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KIELIMU – Path to Progress

  • By faber
  • March 29, 2018

Transformation journey is one of the key elements in helping the organizations achieve a continual and sustainable development which ultimately helps them grow and increase revenues. Like our last edition of the newsletter, we bring you excerpts of our conversation with another client of ours, who is an inspiration for many. Dr. Jonathan Moss, Managing Director of Kisima Farm is one of the leaders and most dominant players in the Arable farming and floriculture business.

Faber Infinite (FI) – Farms are the earliest form of family managed business. Today family managed businesses are considered as significant and important part of the world economy. Every business organization has a unique set of challenges associated with them. These family managed businesses are no different. Can you share few of the challenges that a typical family managed business faces?

Dr. Jonathan Moss (Dr. Moss) –I’m the Managing Director of Kisima Farm which is a family owned and to a large extent family managed business and I’m not a member of the family myself. The primary challenges these kinds of businesses face are related to succession planning and to inter-generational expectation management.

In the instance of Kisima Farm, the family brought in outside expertise after many years, realizing the lack of certain particular skill sets which might help the organization in growing and expanding its business. Addressing such needs is a typical challenge that affects family-run businesses.

FI –We have a subscriber base of around 15000 readers across the globe; our readers would want to know more about your business. Can you tell us more about this art of floriculture that you are involved in?

Dr. Moss –One of the things that we do is floriculture, mainly for the European market which accounts for around 50% of our business. It is a very important aspect of our business. We are one of the top exporters of cut flowers to the European market, mostly roses, which are of very high quality and are grown at high altitudes on the equator in the tropics. Kisima Farm is located near the equator with an altitude of 2000-3000 metres. It is because of this that we are able to grow our produce to the highest quality.

FI – Every industry has its own challenges. What are peculiar challenges unique to your industry?

Dr. Moss –In our industry, the primary challenge is to make sure that one is growing a very top quality product.  Agronomy has to be cutting-edge since you are dealing with a lot of potential pests and diseases. Reject rates must be kept low for the business to be profitable.  So, agronomy is always a big challenge.

Another big challenge is the market. We export most of our roses to Europe, mostly for the auctions. The pricing on these auctions depends both on demand and supply. So, tackling the competition, and getting our produce ahead of others, is definitely a big challenge for us.

We also run arable and potato operations which have an entirely different set challenges. Yields and productivity are very much influenced by the climate. We are also affected by the price of inputs, which has forced us to be very efficient in keeping our costs down while producing a very high-quality product at the same time to generate returns that add value to our organization.

FI – Kisima is a progressive organization charting their own success path and setting trends for others to follow. What is the core philosophy that differentiates your organization from others?

Dr. Moss –What differentiates us from others is our commitment to ensuring a very high-quality product for our customers. We are in a unique location in terms of our altitude and the rainfall which we enjoy. It adds a competitive edge to our products and our customers can have confidence that they will only purchase high-quality products from us. We also manage the business in a very efficient manner to generate optimum returns.

FI –Kisima has rolled out path-breaking transformation journey – “KIELIMU – Kisima Eliminate Muda”. We would love to understand more about it?

Dr. Moss –Well, Kisima has been very fortunate to learn from other organizations in Kenya, which though not identical, have also drawn on support from your organization – Faber Infinite. Their experience has certainly led the way and has taught us the way to harness the power of every single individual employee, and to converge our thought processes towards achieving company objectives.

We have also been very pleased with the support and benefit we have garnered from Faber Infinite. We recognize the huge potential to cut costs, increase efficiencies, increase productivity, and harness the power of every employee – all of whom are also a part of this journey and working towards achieving excellence.

FI – Can you please share your overall feedback about team Faber and your experience so far with the organization?

Dr. Moss – We certainly are very pleased with the results we have managed to achieve with the support of Faber Infinite. We are very grateful for their valuable insights which have helped us in a number of ways. We think Faber is particularly valuable because of the specific tools they have managed to teach us, and help us in sustaining, as we move forward with the journey. Consultants like Vishal Kulkarni and Abhishek Pandey have really helped us, given their experiences in similar sectors and ability to provide us with insights that were quintessential for us.

We thank Dr. Jonathan Moss and team Kisima Farms for being a part of iFaber – the official newsletter of Faber Infinite and sharing their valuable insights.
Written & Compiled By Faber Kishlay & Faber Mayuri