The passing of Dr. Christopher Joseph. Kirubi in June, 2021 ceased a moment for all industrialists to reflect on the habits that made a corporate bigwig. I have taken some time to analyze the demeanor and person in the late Chris Kirubi with the particular objective of highlighting what made him different and successful in building a business empire of his size. Through testimonies shared by some of his family members, friends and employees in memory of their time with him, I have learnt that Chris was truly larger than life. He was a man of style, class and influence. Dr. Christopher Kirubi never compromised his standards especially in grooming, driving and dinning. The polo and golf enthusiast also loved to brag about his businesses. He did all these with one single objective, to attract value.

Chris invested in value creation and value attraction. These he did perfectly by risking his money while banking on his reputation. He knew the boardroom language and negotiated skillfully with other multinationals, governments and high-net-worth individuals who possessed the value that he wanted to attract. He also attracted people to work for him, by creating employment opportunities and by leading them appropriately. Dr. Christopher J. Kirubi invested in almost all sectors, travelled to leading cities, associated with men of caliber and pulled his own sit on the national dinner table where power is designed and negotiated. He groomed his two children, Robert and Maryanne, to take after him the control, management and ownership of his businesses, a strategy to make his empire last for more than a lifetime.

He had enough controversies, but from his success we can borrow a thing or two in creating stronger businesses. Foremost is negotiation. In business one must learn to negotiate, this is the power that gives you way to networks and value. Second is the law of attraction which works well when you coordinate your strengths to your favour. Finally, Appreciate. Dr. Kirubi wanted to be appreciated just as he appreciated others. This final law could have made him a contradiction in many ways; a capitalist who truly created jobs, donated generously and paid huge taxes. The legacy of Chris Kirubi shall live on.

Rick Okinda | IGBR Editor


Workplace Review: Why They Employed You

job, interview, hiring

Primitive Bible translations have not used terms such as employer, employee or employment in reference to human resource. Instead, terminologies like master, servant, lord, slave and service are used from the book of Genesis through to Revelations. Today, labour is resourced through employment and resourced personnel are referred to as “employees”. Employees who are modern-day slaves/servants are protected by local and international labour laws as the society keeps on evolving towards labour equity and justice.

While we remain thankful to positive changes that have taken place since slavery to employment, it is important to ask whether the master/lord has changed into an employer and whether the slave has advanced to become a servant. In my study, I’ve made findings by answering the question, why are employees paid a salary? My answers are three: to appreciate them for work done, to motivate them to keep working and to make them forget their dreams. The first two are positive and are reflected in payment of competitive salaries, leave days at work, flexible work schedules, protection of the employee from hazards and fair employee appraisal. The third reason why employees are paid a salary is non-progressive. It is found in the capitalist master/lord who wants the salve/servant to forget their dreams and think about the employment only. Such an employer is playing safe with labour laws by: paying non-competitive salaries, resetting his watch to forget leave days and weekdays meant for resting, biased promotions and overusing already skilled, qualified and experienced interns/volunteering staff without monetary appreciation.

The employee should protect his/her employment by being honest, productive and innovative. The employee should also overcome slavery through wise spending of employment income. Such wise ways of spending a salary include saving, investing and re-investing at least 15% of gross payment consistently. Finally, the modern day slave should find freedom in using leave-days, off-days and after-work free time in other fulfilling activities that advance his social welfare.

By Rick Okinda | IGBR Editor

Financial Sector Review: Cost Of Borrowing

In Kenya, the most common on platform lenders are Mshwari (NCBA Bank), KCB M-PESA KCB Bank), Eazzy Loan (Equity Bank) and FULIZA (NCBA Bank). These four credit facilities are very available to mobile phone users with fair to good credit ratings.

In my analysis, each of these four lending platforms has been has been packaged uniquely. Mshwari and KCB MPESA have the closest resemblance as both have set their monthly interest rate at 7.5% which is payable in 30 days. This implies that a loan of Kes.1,000 on Mshwari or KCB M-PESA will accrue an interest of Kes.75 within a month.

Eazzy loan on the other hand will charge an interest rate of Kes.10.83 (1.83%) on the same loan of Kes.1,000. However, the cost of credit on Eazzy app is exclusive of 1% (Kes.10) excise duty and a loan appraisal fee of Kes.50 (5%). This totals the cost of a Kes.1,000 bob on Equity Bank’s Eazzy loan to Kes.70.83.

Therefore it is Kes.4.17 (0.417%) cheaper to borrow Kes.1,000 from Eazzy app than from Mshwari and KCB M-PESA. On the other hand, FULIZA, an overdraft facility by NCBA Bank is the most costly of the four. A borrower is charged a daily rate of 1.033% interest which is equal to a per annum rate of 395.2%. To scale the uptake of FULIZA, NCBA Bank does not give Mshwari loans to borrowers requesting less than Kes.2,000. These on platform lenders charge a high interest rate (way above CBK rate) with the argument that these loans are unsecured (lack collateral).

