Having grown up in a manufacturing town, I have always been fascinated by the manufacturing and processing industries due to the enormous employment opportunities they provide local communities. So, when I found out that my first engagement at Open Capital would be to support 254 Brewing Co, a craft beer manufacturer, and Global Slacker Enterprises, home of Booch raw kombucha and Grounded nontoxic cleaning, I was super excited. It meant working everyday with Megan Root, who is the co-founder of both organizations. Megan had worked with a few manufacturing entities in Kenya and China before co-founding both organizations.
254 Brewing Co was founded in 2019 and uses over 20 specially selected malts to create many different beers that have no added chemicals. Global Slacker manufactures over a dozen cleaning products ranging from soaps, toilet cleaners, hand sanitizers etc. It is also one of the few entities in Kenya that makes Kombucha, a healthy drink made from fermented tea. As both organizations grew, the team was having difficulty in keeping track of financial data across multiple brands and preparing management reports. They relied on a manual process which was tedious and time consuming. They also wanted to align their financial statements with the needs of their stakeholders. That is where I came in. In addition to my ACCA, I had worked extensively with Enterprise Resource Planning Systems (ERPs) which gave me an idea of what needed to be done.
One of Open Capital’s core values is believing in others. This value is manifested especially in Arcadia engagements where the firm provides Analysts the opportunity to work directly with senior management of organizations to solve their most pressing challenges. I went through rigorous training prior to this engagement and received adequate support throughout the placement to help me succeed.
Over a six-month period, I supported both organizations by setting up a separate business software that could track and provide real time data relevant to the business and trained the team on its use. I also worked closely with Megan and Martin, the finance manager, to revamp the organizations’ financial statements templates and conduct an analysis on each product’s unit economics.
As a result of these efforts, management reports went from taking four hours to prepare, to being available in real-time. Additionally, Global Slacker was able to obtain a cash injection from an investor who better understood their financial position. Working with Megan not only gave me the opportunity to contribute to 254 and Global Slacker’s growth, but it also helped me learn firsthand how business leaders think and navigate the challenges facing their organizations. I look forward to cheering on both companies as they grow and expand their presence within the region.
OCA Analyst, Anthony Wainaina
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