morning, as it does now, and it will for a long time. We are who we want to be, it’s up to us to chart that way forward, whether employed or an employee, put your best foot forward, it is the first step to success.