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Businesses asked to learn from the past

NAIROBI, Kenya Jan 17- Kenyan businesses are being challenged to put in place contingency measures that assures them of continued business despite effects of local and international shocks.

McKinney Rogers, a global business consultancy firm, says most Kenyan businesses lack fallback plans that would help them retain their margins even in trying times.

Speaking while on an official visit to Kenya, McKinney Rogers Executive Chairman Sir Robert Fry said the 2008 post election violence provides a clear example of why companies need to prepare for the worst.

“The greatest challenge to business is to make sure it has preparations in place to anticipate and absorb that process of shock if it expects to flourish in the market,” Sir Fry said.

The global consultancy firm that has been operating in Kenya for three years says business executives have to be able to expect the worst and plan for it especially in a highly competitive market.

“Competitors are not blind to the situation and will be looking to take advantage of any situation to get ahead,” he said.

In the last three years, Kenya has suffered two major shocks in the post election violence and the global financial crisis that saw the country’s GDP drop from seven percent in 2007 to 1.7 percent in 2008.

Sir Fry said the same principle ought to be applied by the government so that it ensures the country remains a viable investment destination as global players look to expand to Africa.

“They should discuss any international situation that will affect Kenya much like it would any country and prepare for it,” he said.

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McKinney Rogers Africa Partner Chris Stephenson said the government should be able to manage the country’s image in a positive way.

“The government is sadder but wiser, now they should think of ways of mitigating effects of climate change and security threats posed by some of its neighbours,” Mr Stephenson said.

Locally, McKinney Rogers has worked with KCB, Kenya Airways, East African Packaging Industries, KPLC, Scangroup and EABL.

The company plans to open its second African office in Lagos, Nigeria and is also looking to move into South Africa.

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