It’s no secret that everybody wants to be paid more money for what they do. Everyone wants to feel valued and that the time, effort and skills they put into their work is adequately compensated. In most cases however, the way in which people approach asking for a pay rise is wrong. This could be due to the fact that some people are uncomfortable with talking about money or are afraid of coming off as too demanding to their employers.  In this article we’ll look at a few salary negotiating tips.


When seeking a pay raise, first ensure that you are truly deserving of it. There are no shortcuts around this. Ensure that your work speaks for itself and that you have actually been creating value for your company as well. Sometimes when it seems like you’ve been slaving away at your job and have spent so much time and energy doing your work, you may feel like you deserve a raise. It is important to take a step back and look at things objectively to determine whether or not you truly deserve a raise.


In order to justify a pay raise, it is important to know your value and how to articulate it to your employer. This therefore means that you must bring up any and all evidence to justify your worth in terms of salary increase. For instance, you could bring up occasions where you’ve helped your company increase their profitability, or reduced costs or even instituted time saving methods in various areas. Be calm and confident in your abilities in order to articulate the same to your employer and convince them to give you a raise.


Before asking for a raise you also need to know what the market is paying for someone with your credentials and experience. This means that you have to go out into the field and speak to recruiters for up-to-date market information as well as speaking to others working in your field with the same credentials as you. This will allow you to be well informed when negotiating the pay increase.


When an employer asks what your salary expectations are, most people tense up or become shy and undersell themselves in a bid to avoid offending the employer. Most people give a range of their salary expectations which is a big mistake. For starters, this gives the employer an opportunity to pay you a salary that is lower than what you really wanted. If you give a range and were aiming for the higher number, your employer may probably pick the lower one instead and this will only leave you feeling disgruntled. What you need to do is give one figure that is fair and one you are truly deserving of and then negotiate from there.


In most cases, the topic of salary expectations comes up in new job offers or interview situations. It is therefore important to note that you should only bring up your salary expectations when your employer asks you. This is because you want to avoid coming off as money hungry. If you are an employee and are looking to get a salary increase you should time your request around your performance review. This way you can showcase how well you’ve been doing at your job and make a case for the raise.

When asking for a pay raise, always be patient and remember that even when exercising humility, be confident in your worth and abilities.

Managing Millennials

If you are working in HR, or a managerial position, there is one group of people that you cannot afford to misunderstand or connect with… Millennials. Millennials or Generation Y, are a group of people born between the late 1980s and early 1990s. Millennials are a fascinating bunch in their own right because they bring with them new and fresh ideas into the workplace. They are innovative, agile, natural networkers and are incredibly tech-savvy.

However, they also bring with them some challenges. Millennials are a generation whose ideas and views differ greatly from those of the older generations. This is because they are a generation whose approach in respect to their work ethic is a bit different and may even be slightly jarring to the older generation in the workplace. In this article, we’ll look at some of the ways to manage millennials in the workplace.


In most cases, millennials are very people oriented. They value personal relationships over loyalty to brands and teams. It is therefore critical to nurture a working relationship with them to build confidence and boost their work ethic. As a manager ensure that your millennial employees know how much you care and   value them; not just as employees but as people. This means that it is absolutely important to be authentic and to build trust with this particular group of people.


Studies have shown that the number one thing most millennials value in their work experience, above a competitive salary is opportunities for growth and learning. Often times millennials may lose interest in working for a company or business when they start to feel bored and lack the engagement and challenge from their work. Be sure to provide training opportunities that allow them to expand their skill sets and expand their knowledge in a particular field.


As an employer, it is important to make flexibility a priority. This means flexibility in work hours, the structure of their work and even the work location where possible. It is often the norm that workplaces value employees who come in at a specific time and clocking in a set number of working hours and then clock out. However, with millennials, there is a need to break away from this culture. Allow them to express their creativity and in this way develop new and innovative ways to solve various problems and get their work done in more efficient ways.


Everyone likes to feel appreciated and that their effort and good work is being noticed. Some members of the older generation may think that this makes millennials high maintenance or too demanding, however it serves to boot moral and builds confidence. A study done a few years ago asked millennials how often they wanted praise from their employers and 60% said once a day. Proving just how important encouragement, praise and positive feedback is to this generation.


