[Kenya Business Week] Realigning businesses to drive growth
With competition across public and private sector now being driven by innovation, Kenyan institutions have invested heavily in modernizing operations and selling the convenience message to customers.
This has played out this week where companies have either enlisted support of global giants in sprucing up their operations or re launched products and services.
Manufacturer of Fast Moving Consumer Goods, Bidco Africa has picked HighJump, a global provider of supply chain solutions and independent software developer, iWMS, to modernize its supply chain operations. This is one of the many innovative strategies that the company's CEO Thiagarajan Ramamurthy promised to institute to drive growth. The company has been working with IBM to run its IT systems as a service to help the manufacturer focus on its core business and expansion across Africa.
In the banking sector, mid-tier lender Family Bank has relaunched its mobile loan application platform Pesapap allowing customers, and non-customers to access instant loans and also set investment goals for periods between 3 to 12 months, earning attractive interest. This, as banks and tech companies find innovative ways of extending credit to customers. OPay, the FinTech company part of the Opera Group this year also launched OKash, the new stand-alone mobile app that provides users access to short-term loans at their fingertips. Mobile-based lender Branch says it has also disbursed a cumulative $35 million loans in Kenya where virtual lending is growing in popularity.
Still on banking, Greek financial solutions software firm Relational has launched a new recovery software solution targeted at Kenya’s banking industry.
On the entrepreneurship front, Safaricom Foundation’s Wezesha programme has partnered with Generation Kenya to equip unemployed youth aged 18-35 with the knowledge, skills and tools required to succeed in a job, and positioning them for ongoing personal and professional success. This is one of the anchor projects under the Foundation which has committed to focus on health, education and economic empowerment. Other institutions that have taken up the youth empowerment initiative include KCB Foundation, Toyota and the Kenyan government.
The Kenya Association of Manufacturers has partnered with the University of Nairobi to develop strategies that promote ethical and legal business practices within the private sector. The association has previously conducted studies on what ails private sector with a view to encouraging policy formulation.
Bolloré Logistics Kenya has signed a contract to provide logistics services to Mobius Motors, an automotive start-up created in 2011 that manufactures Kenya’s only local vehicle brand.