Real estate ready for tech disruption but mindsets need to shift

Real estate ready for tech disruption but mindsets need to shift

In building and construction, the tide of change driven by innovation has been slowly permeating the fastest growing industry in the country.

By KEN MACHARIA

While most major sectors of the economy have experienced significant disruption occasioned by technology and new platforms, the construction and real estate sector has been slow to adapt to new innovative technologies, not just in Kenya, but globally.

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How IT expert launched luxury fashion START-UP

How IT expert launched luxury fashion START-UP

Aprelle Duany describes herself as a nerd who adores fashion. Previously, an IT Auditor for one of the Big Four accounting firms in New York, she has degrees in Information Technology, media, as well as fashion. She pulls from her technical experience and approaches design and development from a problem-solving perspective.

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Mind your health at the office

Mind your health at the office

A holistic approach in terms of check-ups, preventive vaccines, follow-ups with doctors, nutrition education, exercise and stress management help in curbing lifestyle diseases.

By EDNA GOR

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The unexploited frontier of Kenya’s rich sports heritage

The unexploited frontier of Kenya’s rich sports heritage

 Kenya has not fully exploited its full potential in sports marketing. There is enormous opportunity for brands to market itself through sporting activities.
QUOTE: “They (major brands) could not be investing in sports marketing if there is no money to be made. This is simply big business that we have not understood locally,” Prof. Bitange Ndemo.
By COSMAS MOTANGI
Harambee Stars, Kenya’s national football team, was preparing to face Togo’s national football team, Les Eperviers (The Sparrow Hawks), in the Orange Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Nairobi in early 2012.
The spirit was high among the Harambee Stars players who were assured of their bonuses and other incentives following the team’s signing of a three-year KSh 10 million sponsorship deal with East African Breweries Limited (EABL).
Yet, all was not well between the Stars and EABL, the team’s sponsor and the country’s largest brewer. This is because three key players – then France-based striker Dennis Oliech, his then Italy-based counterpart, MacDonald Mariga, and Kenya Premier League striker Bob Mugalia -were threatening to sue the brewer for using their images on a billboard without their consent.
The company, however, disputed their account saying it had a contract with the national team containing clauses that allowed it, as a sponsor, to use images of the team’s players in promotions. The matter was, however, later amicably resolved.
Sports marketing
Welcome to the world of sports marketing, which Dr. Russell Hoye, an associate professor in the School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management, La Trobe University, Victoria, Australia, says is the application of marketing concepts to sports products and services, and the marketing of non-sport products through an association to sport.
Prof. Hoye says it has two key features, first, the application of general marketing practices to sport-related products and services, and secondly, the marketing of other consumer and industrial products or services through sports.
“Like any form of marketing, sport marketing seeks to fulfil the needs and wants of consumers. It achieves this by providing sport services and sport-related products to consumers,” he says.
It is not surprising the sports personalities, including Kenyans, have been bagging lucrative sponsorship deals with different companies.
Prof. Bitange Ndemo, an associate professor at the University of Nairobi’s School of Business, says that from the advertising point of view, there is no better way of marketing sports products other than leveraging on the image of the athletes who are sometimes icons across the world.
“They (major brands) could not be investing in sports marketing if there is no money to be made. This is simply big business that we have not understood locally,” says Prof. Ndemo.
Brand ambassadors
It is a view shared by Dr. X.N. Iraki, a senior lecturer, University of Nairobi, who says major brands sponsor prominent sports personalities because it is very profitable. “They use sportsmen and women because they are well known, hence attract customers. Think of how many golf enthusiasts would want to be associated with any product being marketed by Tiger Woods or in tennis by the Serena sisters,” he says.
This holds true in Kenya where, for instance, Paul Tergat, Kenya’s former world marathon record holder, stared in the Johnnie Walker whisky’s global ‘Walk With Giants’ campaign.
Also, former Olympic and world 3000m Steeplechase champion, Ezekiel Kemboi, has been the Tusker ambassador while the world champion, the African and Commonwealth record javelin holder, Julius Yego, is the Telkom Orange internet ambassador.
According to the second edition of PwC outlook for the global sports market, while the commercial dynamics of sport and entertainment have always overlapped, the two are now closer than ever before.
“In many cases, sporting entertainment and commercial success are now seen as two sides of the same coin,” says the PWC report titled ‘Changing the game: Outlook for the global sports market to 2015.’
The report’s findings show that sports’ marketing is now big business. “We project that global revenues from sports sponsorships will increase from USD35 billion (KSh 3.5 trillion) in 2010 to USD45.3 billion (KSh 4.53 trillion) in 2015, a 5.3 per cent compound annual increase,” it notes.
Enormous opportunities
Industry watchers, however, note that Kenya has not fully exploited its full potential in sports marketing. Dr Iraki attributes this to a presence of very few big brands to effectively compete to sponsor the athletes and other sports personalities. “We have also do not understand the potential (of sports marketing). To exploit this potential, we must invest in sportsmen who can make global marks in the league of golf great Tiger Woods and ride on them,” says Dr. Iraki.
Prof. Ndemo concurs that there is an enormous opportunity for Kenya to market herself through her sportsmen and women. “We have not, however, fully exploited that because we always look to the government for any form of funding. We need to change that and start using corporates to sponsor our sports activities and personalities.”
Prof. Ndemo, the former permanent secretary in the Ministry of Information and Communication, adds that Kenyan firms like East Africa’s most profitable company mobile phone service provider, Safaricom, and banks like KCB and Equity should be the official sponsors of the Kenyan team to Olympics. “This would lessen corruption as we can attest from the last Olympics.”
Indeed Kenya firms are slowly warming up to sports sponsorship with betting firm, SportPesa, sponsoring the English Premier League (EPL) football club, Hull City, and Kenya Premier League (KPL) football clubs AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia.
Safaricom is sponsoring a number of athletics activities and rugby, Kenya Airways sponsoring the Kenya’s Safari 7s team while EABL has sponsored KPL club, Tusker, Mathare United is sponsored by Britam and Thika United by Brookside Dairy.
Email: motangic@gmail.com

