It was a chilly Friday morning, the 4th of December, 2015. I had to be at the Junction at 6:30 am to attend celebration of 40 years anniversary for OikoCredit. OikoCredit is the world’s largest Micro Lender, based in Netherlands….and our Impact Lease project, after 2 years of development was most exciting for them! The project targets small holder farmers to link them to superior agricultural machinery to enhance farming through a rental platform.
Great work to the Impact Lease team. I want to appreciate you for the hard work which helped in making this project a success. Thank you Njoki – you led OikoCredit all the way to the end the past 12 months. Rachel, you took the OikoCredit representatives around Narok for a whole day, and they rode tractors and drank tea with milk from our cows…. Lesson? We may not know what every arm does, but you may be surprised the impact it has to our partners. Now we can proceed to acquire tractors for the Tinga team!!
So, you know why I was waking up that early. I got to Junction Mall at 6:00 am, 30 minutes early. No traffic. Just as I was trying to catch up on my emails, the client I was to meet called. He wanted us to meet urgently before he flew out. They had concluded negotiations for a huge contract in Uganda, and they needed us to increase the equipment likely to cost us USD 3M. Luckily, we have the sources. In fact, one of the machines is arriving at our Quipbank premises before Christmas, from Atlas Copco… Well done QB!! Jen and team, the client see us as the partner of choice across the region. Go QB Go!!!!
At 8:00 am ….
Oh my, I then proceed to meet one of our banking partners. To cut the long story short, they confirmed having Kshs. 250M for us to utilize and gave us deadline to use it before the end of this year! Approximately 10 working days to go. While discussing with them which clients we will allocate the money to, great news from our credit team regarding other banks comes in, they had rolled in over US$ 25 Million of bank facilities in readiness for 2016! I won’t go into the details, as that is someone else’s day, but……Go Credit Go!!! You made marketing team’s day!
At 10:00 am ….
I had to slow down then, as the traffic was crazy. But I managed to meet one of our clients, and our Accounts team had done a great job in managing the payment schedule. Their exercise to raise capital through a Bond is on-going, and they are in a good position to proceed on the lease rental payments. They are ready to pay some US$ 500,000. Jackline, your name is known, though they would like to see your face. J! Go on Accounts! Great Job!
At 1:00 pm
I made it to Upper Hill just in time for a meeting with one of our partners. Then, this was a show stopper. They are in love with our Tinga project. “You have to extend it to yellow machines immediately”, they said. They are working with government to supply equipment for road contractors, and they absolutely need this platform! They promised to come to QB to see the platform demo, and have a feel of the place. Chris, you have fans! Go Tinga Go!!! I have a feeling this will be our biggest program next year….. Watch this space keenly!
At 2:30 pm
Then I was hungry, and needed to fuel my stomach. Sammy had been shuttling me around from 7:00 am. We decide to rest at Upper Hill. I bumped into some of our partners who were owing us some delayed payments from the government. But all has been paid this week, and he is delighted. He took Pauline’s letters all the way to State House, … Did I say Good work Pauline/Silvia???
The QB Architect joins me and he has a great surprise for the 3-acre QB Narok!! I cannot wait to see it developed, and right in the heart of the town! Narok County signed Kshs. 52B of projects this week alone, it is the breadbasket of the country and gateway to Maasai Mara. It is the place to be….. Go QB Narok! 2016 is yours.
At 4:00 pm
It was already 4:00 pm. I had received a few phone calls by then. I was needed at the Windsor by 6:00 pm. I managed to manoeuvre to Windsor, and reached there just in time. It is a picturesque golf club. Woody and roomy even inside the buildings….and the garden? Feeling a little better, I entered the building. I was suddenly between two suited bulky men. I was quickly whisked to a private party…..where I was put together with household names like David Rudisha, also our very own representative in the English Premier League, Wanyama (well, he couldn’t make it, I think he was busy…..But his mum came!) and many others. A team from PWC had received hundreds of nominations from Kenya, of men who should be recognized. And they had to select 40 of them. These men had to be under 40 years old.
Vimal Shah, the CEO of BIDCO and Paul Njeru, the RMD of VAELL Group
We were treated to a three-course meal, sponsored by Nation Media Group, with drinks courtesy of EABL. They do know how to throw a party! Jimmy Gathu was the host and the guest of honour, was none other than, Vimal Shah. His products exported to over 16 countries, the head of Bidco Group was right there with us!
The night moved in so fast, I just remember one item in his speech…. Focus on the little thing, and keep your focus. He reminded us of Steve Jobs, who took 4 years to decorate his house, because of how particular he was. On his hospital bed, during his last days, he had to be brought 4 different oxygen masks. Even though he could not talk, he would not accept what he did not consider the right type. Lesson? Don’t settle for less.”. As he said all this, I sometimes recall the tension in the office because of the high standards our clients and partners expect, and I realize, it is all for a good cause! No regrets. We set standards, and then we keep improving them. Oh, and another Gem he said….”try to remove the word “try” from your vocabulary”!!
Soon we were receiving awards….. Success is not all about money –good lesson!
Finally, as I was looking back this morning, and remembering all the teams I have worked with throughout my career, I realized how each one of them have shaped me. But this VAELL team, has shaped me most. Each and every one of you has made me who I am today. Not from your year’s work, or last month, but every day. Each phone call you make, and email, and every time you represent us, you are shaping me, just as I to you.
This award is shared fully with you!