VOLUNTEER CONSULTANT

Chike Nweke

“Breath of fresh air!”

Chike is a senior consultant with experience in business improvement at FedEx and Amey Plc. He has an MBA from Cass Business School with expertise in Public Sector, Home Affairs, Transport, and Asset Management. Chike worked with Mugeni Mercy Mugeni who runs Kabuha Restaurant. It is located within a shopping complex in a LBD (Local Business District) in Limbe Malawi and has been in operation for two years.

“I volunteered as I am originally from Nigeria, so this appealed to me as I wanted to give something back to the continent of Africa. I was also attracted to the role because I would like to further deepen my managing consultancy career experience. As a Grow Movement Consultant I knew I would be able to help inform decisions that have real transformative effects, affecting peoples' lives beyond financial levels."

"Our first phone call was very good actually, probably the easiest of the lot because I was interested in her not her business in order to gain her trust. Then I proceeded to understand how her business was performing and how she structured her daily operations and then I wanted to back my hypotheses with numbers. I looked at her P/L account analysis, forecasting and budget setting. Our calls varied from 20 minutes to two hours; depending on what I set out to achieve on the call. Our main objective was to streamline the weekly budget to stem cash flow challenges to form a basis from which to expand."

"Between sessions I would make sure II had done any analysis I needed to do before the session and following up with Mercy on her assignments to see if I had explained properly and if I needed to help in any way. I didn’t rely on email too much, only to summarise our sessions and also as a proxy to keep the Malawi team informed of progress."

"In terms of not having been to Malawi I did not find it too much of a problem. Probably one of the simplest and most basic statements my Strategy Professor at Cass said to me once: Doesn't matter how complicated a business seems all it comes down to 'is revenue coming in and costs going out'! Identify and understand how each of those levers works and everything else flows from there."

"In terms of cultural differences, as I come from Nigeria, I was pretty aware of some of the cultural differences and the challenges which were likely to come up. The hardest part of the project for me was being patient. Patience is a huge virtue in this line of consulting as the pace of business is very different to the world I currently work in."

What would you say to other volunteers thinking about joining Grow Movement?

"This is a pretty rewarding experience because this goes beyond donating money to a charity. This is your own time which sometimes people can't put a value on, in helping someone grow and sustain their livelihood."

  • Ashridge Business School
  • MCA
  • Cass Business School
  • Institute of Leadership and Management
  • Bull Dog Trust
  • Westminster Business School
  • UK Aid
  • Turkish Airlines
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