Thursday, November 20, 2008

Cloud computing?

Salesforce.com started the whole game. Dell even the tried (in vain) to patent the term cloud computing'. Where is your organization heading in terms of this industry buzzword: cloud computing?

You can outsource, yes, but do you need to give control of your crucial data to the 'outside forces'? These are some of the hard questions CIOs and IT managers across organizations are pondering on.

What is your take on cloud computing.

Your comnents are most welcome.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The current business environment

The current business environment is worrying worldwide.

The question on most business minded people is: how long is this going to last and after the storm, 'who' going to be left standing and 'who' is going to sink? AIG in the USA has been bailed out by the state at a cost of $ 85 billion! Who is going to bail out the worlds' businesses as most face imminent closure?

What about Kenya? What are the ripple effects of this global crisis? Safaricom, the most profitable company in East and Central Africa is not doing well at all at the NSE. Its share price has plummeted below the IPO price of Ksh. 5.00 per share. Retail investors (and I believe some fund managers) are scampering for safety as soon and as fast as they can. The reasoning being that it is better to make a 10% loss rather than wait and make 70% or more loss.

Business people are a worried lot.

Going south, the Africa economic powerhouse, South Africa is in turmoil. The president, Mr. Thabo Mbeki has been ousted from the seat of power - he has obliged quite state manly unexpected in some countries in Africa. Worse off, he might take the highly respected Finance Minister, Trevor Manuel with him as well as the VP. This leaves Africa in a very challenging business environment.

Couple this with running inflation hovering at around 30% in Kenya. Kenyans can't afford to save nor afford to invest anything. In any case they are liquidating any assets that they had to meet short term cash requirements.

What a bleak future it looks like.

However, hold on buddies, the sun might start shining soon!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Safaricom IPO

The much awaited Safaricom IPO is here at last: the going has been ridden with many challenges - legal as well as investor confidence. But I believe, the Minister for Finance, can at last heave a sigh of relief and say 'It is done man!'

We all accept, including myself, that even now the IPO is not correctly timed; bearing in mind that Nyaga Stockbrokers are under statutory management - but when might have been the correct time to bring this to the market? An ideal time? I don't think that this exists in the investment world: every investment opportunity has its risks which an investor will have to bear before you sink you money into it.

The question right now is: what is going to be the effect of this IPO on the capital markets in Kenya and the whole of the East African Community's economies? As with the Kengen IPO where some Kenyans emerged millionaires, I hope that also come 9th June (when the Safaricom shares start trading at the NSE) some Kenyans and East Africans will laugh all the way to the bank.

I hope that the mood, the confidence and the stability is maintained so that we can rope in more investors to the NSE and to Kenya so that our lives can improve for the better. These are the three pillars on which investors can troop to a country to sink their investment.

But remember in all this, God reigns supreme and there is nothing we can do without His help and assistance: remember to thank Him for the night in the morning and to thank Him in the evening for the day and surely He'll not disappoint you.

See you after 9th June 2008 and see how much you have made.

Happy investing.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Business Environment in Kenya

As most of you might be a ware, Kenya is coming from a scary last two months: lives have been lost and property has been destroyed. But as I requested in the previous post, prayers, I believe have saved Kenya from a catastrophe (or is it near a catastrophe?).

Now, as we wait to see how the power sharing is being implemented, the question on most people's lips is: is Kenya any better to start doing business again now? What is the probability that the deal will be implemented to the letter and that all will agree that all is Ok? I wish that there's somebody out there who can provide candid answers to such pertinent questions: I know that these are some of the questions that are going on in the minds of investors both locally and internationally.

The jittery among the investors is being reflected on the declining prices at the Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE). Local as well as international investors are quite wary of the way words have started flying around concerning the National Accord And Reconciliation Bill which is about to be debated in parliament soon. Every political divide is interpreting the Accord in a way that suits them and not in the interests of Kenyans and this puts to doubt the probability of them agreeing ultimately. However, all of us are waiting with bated breath till when the bill is enacted into law. We hope that the politicians will rise above their partisan interests and put the welfare of other Kenyans in front and enact this bill, which is what is holding Kenya together.

Some might argue that the declining prices at the bourse are due the much awaited Safaricom IPO but I tend to differ with my little experience at the NSE: some previous IPOs other than Kengen - which romped many investors to the bourse - have had no much effect on the prices at the NSE before.

My prayer still remains that Kenyans - both politicians and Wanjikus - will put aside their personal interests so that this all-important bill is enacted into law so that investors can have once again the confidence Kenya deserves.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

The effects on the post election violence

Dear Kenyans and all concerned people of the world,

All us know the destruction of property and the loss of life that visited Kenya after the 27th December 2007 General elections.

I don't want to delve into the details since you might have heard and read all these in the local and international dailies both in the print and electronic media.

But my question is just one: for how long can this go on? For sure, it is precisely one month and one week since the violence started here in Kenya and all of us, Kenyans and non-Kenyans living in Kenya, have felt the heat. The prices of basic commodities have skyrocketed: fuel is on all the time high, milk is going up on a daily basis, bread is just climbing ... what shall we do?

It seems like the only string holding us(Kenyans) together is the mediation that is ongoing, chaired by the former UN Secretary General, Mr Koffi Annan. I foresee a situation where if the mediation fails, Kenya collapsing.

But the question I am humbly asking all of us, where is God and is He concerned about the life of a young child being snubbed out in somewhere in Kericho? I believe He is. But He is just standing and watching? I don't believe so. So what He is doing? We might be tempted to ask. I pray that Kenya can turn to Him for help: any help from Him is all that we need now NOT analysis of the elections. We all know what happened after the elections. We want to get out of this situation and the only 'person' who can give us that highly desired solution - to all parties - is only Him (maybe through somebody).

I hope and pray that Kenyans can turn to the one who understands their pain, their loss; who mourns with them and who comforts an ailing soul- the comfort of a father only a son knows and feels the warmth of his father wrapping his arms around a forlorn son.

Kenyans, please let us turn to God for only Him can solve our crisis! Please!