Friday, February 12, 2010

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY! ..No E - Gifts Please!

This is one of the few times I miss being Traditional!

My facebook wall is full of Teddy bears that I can't cuddle and Belgian Chocolate that I can't taste, and beautiful flowers that cant place on my dressing table.

I'm told traditional also means I cant ask for what I want, But I guess that means I can say what I dont want.

Anyway, how about you enjoy your's!


Thursday, February 4, 2010


Oh! cant wait to wrap this one.

It's an interesting mix of Real estate in kenya, and whether the sector is finally levelling off.

Also, An East African Angle to how Toyota Corp's recall in the US impacts perception and growth of East Africa's most common vehicle brand.

I also speak Kuria Muchiru ( PWC Country Senior Partner on their recent CEO survey where 90% of CEO's are optimistic for growth within the next 3 years.

As usual, Great Market insights from our team of experts.

All you need to know about Investing in East Africa.

More from East Africa Business Report

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


You are probably wondering who Michael karanja on!

I know exactly how Arthur Guinness' signature looks.

For the record, I don’t drink the stout, but creative geniuses made those adverts so emotionaly drwaing that they made me find the story behind the brand.

So, imagine how I felt when I found out that the signature on the Tusker Malt Lager is of a Kenyan! Michael Karanja, a Kenyan! (I just had to stress!) He is the Master Brewer of the brand.

That’s how my evening began at the re launch of the new look Tusker Malt lager yesterday.

Checked in with my bad boy Kent ( bad..will explain later)and joined a table of journalists.

I got to chat with Chris Kirubi who is among the big shareholders of EABL, he holds 16.28% of centum investments as of March 09, (centum puts a considerable amount of it’s weight into EABL via it's bottlers), and Seni Adetu, EABL's Group MD who is keen to leave a leave a legacy and he wants to take the company to the next level. It will be interesting to see how he steers the giant brewer. The chat also touched on the sales of Tusker Malt as well the role consistency plays in this consumer driven business.

Tusker ( The Patriotic drink:-) rocks in Kenya, but Tusker Malt grew at 6.6% over the past year in Uganda, but with the focus on investment into brand image, it would be interesting to see how the brand fares in Kenya after the launch.

George Lutta, the man who speaks, breathes and lives advertising was at the party, (MD Media Initiative) and I made a mental note to ensure we are introduced. Maqbul of Capital FM did the honors, and Lutta is a man who knows his game! Oh! And He watches Media & Money on CNBC Africa as well as East Africa Business Report. Had an interesting chat there on which media should target for sales: Lutta says the “current rule of three”: Telecommunications, Beverages and Public health.

He says” When people need to meet up, they “call” when they meet up they “drink” and after the drink sometimes, they need “ Public health”. (Read “Durex, Trust, Femiplan etc).

The usual suspects: The Stars Dickson Migiro, whose head I would like to bite off, James Murua and James Mbugua, I remember a discussion about “hoochies or socialites?” which I will not delve into right now, or ever, though Blackstar’s Wanjiru Mbugua thought Dickson Migiro sings with Kayamba Africa! Cheers to that!

Events like these present great networking opportunities and a relaxed environment where one can begin to build strategic relationships, apart from picking up gems of knowledge from the brains that be.

Oh! And of course the 6 pack Tusker Malt gift hamper, which I forgot to collect!

Bad Boy Kent decided we try Jazz @ Pitch & Butch, seemed the whole Tusker Malt Invitees had pitched tent htere after the event, which went on and on..I would say, for a Tuesday Night, it wasnt soo bad, but for a Wednesday Morning...Kent sits right opposite me in the office, and we did meet ALL our deadlines.

Monday, February 1, 2010


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?