Ramesh : Good afternoon, Mr Kaushik. Thank you for joining me to discuss few aspects of doing business in Kenya.
Kaushik : Good afternoon!
Ramesh : Based on your vast experience in working in Kenya, please tell us what is the Government approach towards the business community in general.
Kaushik : The Government is supportive of developing business in the manufacturing sector. Bringing in additional value in the system is quite encouraged. Government has generally supported free trade and private enterprise. Overall, we are happy with the Government policies.
Ramesh : That is a welcome information, indeed. Development of business, as you know, requires skilled labor force. How friendly are the policies relating to labor and skill development issues?
Kaushik : Labor laws are good. There is a good system of dispute resolution. Kenya has a good record of labor relation. Laws and regulations are quite conducive to business and supportive of skill development.
Ramesh : How do you compare such regulations with those of other East African countries?
Kaushik : Kenya scores very well compared to any other country in East Africa and in this region. I would consider Kenya’s scores even better than that of South Africa.
Ramesh : Does it then, transpire, from your above statement that manpower in Kenya is skilled and that there is no cause of concern in that regard?
Kaushik : Labor force is skilled in general, but there is always room for development. In Kenya, we are fortunate to have an educated class of labor and that assures availability of required skill set. Most of the employees can be trained to higher levels except for some specific and specialized areas of business. However, we are definitely much better placed in Kenya than any other country in the region.
Ramesh : It is good to learn availability of skilled workforce in Kenya. As we know, skill is directly dependent on education – both primary and secondary. What is the level of education standard in Kenya?
Kaushik : Fairly good.
Ramesh : How is the work ethics of the employees?
Kaushik : Both at individual levels per employee and also collectively Kenya as a nation, work ethics is very good. Employees can be trained, and then forth if they are properly supervised and motivated, they can do the job entrusted with them.
Ramesh : Let us now talk about investment climate. How open do you think the industry and the political system is to international investment?
Kaushik : All governments try to protect local industry and the local system Kenya should not be any different. However, there is no inhibition in any quarter to encourage international investment.
Ramesh : How is Indian community perceived in local situation?
Kaushik : Indian community has been very well accepted and integrated in the local system. At micro level, there may be some cases of business competition between Indians and non-Indians, but on a broader perspective, there is no issue.
Ramesh : Do you have any story to share with us regarding successes of Indian entrepreneurs?
Kaushik : We have two types of Indian organizations in Kenya. One is the Indian companies that have ventured in doing business in Kenya, and the other is individual Indians having opened businesses in Kenya. The former set of companies are doing good in manufacturingand service sector while the later are showing good prospect in manufacturing, banking,insurance, real estate and few other field of activities.
Ramesh : What advice do you have for the Indians yet to reach Kenyan business front?
Kaushik : Please feel that you will be in a good business environment. You need to generate value addition in the economy, bring in international expertise and share your wealth to be generated through your business.
Ramesh : Mr Kaushik, thank you very much for your time and sharing with us your wisdom.