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Interest rate capping: Will it work in Kenya?

Interest rate capping: Will it work in Kenya?

Once the law comes into force, interest rates will drop to a maximum of 14.5 per cent given the CBR’s current standing at 10.5 per cent.

By MICHAEL WACHIRA

Kenya has 42 commercial banks, but the six largest ones popularly known as Tier One control 52.4 per cent of the entire industry. This leads to only a few banks controlling the market, just like any other economy across the globe. Banks act as middlemen through whom we deposit monies and get advances and loans. They make money from the differences between the rate which they pay the depositors and the one they charge the borrower. This difference is called the interest rate spread.

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The missing link to delighting your customers

The missing link to delighting your customers

VoC program can build closer connections with customers by giving them what they need, how they need it.

By ANGELA RARIEYA

 Be bold! Be brave! Be heard in the boardroom this year! Might a Voice of the Customer (VoC) program be the missing link to making delightful experiences for your customers a reality in your business?

Simply put, VoC refers to feedback customers give a business with regard to their experiences with the company’s products and/or services. This becomes invaluable data for businesses in helping them bridge the gap between customer expectations and actual experiences with their brands.

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Africa gets better for investors

Africa gets better for investors

Increased linkages between African countries is one of the key trends to watch in 2016.

By GEORGE OTIENO

As 2016 begins to unfold, it is an opportune moment to look back and reflect on gains made and challenges faced in 2015. The key question is – what drove business in 2015? The answer is based on the specific sector, but setting aside this detail, there were general trends that broadly impacted on trade and investments in Kenya. I will focus on trends in governance, infrastructure and security as these underpin both trade and investment growth in any country as well as on public and private sector trends and observations.

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Off to save lives

Off to save lives

Death and disability from severe injuries can be avoided if the right care is provided quickly.

By TABITHA AREBA

World War II gave birth to the concept of emergency air evacuation, a mission that lowers morbidity and mortality rates due to the speedy movement of patients to hospitals coupled with timely management and proper handling of patients.Since then, air ambulance service has become an essential component of the health care system which when utilised appropriately saves lives and reduces the cost of health care.

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Expect a better business environment in 2016

Expect a better business environment in 2016

By GILBERT NGANGA

When President Uhuru Kenyatta officially commissioned the KSh4.8 billion English Point Marina on January 12, many investors and analysts saw it as a signal that Kenya’s tourism sector was on the verge of gaining back its lost glory.

It would not have come at a better time than the beginning of the year when investors are looking for clues on the direction the Kenyan economy will take in 2016.

The magnitude of the project — a luxury yatch facility — not only puts Kenya squarely on the global tourism map, but also is a sign that investors are keen to pump in billions of dollars into the country.

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The evolution of PR measurement

The evolution of PR measurement

By FRANCOIS VAN DYK

Nairobi played host to the first World Conference on Public Relations in Emerging Economies (WCPREE) in November 2015. With more than 400 delegates from around 25 countries in attendance, it was a major event on the global communications stage. Hosted by the Public Relations Society of Kenya (PRSK) and its international partner, The Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management, the event featured some of the world’s top minds on public relations and communications.

Global Alliance is one world’s biggest PR and communication management associations and institutions, representing 160,000 practitioners and academics around the world.

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