Doing Clean Business
Is it possible to do it in Kenya?
Going against popular belief, we have embarked on this journey to prove that any business leader can run a clean business in Africa and in any part of the world. It was not easy and we were not right from the beginning. Being a bootstrapped startup, we were hungry for business and had self doubts. If it meant survival and if it doesn't harm anyone, what' s wrong in easing principles to get some business. I just had to rework my costing to make profits. The profit came but it was not a sustainable model. Because
a) We were never challenged on our competency. We just had to be good enough.
b) When the work got done and money got spent, we didn't have anything left to cherish. We were looking for more of the same kind. We were not creating a lasting impact.
This was not the reason we set out to build a great company. We wanted to provide lasting value. We wanted to create a lasting impact.
We started saying NO to those who asked for bend a bit to make sure we got the job.
We interacted directly with the company sponsors to understand whats happening inside. We didn't wait for the purchasing committee or liaison to tell us what's happening. We preferred to hear it from the horse's mouth. This eliminated all the crap that existed inside a bureaucracy.
We didn't waste our time chasing wrong opportunities and we were clear in choosing which ones became our clients and who didn't match our value set.
We started doing business with people whom we knew well socially & professionally and this kept a check on our tendency to waver. We've stayed away from any kind of temptation.