As the younger generations begin to enter the workforce, they are coming in with fresh ideas and new outlooks on the job. Having just completed their education, most of them can be a phenomenal source of innovation. This is because not only are they coming into the workforce with a fresh perspective but an eagerness to challenge the status quo. As millennials come into the workforce, they are asking all these questions about the way things are done and why they are done in a particular manner. This curiosity can be a great opportunity for innovation.


The expansion of globalisation has increased the world’s reliance on technology, now more than ever before. Since the development of the internet, there has been a massive surge in digital data creation. Many companies and governments store a great deal of their data on computers and transmit it across networks to other computers. It is no secret that technology and its underlying systems have vulnerabilities that can be exploited subsequently undermining the proper functioning of an organisation.

A breach in an organisation’s data stores can have a range of devastating consequences for any business. It can quite literally destroy a company’s reputation through the loss of consumer and partner trust. The loss of critical data, such as source files or even intellectual property, can cost a company its competitive advantage. In addition, a breach in a company’s data can impact corporate revenues due to non-compliance with data protection laws.

Cybersecurity is the combination of processes, practices, and technologies designed to protect networks, computers, programs, data and information from attack, damage or unauthorized access. In this article, we’ll look at some of the main cyber security issues workplaces face and some tips on how to secure your workplace data.


Phishing is a cybercrime that involves fraudulent attempts to obtain a person’s sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, bank/ credit card information etc. Usually, victims of phishing are contacted by email, telephone or even text message by someone posing as a representative of a legitimate institution to lure individuals into providing their sensitive data.


Some companies have ‘bring your own device policies’ (BYOD) in a bid to increase flexibility and to cut down on device costs. Employees are therefore allowed to bring their own devices such as laptops. The down side to this is that it is increasingly difficult to manage these devices. This then increases the risk of viruses, malware and data breaches.


Attacks on personal data have become a growing concern in the past few years. Companies that store personal data about their employees therefore, are at risk of being targeted by those who would like to get a hold of this information with malicious intent.


Ransomware is a type of malware attack in which cybercriminals gain access to sensitive data and encrypts the victim’s. This prevents the victim from accessing their system or personal files. The hackers then demand payment in order for the victim to regain access to their data.


Even if a company is well protected against outside attacks, human error and negligence is sometimes inevitable. This is also the main cause of all data breaches. Be it through a malicious act from a disgruntled employee or simple carelessness, employees are usually the weakest link when it comes to a company’s cyber security deference.

In order to ensure that your workplace is well protected from cyber criminals, begin by having regular meetings with your employees on the importance of cybersecurity and observing the proper workplace etiquette on internet use and information sharing. Train your employees on the various risks and improve their working habits.

Carry out formal risk assessment tests to determine the best cyber protection tools for your workplace. Hire ethical hackers to find weak links in your company’s data protection systems and provide solutions.


Business laws among other regulatory measures help to protect economic growth and to shield consumers from exploitation and other illegal factors. Before establishing or when in the process of running a business, it is important to understand the legal factors affecting your business. In this article we’ll look at some of the ways various laws influence a business and the general business environment.

Legal factors are simply the factors that affect a business and its dealings in relation to governmental/state laws. These laws play a huge role in determining the success of a business as they regulate the relationship between employers and employees, profit margins, taxes and many more.


The government has passed laws to protect the interest of employees. These laws protect them against discrimination on the basis of their race, religion, sex, age, or colour. Our labour laws can be found in the Employment Act.

These laws play a key role in protecting employees from unfair termination and exploitation. For instance, it is illegal for a business to dismiss employees for joining trade unions or for expecting a baby. Ignoring these legal factors will result in serious repercussions for your business. In this case, before the dismissal of any worker, there must to be prior notice with proper reasons outlined otherwise, the case may be treated as an unfair dismissal.


The government has put in place various contracting rules, regulations and procedures that dictates the manner in which they conduct their dealings with businesses. The government encourages small businesses to participate in expressing interest when it purchases products and services. It also goes to great lengths to invest in outreach programs to find reliable, qualified small businesses to be its suppliers.


In a perfect world, all businesses would act in the best interest of their customers. Unfortunately, this is not the case. For this reason, the government has put in place various laws to protect consumers. The Sale of Goods Act is a perfect example of this. This Act focuses on the rights and responsibilities of merchants and customers when exchanging legal tenders and goods. It is essential for retailers, whole sellers and businesses involved in the exchange of goods be familiar with its terms.


