Leadership, News

Here Is How We Can Make Every Kenyan A Wealth Creator

The rich are get­ting rich­er not just in Kenya but all over the world. The Glob­al Wealth Report 2021, reveals that total glob­al wealth has grown by 7.4%. Con­se­quent­ly, there are 493 new dol­lar bil­lion­aires in the world. This means that over the course of one year, the world was mint­ing a new bil­lion­aire every 17 hours. Inter­est­ing­ly, none of these new bil­lion­aires is from Kenya, although we have our fair share of dol­lar millionaires. 

Less than two weeks ago, Oxfam released a report that spot­light­ed wealth in Kenya. The report revealed how the two rich­est Kenyans are rich­er than 16.5 mil­lion Kenyans com­bined. To put this into per­spec­tive, the top two rich­est Kenyans are rich­er than a pop­u­la­tion equiv­a­lent to all the peo­ple in Nairo­bi, Mom­basa, Kisumu, Naku­ru, and almost ten addi­tion­al Coun­ties. The Oxfam Report right­ly focused on the need to reduce inequal­i­ty. How­ev­er, it also pro­vides an oppor­tu­ni­ty to rethink the tra­di­tion­al ways of cre­at­ing wealth in an hon­est manner. 

First­ly, wealth cre­ation is root­ed in vision. Naushad Mer­ali, who passed on last year was list­ed as Kenya’s rich­est man, with a net worth of Sh89.6 bil­lion. He made his mon­ey through Sameer Group, a busi­ness giant with inter­ests in con­struc­tion, agri­cul­ture, infor­ma­tion tech­nol­o­gy, prop­er­ty and finance. Love him or hate him, one has to appre­ci­ate the fact that he made his bil­lions through years of metic­u­lous exe­cu­tion of his busi­ness vision. Back in 1975 after work­ing at Ryce Motors for only two years, he con­vinced Frank Ryce the own­er, to sell the com­pa­ny to him. Thus began his busi­ness jour­ney. In order to suc­ceed in busi­ness, you must devel­op a well thought out vision and stick to it through thick and thin.

Sec­ond­ly, wealth cre­ation requires informed action, not guess­work. Accord­ing to UNESCO, sub-Saha­ran Africa spends the least amount of mon­ey on Research and Devel­op­ment (R&D). This has to change. It’s no acci­dent that North Amer­i­ca and Europe, home to the rich­est busi­ness­es, also spend the most on R&D. We can­not break new ground in busi­ness if we don’t research com­pre­hen­sive­ly what that new ground looks like. If you are sell­ing fruit juice, con­duct both online and field research to deter­mine which fruit juices sell the most and why. Don’t guess. Such research will help you to under­stand the mar­ket­place and how to best nav­i­gate your mar­ket niche. 

Third­ly, wealth cre­ation demands that you take full advan­tage of busi­ness leg­is­la­tion and the busi­ness envi­ron­ment that it cre­ates. For instance, if you are a young Kenyan busi­ness own­er and you don’t know what AGPO means, you must pull up your socks. Access to Gov­ern­ment Pro­cure­ment Oppor­tu­ni­ties (AGPO) is a gov­ern­ment pro­gram that seeks to open up gov­ern­ment pro­cure­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties to youth, women, and per­sons liv­ing with a dis­abil­i­ty. Remem­ber, 30% of Gov­ern­ment pro­cure­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties belong to Kenyans from these three cohorts. In the same vein, the African Con­ti­nen­tal Free Trade Area (AfCF­TA) has opened up a lucra­tive mar­ket of 1.3 bil­lion Africans. As such, what­ev­er busi­ness you are involved in, you should reach out to the vast African market. 

Fourth­ly, patience is a crit­i­cal ingre­di­ent in wealth cre­ation. I start­ed busi­ness at the age of 19 and trav­eled on my first busi­ness trip to Japan at the age of 21. More than thir­ty years lat­er, I am still build­ing my busi­ness. Bhimji Depar Shah, the rich­est Kenyan alive, is the founder and chair of BIDCO Group of Com­pa­nies. He start­ed BIDCO in 1970, as a gar­ment man­u­fac­tur­ing busi­ness. Today, BIDCO prod­ucts cut across diverse sec­tors includ­ing food, per­son­al care, laun­dry, and ani­mal feed. It has tak­en more than fifty years to build this mas­sive com­pa­ny. In order to build a great busi­ness that will gen­er­ate great wealth, you must have patience. Good things take time. Great things take even more time. 

Fifth­ly, a great busi­ness only grows from the fer­tile ground of great per­son­al habits. You must nur­ture habits that will trans­form you into a focused, resilient, and inno­v­a­tive busi­ness own­er. Think green, act green! 

About Dr. Kalua Green

He is the Chief Stew­ard of Green Africa Group, a con­glom­er­ate that was envi­sioned in 1991 to con­nect, pro­duce and impact var­i­ous aspi­ra­tions of human­i­ty through Sus­tain­able Mobil­i­ty & Safe­ty Solu­tions, Eco­pre­neur­ship & Agribusi­ness, Ship­ping & Logis­tics, Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Ini­tia­tives, as well as Hos­pi­tal­i­ty & fur­nish­ings sectors

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