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Sunday, September 25, 2022

Mistakes Kenya’s Former Top Business Leaders Made

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Mistakes can help us to fine tune our skills, learn better ways of doing things, and get our priorities straight.” Angela Agranoff, Overcoming Guilt and Shame.

Overstaying an opportunity: It is a booby trap to stay in a business after you have attained your goal.

According to former financial analyst and current Kiharu Ndindi Nyoro MP, it is vital to understand the importance of resigning after you have achieved victory in the business of producing money.

Former renowned CEOs Jonathan Ciano and Titus Naikuni, who turned around Uchumi and Kenya Airways, respectively, are singled out.

After receiving praise for turning Uchumi around, Mr. Ciano took the wrong turn, leading Uchumi back to the woodworks from which he had rescued it.

Ciano had a laundry list of corporate mistakes by the time he was fired from Uchumi, including alleged bookkeeping fraud and conflicts of interest.

Mr. Naikuni, on the other hand, after leading KQ to profitability, left the company as the region’s biggest loser, with a staggering loss of Sh. 26 billion.

Debts Mistakes

Keep your debts under control as much as possible. If you don’t do this, you’ll end up with a mountain of debt that you won’t be able to repay or recover.

Consider the case of Nakumatt. The supermarket collapsed due to billion-dollar debts, despite the fact that it had appeared to be a bastion of good retail business under the leadership of Atul Shah.

According to a report compiled by Phylis Wakiaga, CEO of Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), Nakumatt and Uchumi accounted for 73 percent of the Sh. 309 million owed to suppliers.

Similarly, Nakumatt’s debts had reportedly grown from Sh. 4.6 billion in 2011 to Sh. 15 billion by 2015.

Sitting On Investments Mistakes

Baloobhai Patel, a billionaire, is widely regarded as Kenya’s most diversified high-net-worth investor.

His rise to the top of the local money markets, however, has not been without setbacks and mistakes.

Mr. Patel was once a major shareholder in Mumias Sugar, which is now in financial trouble.

Mumias’ shares were sold at Sh. 49.5 each in a rights issue in 2006 to raise additional funds.

Mr. Patel would have made Sh. 841.5 million if he had sold his 17 million shares at this time. Mr. Patel would have made a cool Sh. 1 billion if Mumias had traded at Sh. 60 each.

When he finally gave up and sold his stake in 2014 for around Sh. 2.50 per share, he only made Sh. 42.5 million! Mumias is currently trading at cents!

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