Review by Patrick Okinda

Opinion Column: Behavioural Finance

How do you feel when you have money? … and how about when you are broke? Isn’t money emotional? Do with me this survey; who / what influences your buy and borrow decisions? You’ll be surprised to learn that it is your neighbours, friends and social media influencers.

Our environment makes us to develop likes and dislikes. So we spend on our likes. We appeal to our emotions when swiping credit cards, buying holiday tickets, taking loans and spending on luxuries. We are always more ambitious to earn more in less time, so we end up borrowing.

We are a society more than we are an economy. We live in social classes and have social statuses worn as jewelry on our foreheads. So when we spend, we do so like our neighbours. This is called neighborhood effect.  It influences our decisions on where to stay, the hotels to go to and what phones we buy.

If born in a poor family, your mindset takes time to adjust into a flashy lifestyle. Kinds born in affluent homes grow with a taste of affluent things and when they can’t earn enough to sustain their parents’ lifestyle, they remain dependent to them for a long time.

So how do you organize your personal finances in a cash led society? Start by assessing your true social status without extrapolating your income beyond its actual average. Then spend on budget, not on emotions or likes and dislikes. Lead a modest lifestyle and live below your means.

Column by Patrick Okinda

Mechanics of Personal Savings

A friend of mine once asked me, “Rick, how best can I do my savings?” He wanted to know how nature the discipline of saving and where to put his savings. I liked his question, it demonstrated his desire to organize his personal finance. Savings should be understood as a cost. Budget to save just as you budget for utilities. When saving, set a bare minimum, could be an amount of money per wage or a percentage of every income. We save so that we can spend in future, either in an emergency or an investment. To avoid consuming your savings earlier than planned, put your money in a fixed income account, SACCO or financial asset e.g. bonds. Don’t loan out your savings to friends or family. Money loaned out to support friends is called debt, it is an account receivable and not a saving. After saving, reserve an amount to pay you’re your bills and remember you belong to a self that needs entertainment, a family that has financial needs. Good financial planning requires that you be tax compliant. When making an investment, adequately assess the risks, tithe honestly and spend modestly. Address your needs first then your wants. Personal finance goes a long way beyond
saving. It is like studying a new language. You have to know the basics such as greeting and counting. Saving is a basic in personal finance. It is followed by the investing and consumption functions. All these three are functions of income. Therefore find yourself an income at all costs. Go out of your way and make a sale, get a job, build a business or collect rent from your tenants. It would be better if you can multiply your revenue streams, but first build one reliable source of income however humble it may be. Embrace bank loans more than loans from friends. Bank loans give you a reasonable repayment timeframe and are insurable. They don’t ruin your friendships when you fail to pay an instalment in time. In fact, when you have a genuine reason, you can negotiate for a moratorium. Do not burry your money in sand and expect it yield interest. Modern ways of holding money are digital. Therefore have your internet bank at hand, use your phone to pay bills wherever you go. This makes it possible for you to track your financial statements and boosts your credit rating.

WEBINAR REVIEW- Time Management for Work and Life Balance.

time, clock, watch

Presented by Dr. Ursula Schinzel ( Unicaf University Tutor and doctoral Supervisor)

Where do our time disappear to? How do you feel each morning when you wake up to prepare for work? This webinar provides some practical tips and advices on how to achieve work-life balance through proper time management. Work is as important as someone’s personal life. Often times, we have to juggle with obligations at work places ,family commitments and personal needs for us to have a balanced life. We therefore need to efficiently and effectively account for our time. Majority of people feel stressed each morning while others hope they had more time. Below are some tips and advice that can help in proper time management. • Plan your time by writing a to-do list. • Allocate estimated time for each task. Be flexible and incorporate emergencies and breaks. • Categorize the task as either urgent or not urgent, important or not important and easy of not easy. • Put the urgent and important task first in your time schedule. • Have deadlines and try to meet them, if you don’t achieve them, carry them forward to the next day.
• Don’t expect a miracle to happen, you have to be self-disciplined and avoid time wasters. Many people tend to waste time because they do not understand what and whom are they wasting time on or with. Doing a time audit or a checklist will keep you accountable so that you can reduce time spent on things that are not as important and allocate adequate time to important things. Despite having a busy day, we should also learn to create time for ourselves, sleep well, relax, have some exercises or walk, take breaks, a nap or even vacations. For you to be productive learn to get it started, concentrate in what you do, set goals, get different views from others , communicate if you need help, use your waiting time well, get time off from your device and always strive to improve. Time is a precious, scarce and un-renewable commodity, avoiding unplanned meetings, prioritizing your tasks and being self-discipline will assist you in proper time management. Always remember, the sun waits for no king.

Review by Effie Odhiambo