Personal Branding 101

imagesSome documentaries are more of documentaries than others. The other day I was watching some documentary on Finance and the future of investment banking presented by some networking professional in England and got so many revelations from it. The guy was soft spoken to the point of boring, but inside the calmness of his speech lied much wisdom.

There is always a different way of viewing things in the world. The norm has it that you should have a very nice CV – Curriculum Vitae that you send to a thousand and one companies when applying for a job. Much time is taken in decorating the CV. Some people go to the extent of paying the self-proclaimed “professional CV writers” a lot of money, just to have a two page grammatically choreographed document to present to as many companies as they wish to apply for a job in. Yes, a good CV is a nice thing to have because it’s your marketing tool to the companies that have never met with you before. It also serves as your brochure explaining the product ‘you’ to the many potential customers out there who might want to buy the product ‘you’.

However, most of us forget that as much as the product ‘you’ remains the same in all the markets, the markets differ. It is the market difference that makes all the difference between the smart guys and the just average guys. Attending a marketing class in campus, my lecturer talked of market segmentation as a strategy of increasing sales and beating your competitors when at it. Understanding the basic needs in a market and tailor-making your product to suit that market, is the key to a successful entrance into new markeindexts and remaining relevant to perpetuity.

Being who you are and having chosen whichever line of career that you’ve chosen; you remain to be the same to eternity, not unless you want to blur your life with inconsistency and lose public trust. With that in mind, you need to know how to package the product ‘you’ to fit into the various ,markets out there where you want to go selling yourself in terms of looking for a job. ‘K’ is always constant and the ‘K’ is you; what needs to change is the marketing techniques and customization of your selling strategy to fit into the different companies’ needs.

In essence the simple point being driven home here is that a finance professional will remain to be the same with the same skills learnt in school. However, the finance department in an engineering firm will not be the same as the finance department in an advertising firm. The skills may be the same, but their application will differ depending on the specifics in each company. Your CV needs to be company specific too; what we call the ED – Evidence Document.

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The Scramble for Upper Hill!

uhA recent visit to upper hill revealed some news to me that had not hit my mind before. It started as a slow encroachment by a few business offices in a few years ago, but it has now turned into a real scramble for land at Upper Hill. Apparently, everybody now thinks that Upper Hill is the hot biscuit that they must at least have a bite of.

Talk of the big corporate names in Kenya and the chances of finding their headquarters in Upper Hill will be 90%. Big banks in Kenya like Equity Bank, Commercial Bank of Africa and the latest entrant KCB have their head offices here. KCB are however still constructing what might end up as the tallest tower at Upper Hill for the near future before another investor brings in competition.

The unbeatable beverage company Coca-Cola also has their head offices there just next to Shelter Afrique – a property financing company of its own kind in Kenya and Africa at large. A few meters away we have Blue Shield Insurance company offices and the one investment company Old Mutual just to mention a few.

Several government offices also decorate the land at Upper Hill. A good number of government agencies are also to be found in Upper Hill including the Capital Markets Authority, KASNEB among several others. Continue reading “The Scramble for Upper Hill!”

Konza Technopolis – Investment Hub or White elephant?

I was following a chat on the Facebook about whether the Konza  Techno-polis to be built in the outskirts of the Kenyan Capital City Nairobi was really an investment hub or a white elephant; and I couldn`t help but be amused by how we human beings can be viewing a similar project from extremely diverse perspectives. But I posed for thought, and I appreciated our diversity in thought and rich analytical minds!

Konza City is famed to be the Kenya`s Silicon Valley where all technological innovations and probably inventions will be springing from in the near future. This is not only meant to make Kenya an IT hub, but also to make it the centre of excellence in IT among all African countries. Financially capital intensive infrastructural projects have been put up, and these are expected to attract foreign investors to get a share of this not-yet-baked cake.

But even before the ground breaking ceremony takes off, critics and analysts from the University of Nairobi – School of Business; are up to the task of scrutinizing the nuts and bolts of the whole project. Does one plus one add up to two, or eleven; as far as this project is concerned?

One of the analysts was of the opinion that this was simply a government well designed tag for Vision 2030, but which is disoriented by placing the horse before the cart. He says that the government should had first trained the youths to acquire skills in IT before erecting the techno-polis; so that once it is built, it will have people with the right expertise to fill it. Continue reading “Konza Technopolis – Investment Hub or White elephant?”

Real Estate Investment

You probably might have come across this word, ‘Real Estate’; and probably you might have just ignored it as one of the many English words you may not need in your vocabulary database. However, after a short while and if you really would like to grow wealthy and escape the pangs of poverty, ‘Real Estate’ might just be the best word you ever came across.

Real estate simply means land and any structure or building that is erected on it. So, when you look around, what you see is real estate: the land and the buildings.

Real Estate investment on the other hand is the commitment of funds in real estate with the aim of getting returns. This involves acquisition of the property or land (mostly through purchase), developing it, managing it and then generating income from it. Continue reading “Real Estate Investment”