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Ogilvy’s head insights on foreign investment

Simple Alliance, Kenya Limited


International markets and best approaches for foreign investment

Greatness and success does not mushroom overnight and a lot could be learnt from Jill Kamemi’s story of achievement. Having attained  a degree in Brand Building Communication  sitting back and waiting for the ideal job was not enough for him so he opted to wait tables at a restaurant and begin his path to success. His proactive and ambitious character saw him rise to managerial level in just nine months. While Jill is in the corporate world there is so much that entrepreneurs can borrow from his chat with Kwach and Angela of Easy FM on 21 Questions.

  • Confidence while venturing into foreign markets
  • Setting goals and striving for them
  • Understanding both the local and international markets
  • Passion
  • Focusing on the outcome rather than challenges
  • Believing in oneself

Venturing into foreign markets

For many entrepreneurs the vision of expanding and venturing into foreign investments is not uncommon. From Jill’s experience one must not be deterred by uncertainty; when he moved to Kenya from South Africa he knew nothing about the country and the landscapes, but five years later he has managed to book a place for himself as one of the most respectable MDs in Kenya. By adopting certain qualities and remaining a ‘go getter’ the same would apply for entrepreneurs.

Have a goal and strive for it

Jill advises on setting a goal and striving to achieve it, he goes on to say “No opportunity is given, you have to grab it, you have to make it happen”. To become a successful entrepreneur one needs to learn to adopt a go getter attitude rather than settling for being comfortable in their domain. Growth heavily depends on the end goal and having a complacent attitude does not promote an entrepreneur.

Understanding the market

Before setting up shop in a market, one must fully understand it. An analysis of the region, its rating compared to the other regions, the gaps in that market and knowing your competition is fundamental. The importance of knowing what you are heading towards is highlighted by Jill- he took the time to understand Kenya and learn as much as he could about this market in comparison with the international market. In his interview, Jill stresses on the benefits of exposure; not necessarily living abroad but rather taking advantage of the resources available i.e. the internet to learn about the industry. It is important for entrepreneurs to understand that no market works in isolation.

Have passion for what you do

Jill asserts that passion is a key ingredient for success and as much as he speaks of it in the context of brand building the same would apply to other business functions.  With an open mind it is easy to grasp concepts despite ones professional background and adds that it should be complemented with the driving force.

Overcome challenges for a satisfying outcome

Everyone is faced with challenges, and despite the brave face that Jill put on when he entered the Kenyan market, he admits that it was indeed a challenge fitting in.  Looking back at Ogilvy when he was appointed as MD five years ago and its position in the market today Jill admits that he truly is reaping the benefits of all the challenges he faced and proudly overcame then. Things may not be rosy for any entrepreneur but the outcome should always be the driving force in overcoming all obstacles.

Believe in yourself and never give up

Jill says the best advice he ever received was “Believe in yourself and never give up” a common yet very true piece of advice to entrepreneurs and young individuals who are yet to create their path. He says that there will be difficult times you come across and if you adhere to this then you will want to let go.

Passion, working hard to get experience whether in your field or otherwise, having great mentors and understanding ones market are sure ways to becoming somebody just as Jill is today.

 

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