Any business that is organized as a legal entity is subject to the state law that governs its operation and conduct. In a previous post we discussed the various forms of business entities.  For example, corporations, limited partnerships, partnerships and limited liability partnerships all of which have different legal status and liabilities. It is important to understand your business association in order to know what laws apply to you. This helps prevent various illegalities and protects your business as a whole.


Contract law is the law that governs the relationship between two or more individuals who enter in to an agreement (contract) which creates mutual obligations that are enforceable by the law. With this law, business can contract with individuals and both party’s rights are protected without one taking advantage of the other. Contract law also spells out the components of a contract and what would be either legal or illegal and the elements that would void a contract. Fraud, illegality and misrepresentation are all elements that would make a contract void and therefore not enforceable.


5-4-3-2-1: Don’t think

Borne out of the need to preserve life, fear was once necessary. Now more often than not, it hinders your progress. When it becomes detrimental we call it anxiety. If you compound your values and belief systems and somehow generate the ideal version of yourself – the steps you need to take to become that person are clear. The steps are usually a mix of small changes like eating healthier and big changes like leaving your job. Yet sometimes, these challenges seem insurmountable. Worst case scenarios cloud your mind – once again waging a war between who you are and who you want to be.

Here’s an insanely simple trick to bypass these instincts for self-preservation. When facing a challenge you deem necessary for achieving your goals, start a 5 second countdown. Focus on the numbers rather than why you shouldn’t or can’t make the change. Countdowns prepare us for a necessary – almost mandatory action. We use them to launch rockets, start races, cross the new year etc. Why wouldn’t they work for you!

Can’t or Won’t: Make it a priority

There’s something you assume you’re notoriously bad at. Something you seem to always struggle with. Here’s a simple truth – you’re bad at it because you’re not interested in getting better at it. There’s always going to be more things you’re bad at than things your good at. Therefore, improving in something is a matter of priority. Narrowing down the things you need to learn dramatically decreases the fear of the things you don’t know. So instead of hilariously being terrible with names or birthdays or whatever you struggle with – recognise that you’ve not made them a priority. You can but you won’t.

The Millennial Question

Termed appropriately to reflect a common struggle within younger generations – the millennial question describes a lack of patience. The desire to see instant results in actions we’ve taken is relatable – no matter who you talk to. Our brains are notoriously wired to only show us what achieving our goals and desires means for our lifestyle. We strive to leave impactful change in our wake. What we don’t see is the difficult path to who we want to be. These achievements won’t happen as easy or as fast as we want. Practicing patience and repetition are a sure way to stay on the road to success. One sit-up doesn’t make you a body builder but thousands, over a good period of time will. Take the necessary actions but don’t expect instant results. You might not see the progress you’ve made but in time you will.

Leading not lagging

Focus on designing leading goals rather than lagging ones. Here is the distinction – leading goals are within your sphere of control and are things you can influence. For instance – how long will you read each day, what time will you wake up, what will you avoid eating. Whereas lagging goals are those whose outcome you cannot guarantee. For example how much money you’ll make, how much your business will grow and where you’ll be in 3 months. If you’ve not spotted it yet, leading goals focus on the process for achieving your ultimate goal whereas lagging goals solely focus on the outcomes of your ultimate goal.

Locked in:

Lastly, do it today not tomorrow. A recurring myth we all face and know to be false is the one where tomorrow you’ll be the version of yourself that achieves your hopes and dreams. Only for tomorrow to come and your ideal self is still a day away. To defeat this fallacy, start by recognising the only version of yourself that exists or will ever exist is the one now! Only you can do what you want to do. Progress is made with action AND time. You’ll still be the same version of yourself 6 hours, 12 hours, and 365 days from now unless you incorporate action. Next time ask yourself – what is so different about tomorrow that I’ll suddenly achieve my dreams? If time is your only answer – you know what you need to do!


Over the years, Kenya has proven to be a country thriving with economic success. Numerous Kenyan companies started from the ground up have achieved massive success in the East African economy and even Africa as a whole. One such company is the Bidco Africa Ltd. Bidco is East Africa’s leading manufacturer of Fast Moving Consumer Goods. Started in 1985 and it has continuously grown over the years to be the home of some of East Africa’s most loved brands across the edible oils and fats, hygiene and personal care, and most recently food and beverage brands.

