Carter Crockett, Karisimbi


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  • We are Dads… representing three families and 14 people… a miniature-community of its own. Also, there are now 4, 20-something young people that have joined us because they saw what we were setting out to do in Rwanda and chose to be a part of it in some way (2 as teachers, 1 as a ballet instructor, one as a business analyst/intern)
  • We are NOT….Mere ‘academics’ – we are practitionersMere ‘investors’ – build human capital 1stMere ‘consultants’ – we are committed to implementing strategies (not simply writing documents and lending advice)We ARE….We are ‘serious’… because we don’t believe in quick fixes… the most meaningful impact is made through long-term relationships and partnership with a few companiesWe are socially-motivated, but business minded
  • So why did we chose to move to a tiny, land-locked country known best (if at all) for its genocide?(the people featured in this picture are prisoners… many of them genocide perpetrators that still flood Rwanda’s prisons… 16 years afterward)There are a number of “Softer” reasons we chose to move here: Perhaps the Safest city in Africa (e.g. comfortable walking at night in our neighborhood/Kigali) Stability- President Kagame has ensured that this is one of the most stable countries on the continent- and he is about to be re-elected for 7 more years -There is palpable sense that God is doing something in Rwanda…. And that Kagame, in particular, is one of those God is using to get it done. Corruptionis low- a huge factor as relates to conducting business and attracting investment Common language spoken among all ethnic groups (Kinyarwanda) International Goodwill & HOPE- this country is on the rise… and they know it. Despite its troubled past, Rwanda has set out to be a role model for other African countries… E.g. People like Bill Gates, Rob Glazer (Real Networks), Joe Senegal (Costco), Tony Blair (ex- Prime Minister of UK), Bill Clinton, Rick Warren (Purpose-driven life; Saddleback)…. And people like us… we’re increasingly drawn to helping this small country… to play some role in helping it reach its ambitious goals… to ensure that it’s past does NOT define its future… to establish Rwanda as a model country in the region
  • Carter Crockett, Karisimbi

    1. 1. Guiding Ventures to Reach New HeightsA View from the Ground Carter Crockett Co-Founder and Partner, Karisimbi Business Partners TBN Annual Conference “Business Leadership to Fight Poverty” May 25, 2012
    2. 2. In 25 minutes or less… “TBN excels at compelling people withbusiness experience to meaningfully engage in the developing world”• Personal objective: • Present one man’s journey on this path • Direct the immense capacity in this room toward a lasting impact among the poor • Present a case for being transformed by the effort to transform others
    3. 3. My Atypical Career Path…
    4. 4. Karisimbi Partners is…• Carter Crockett, Ph.D. o Microsoft Marketer ->Entrepreneur ->Management Scholar o Core Competencies: Strategy; Marketing; Ethics• Dano Jukanovich o Westpoint ->Wharton ->AT&T ->Home Construction CEO o Core Competencies: Operations; Finance• Greg Urquhart o Westmont-> Technology Sales ->Microsoft Executive o Core Competencies: Sales Leadership; HR Development….and now including four full-time Rwandan, Kenyanand American employees…. and seeking more
    5. 5. Who & What isKarisimbi Partners?
    6. 6. Karisimbi Partners is… Our VISION… To alleviate poverty, shape industries and inspire leaders… one business at a time Our METHOD… To establish excellent, effective and sustainable management capacity for high-impact Rwandan ventures Our MOTIVATION…The love of Christ compels us to use our best where the need is greatest
    7. 7. Karisimbi Partners is…• A partner for reaching new heights… o Socially-motivated… but business-minded o „Serious‟: committed to living and working alongside Rwandan businesses for years o Strategic-level (even interim) management o Dedicated to world-class expertise o Local, regional and International background o Practical owner/manager perspective
    8. 8. Why RWANDA?• Safety & Stability - #1 Business Reformer• Corruption low• Common language & culture- Kinyarwanda• Greatest (un)natural resource: HOPE
    9. 9. Rwanda: HOPE is a NecessityRwanda‟s Vision 2020:”…Some will say that this is too ambitious and that we are not being realistic whenwe set this goal. Others say that it is a dream. But, what choice does Rwanda have? To remain in the current situation is simply unacceptable for the Rwandan people. Therefore, there is a need to devise andimplement policies as well as mobilize resources to bring about the necessary transformation to achieve the Vision.”
    10. 10. Why is our Unique Approach Necessary?• “Missing Middle”: the engine for stable jobs and a growing economy is underdeveloped• Greatest Need: Management Capacity (not $) Large companies 90 (100+ employees) Small/mid-sized companies 500 (30-100 employees) Micro-businesses; 120,000+ mostly informal
    11. 11. Experts Predicted Failure• “It will never work because….” • Nobody has attempted it before • You don‟t know Rwanda or their language • They are content with free NGO or Development Partner advice • Their education level is too low • They only want financial capacity ($$$) • They aren‟t used to paying advisors • Even if they say they‟ll pay…they won‟t
    12. 12. Karisimbi Partners is…
    13. 13. What has been Achieved for Clients?• Secured 52 clients in ~27 industry sectorso Achieved break-even after 1.5 years (profitable)o Delivered over 28 Business Plans, Feasibility Studies or Turnaround Planso Long-term advisor & strategic partner for 8 companieso Identified & placed 4+ Management Executiveso 3,500+ Employees impacted at client companieso 50,000+ farmer household members impacted
    14. 14. Other Achievementso Retained by the Prime Minister & Ministry of Trade to create “Turnaround Business Plans” for 16 companies been deemed strategically importanto Engaged by foreign investors to a) find investments and b) manage the investments after they‟ve been made• Placed 10 Harvard MBA students with 4 clients• Consultants for 6 of the top Holding Companieso Investments & restructuring worth $3.7 Million+o Invited to advise the new President of Malawi on economic policy and private sector development
    15. 15. Search for IMPACTConsumers Value ChainAgri-ProcessorsFarmers
    16. 16. How Did we get Here?
    17. 17. “It Could Have Failed…”• If we had come alone (3 families were key)• If we did not „gel‟ into an a effective team• If we had come three years prior (e.g. 2006)• If we had visited periodically or engaged part-time• If we were not humble, flexible and very patient• If we had to spend 50%+ of our time fundraising• If we did not find good friends and initial clients• If we said “yes” too often• If we did not rest and accommodate family life• If any of us had a significant health problem
    18. 18. Surprising Discoveries• Being “out of control” = good for you o God begins to move when/where we lose steam• Perfect job = great work with great friends• Often, Africa gets the „scraps‟ from the West• With each year, our impact grows o Deeper insights into real problems & best solutions o More and deeper relationships (e.g. trust) o Growing # of opportunities o Grander scale of interventions• When „calling‟ becomes a „curse‟…
    19. 19. Recommendations• It takes a team to transform the village (2+ friends)• Commitment (and sacrifice) is required (2+ years)• Bring the best you can give o Plenty of wasted and duplicated resources already here… good intentions are necessary, but not sufficient• Best to build from the ground->up o Beats top->down or outside->in every time o Bespoke solutions are typically best & always relevant• At its best, transformation is mutual o Live and struggle with the people you want to serve o Working together dispels „donor mentality‟; builds dignity
    20. 20. Wrap-up & THANKS “Further Up and Further In” – C.S. Lewis• Looking to add experienced business advisors • Seeking opportunities to own/manage You: Use business as your opportunity to transform and be transformed Q & A time Contact: