Building a business for posterity

13th Jul, 2017

When the going gets tough, it’s time for the tough to get going. The business community is about to take a deep dive into murky waters, with uncertain encounters looming around the corner, such as Kenya’s elections.

It’s time therefore for businesses to buckle up and prepare for survival in this age of disruption.

For corporates, this cyclical and recurrent phenomenon – which brings uncertainty, confusion and a slowdown in business activity – is what keeps them on their toes.

You can never be too ready, but a good business strategy and a touch of good luck, helps.

For business, an age old lesson comes to the fore: Rolling with the punches will often leave you better off and ready for the next fight; taking body blows will leave you in need of convalescence and a lot of down time.

Case in point: The boom and bust cycle – the periodical contraction and expansion of economies that occurs repeatedly in capitalist economies. Though varying in time and severity, we have witnessed the effect of a boom with plentiful jobs and impressive market returns for investors.

However, we have also become privy to the tumultuous opposite as characterized by the bust cycles.

Though this no longer comes as a surprise, more often than not, corporates settle into a state of panic and a wave of frenzied activities ensue to ensure the business stays afloat albeit with less returns on investment and lower consumer demand for products and services.

This all points to the fact that meaningful change is never easy and ideally, only comes after struggles and excruciating decisions taken over time.

At KCB Bank, we have come to fully embrace the idea that ‘chaos’ is to be accepted and perhaps even embraced in preparation for tackling what lies ahead in the upcoming cycles.

Over time, resilience has manifested itself in the form of support to previously underserved sectors, not only the white collar businesses. In this respect, it is essential that a bank like ours invests across the board so that we can have wholesome and structured growth of the economy.

That’s why we have committed efforts and resources to offer substantial support to the underserved players across industries such as agriculture – the backbone of the economy.

Timing is crucial for investors and there is no better time to take a well-deserved foray in agribusiness than now.

Our commitment goes far beyond risk products in this case and into sector-based finance solutions through the establishment of dedicated arms of the institution such as the setting up of the agribusiness department.

This is an approach we will take as we continue to establish appropriate structures for specialized services across industries to boost development and encourage business diversity across the region.

We believe in a partner- based approach as we strive towards not only consolidating efforts for the prosperity of the region but also globally, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.

The evidence, informed by experience, suggests that when businesses are committed early to well- prepared strategies, they are often positioned to be nimble and ready to react to business downturns quickly.

We know and believe that maintaining a state of readiness for possible adverse business conditions is constructive and is what offers businesses the freedom to pursue opportunities with confidence, knowing that they are ready and alert to changing conditions.

By: Moezz Mir

The writer is the Director, Corporate Banking at KCB Bank Kenya

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