Bidco Africa has won over 30 awards and recognitions in the last thirty-two years and is an acknowledged leader in the East African Manufacturing sector. Bidco was the first company to establish a fully operational refinery in East Africa. It was established in 1970 as a garment manufacturer in Nyeri, Kenya. In 1985, the former chairman, Mr Bhimji Depar Shah and his two sons Vimal Shah and Tarun Shah saw a growing need in the African market for soap products. They relocated to Nairobi, and set up a soap manufacturing plant. Bidco only produced three soap products; Kuku, Sabasaba and White Star.

In 1991, Bidco set up a state of the art refinery in Thika. The growth and expansion continued by Bidco acquiring various brands from other companies such as Elianto from Unga Group in 1994 and Kimbo and Cowboy from Unilever in 2002. After a rocky start, overcoming challenges with distribution and marketing, Bidco managed to break into the market and became the success they are today.

In 2013, Bidco reported an annual turnover of more that USD 500 million. In the same year, Vimal Shah was ranked as the richest man in East Africa by Forbes with a net worth of USD 1.6 billion.

Here’s how you can achieve your own success:


Bidco was started by a family and believes that all employees and partners are a part of that family; the Bidco Family. They believe in Africa, which can be seen in their commitment to using local raw materials and making quality products that are affordable to all, regardless of their income. The company truly believes in their products, ensuring their quality and safety. They also work towards promoting a sustainable business practice with the elimination of waste, recycling and use of renewable energy.

In addition to this, Vimal Shah truly believes in being motivated by the desire to grow and improve the communities around him. He speaks against using money as a key motivator in his business and believes in empowering those around him to succeed.

“Money motivates you for a certain time, but when your basic needs are met it doesn’t motivate you anymore. My biggest inspiration today is to arouse the leader inside every other human being. I want them to know that they too can achieve their dreams. I was born here. I went to school here. Even for university I did not go to Harvard, I studied here. You too can do it.”

-Vimal Shah

If you’re looking to start a business venture, ensure that your business is in alignment with your personal goals, and vision. Let it be reflected in the way you interact with both your customers and employees. Of course when starting a business one of the main goals is to turn a profit and earn decent money however, this shouldn’t be your only motivator.


Bidco’s brands are designed to enhance the quality of daily life. Their purpose is to promote a Happy Healthy Living through spreading the goodness of mother-nature in all homes. The message is communicated via extensive advertising & media campaigns including strategically located billboards, promotions and special events. In addition to mainstream media and advertising, Bidco believes in being a Socially Responsible Corporation. This is the goal that informs the company’s focus on aiming at sustainability. This has been done through social investments in education, engagement with farmers and activities aimed at environmental conservation as well.  The company also works on a system aimed at producing zero waste.

Market your business. Let people know what you’re working on. Use the resources available to you such as social media, newspaper ads and if you can buy some airtime on local T.V and radio stations to promote your business.


When trying to build your business, you may come across sceptics and naysayers. Always have your goals in mind and focus on the big picture. “If you come with something new today they will give you 100 reasons why it won’t grow. That is why your own conviction is so important. Look at the best case scenario and the worst case scenario. Be persistent, never give up,”


Work with what you have and make the most out of your situation. Starting small allows you to learn the basics and teaches you how to manage your resources. You will also be able to lay down a strong foundation for when your business takes off and begins to grow. Starting small is necessary to build the required character traits to handle growth and success. There is truly no such thing as an overnight success. Most times, when we see someone take off and achieve massive success, it is because they have spent years behind the scenes refining their craft and building their business i.e. putting in their 10,000 hours. Shah’s advice is “start small, aim big and keep at it.”


Hire people that have the Same visions and goals as you in order to ensure that your company thrives. Hiring the right employees for your business is important no matter what kind of work you’re doing. Having quality employees will help your company run and grow. Vimal says; “The best thing about competency is that you can build it by employing people who have the skills to deliver what you need. And the concept of outsourcing manpower has made it easier to acquire competency in business.”

Also see:


Vimal Shah: How to become a successful entrepreneur

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