Meet Kerry Nasidai – OCA Project Leader

What led you to management consulting?

Throughout my younger years, I was always good at math so, when I got to university, studying Actuarial Science seemed like the obvious progression – thinking about probability and how we can use numbers to create practical solutions was exciting to me. Throughout that experience and a couple of work opportunities, I enjoyed the analysis aspect but also wanted to make sure that whatever I did was going to have a direct positive impact on society. After some research and interaction with a couple of people who had taken the same course and followed different paths, I learned about the growing entrepreneurial ecosystem in Africa, and how people are using investment into companies to create sustainable impact, and I realized that it was something I wanted to get involved in.

How did you join OCA?

Although I had already graduated and started working, my university still invited alumni to career fairs which is how I learned about Open Capital.  I hadn’t heard of the company before, but I was intrigued by their advisory work which was focused on small and growing businesses. Unfortunately, I was not able to make it for the session as I was working, but I did check out Open Capital’s website later to find out more. They had laid out a couple of case studies on the website and one story, in particular, stood out to me about a healthcare company that they advised. Open Capital helped the company to develop a strategy around how to sustainably scale their clinics and raise commercial funding to implement this. It was exactly what I wanted to be doing. So, I applied through the website and joined in 2016 as an Analyst.

How would you describe your role?

Being a project leader involves a variety of tasks including guiding my teams, engaging with clients, and developing content. Throughout, these different tasks I’m typically considering: (1) what value I can bring to the people on our teams (how can we work cohesively while providing stretch opportunities for myself and others?), (2) what value we can bring to our clients (thinking through why they came to us, why they couldn’t do the work themselves, and what support is most crucial for us to provide?) (3) what value client engagements have to the firm (determining how my work fits into OCA’s larger strategy, and which learnings can be applied to other segments of our work, etc).

What’s your experience been like at the firm?

I have enjoyed working at OCA. On a day to day basis, my work keeps me engaged as our work is very varied and involves significant problem solving – from smaller things like figuring out how to get a missing piece of information to prove an analysis, to bigger challenges like figuring out what to do in a scenario where we, for example, have been hired by a development partner to help company x raise financing, but their investment plans completely changed midway. It is a real rush once we figure out a solution.

On a broader scale, it has helped me refine my initial interest in impact investing through the opportunities it has given me to interact with different people, sectors, and businesses. I now have a deep understanding of the landscape, the role of different players, and how to use their strengths to support early-stage businesses.

Finally, I love to travel, and OCA has given me many opportunities to explore Africa! One of my most memorable trips was travelling to Egypt for client consultations and getting time to visit the pyramids and take camel rides in the desert with the team.

How is OCA different from other firms?

What sets OCA aside from other firms in the market is its culture around valuing curiosity and rational discourse. We have an amazing culture where everyone is willing to listen to your ideas and opinions regardless of your position, as long as you can present a sound rationale or research to back it up. As an employee, these aspects make me feel really empowered in terms of what I can do for myself or what I can do to help the market through our work; and has made me a more curious person in all aspects of my life.

What do you like to do outside of work?

It varies between relaxed activities like watching movies with my friends, trying new outdoor activities (just started horse riding lessons!), and traveling.

Interested in joining Open Capital? View our open roles here.