Chris-Kirubi 22

How “#AskKirubi” has been a game changer to many MSMEs

“It is with deep sorrow that we regret to inform you of the passing away today of Dr. Christopher J. Kirubi, EBS, prominent businessman, investor and entrepreneur in Kenya and the East Africa region,” a statement by Centum Investment Limited read. These were the first and shocking press release statement that came in late today afternoon to announce the demise of the former business mogul that has been a mover and shaker in the country for years. The director of Centum Investment Company, a business conglomerate where he is the largest individual shareholder, has been battling cancer for years.

He was among the last patriachs, business leader, multiple entrepreneur, a self styled DJ and most importantly a mentor to the so many MSMEs and their founders in the country and within the global market. For many the hashtag #AskKirubi goes a long way as a mentor, friend, shoulder to lean on and the business soldier who soldiered to advise the young and old alike on how to face business with all its spheres.

On Monday {14th June 2021}, the late tweeted an encouragement message, to the surprise of many before the announcement later, by the family that he is gone to the land of prominence.

“Top of the morning to you, my dear friend. It doesn’t have to be a tiring Monday. Instead, I bring to you good tidings of favor, success, achievements and happiness in the new week. Give yourself a go towards your success plan. Enjoy today and the rest of your week. #AskKirubi,” tweeted Kirubi.

The late Chairman and founder of Capital Group Limited has shaped so many Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in Kenya. He has acted as the driving pillar of success, a trailblazer who thrives and embraces change very fast. He has been able to stratify the economy and establish a niche that so many businesses had tried to dissect without success.

Through his “Ask Kirubi” many business people have been inspired, a particular wave that was created during the lockdown period when businesses were undergoing recession and people were trying to find a way out to survive. The pandemic alone has given birth to a relatively large percentage of MSMEs in the country and the world. According to the World Bank, SMEs account for the majority of businesses worldwide and are important contributors to job creation and global economic development. They represent about 90% of businesses and more than 50% of employment worldwide. Formal SMEs contribute up to 40% of national income (GDP) in emerging economies.

The importance of the Question and Answer platform that was made to be #AskKirubi synonymous with a hustle to make life better no matter what. This created an unprecedented platform to engage a mogul whom many would never have had the chance. As a result, a number of hashtags from corporate sphere came along to emulate, copy or simply walk the talk of what it could mean to share a leadership experience and platform.

Ask Kirubi segment targeted these mushrooming  MSMEs businesses. The ones that gave light an economy that had begun shutting itself with loose ends of survival. In one of the conversations the business mogul engages with MSMEs, which he used to convey through his social media sites, he engages with small business like a father, a mentor and a driving force that “promises a win in a troubled situation.” Here are some of his business tips to MSMEs,

“Most good businesses take years to build so make sure you take care of yourself by carving out time for yourself as well as your family and friends. When you are able to be a healthy human being you can build a healthy company.”

Another one came like this…

“Mondays are crucial for small businesses and entrepreneurs no matter what market your business is targeting. Today sets the tone for the rest of the upcoming week, a great and powerful start can lead to new opportunities you thought where unreachable and unreasonable.”

Even inspiration wasn’t left behind in these…

“A limited mindset will only cut you off from opportunities and set you up for failure. Challenge yourself beyond those self-imposed limits and purpose each day to put in extra effort in areas that matter to you. You must bring your resilience, persistence and faith.”

As an entrepreneur and industrialist, Kirubi has been driving his passion of empowering the youth in Africa through online authorship and physical talks in High schools and Universities in Kenya. He has been able to create employment to so many Kenyans through his number of investments such as the Centum Investment Company where he is the biggest shareholder, Haco Industries Limited and Capital Group Limited.

As a Kenyan in business, he has been ranked among the richest people in and out of the country, an identity that has placed him among the highly sorted business minds in the region. At this capacity, from a humble beginning to a reputable business mogul he became trusted by many Kenyans for the journey in business straight and well conquered, as witnessed in almost all the condolence messages passed by Kenyans in social media.  He has been able to nurture a generation in business that would allow the country to foster more economic growth and development in the coming years.

“He was passionate about making a difference in the lives of disenfranchised groups and was involved in a number of social causes,” Centum Investment Company said in a statement.

Until his death, he served on the Harvard Global Advisory Council (Massachusetts, USA) as an advisor on education matters of Africa. It’s so unfortunate that he is leaving when MSMEs tile in Kenya has begun rolling at an exponential stage, Most MSMEs owners that he mentored, friends and other partners will miss him dearly.

Condolences to the family, to friends and to the many MSMEs who largely shared on his story.



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