Strathmore Business School is where the idea of Genteel was born and we were glad going back from the 17th-24th of September, not to study, but rather on the basis of a design thinking analysis on our business. Here, a number of six students in the business field took an interest in our company and were therefore able to study our business model, our finances, structure and exactly what we do on a daily basis. “We reached out to Genteel as part of a class project whose goal was to work with a small Kenyan enterprise to understand the strategic, operational and financial challenges they are facing and thereafter come up with workable solutions to these challenges.” Says Basil Kandaya, who was the team leader and is also studying Msc in Development Finance.
Asked why Genteel was a great pick, Basil highlighted that the Genteel brand is one that is very innovative and a unique identifier among other players in the market. They were also particularly struck by the fact that Genteel’s strategy incorporates technology into its business by focusing on e-commerce to drive sales, leveraging on the digital trends that provide their customers with an interesting purchasing journey.
A business model basically represents the internal logic of any particular firm. It allows managers to simplify the inner workflow of the company and identify the building blocks that bring value to the market. When looking at Genteel, among other fashion brands, both local and international, the focus is on four main factors, which include value proposition, customer segmentation, communication and distribution channels, and a core activity in the business.
Taking a look at customer segmentation for example, while luxury brands ideally focus on what we call ‘Net worth individuals’, where the price point is uninfluential in the purchase decision, normal brands may think of giveaways and discounts as a way to attract customers.
They therefore came up with recommendations on how we can scale up our fashion business in terms of better cash-flow management, best practices in advertising, a more synchronized organization structure and effective distribution channels. Asked about some of the recommendations, this is what Basil had to say. “The business is at a growth stage where it requires robust operational and financial structures to attract more customers; We made a proposal to the business to improve inventory management and introduce a strict credit policy, which will in the event improve cash-flow management, which is critical for a small business to flourish.”
With the recommendations, what is left for Genteel is to re-design and implement its strategy and see just how much more the brand needs to put in with resources already in existence and those that it is yet to earn or own. We are glad that this took place and excited about the opportunities for forging a sustainable partnership with Strathmore Business School moving forward, whose aim would be to collaborate in grooming up and coming businesses in the fashion industry.
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