International Finance Corporation (IFC) in partnership with the Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB and Maxinet in a continued knowledge building effort have trained personnel from 60 small and medium hotels on managements skills.
During a workshop at Serena hotel in Kigali City, Jean Mukunzi, a consultant specialized in Human Resource and a trainer with IFC said that from a survey carried out, most small and medium hotel owners are not qualified to run their businesses.
“During the surveys we made, we found that some of the hotel owners were once transporters, selling fuel and later changed to hotel owning. Others just changed their homes into hotels. They are not qualified to hotel owning,” he said.
This follows a series of trainings that IFC has conducted previously on the big hotels like Serena , Laico Umubano Mille Collin and suppliers to those hotels in trying to strengthen the linkages by increasing the quality of services to counter external competition.
Ignace Rusenga the IFC’s Senior Operations officer said that, “we did a study at the end of this year and hotels contribute 20 percent to the budget of the country.
But we found that the big hotels are still importing some products yet Rwandans are producing some of these products.”
The training includes four components that include linkages, centre of business solutions and value chain development and is targeting sectors of energy, agriculture, schools, telecommunications and mining.
Just like the previous training with suppliers, most small and medium hotels were found not to have business plans that project the trends of their businesses.
But some of the small and medium business managers also pointed out lack of skills and finances as the major issues they are facing.
“Our skills are still low we need to train personnel like in record keeping but in customer care, Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has provided training. We need finances to improve facilities,” revealed Amos Gasasira, manager of Centre Bethamie hotel in Kibuye.
Mukunzi from a survey, mentioned major issues faced by hotels as inadequate skilled labour, poor access to market and market information, lack of structured value chain, low customer care standards, poor quality of goods and services, operate without business plans therefore no mission, vision and objectives.
Jacob Tumwine the owner of Moriah Hill resort specified that hotels don’t have access to long term credit.
“We need long term loans like 20 years like in other states not three years,” he said.
Gasasira suggested that Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) design a credit package for hotels.
Reacting, Maurice Toroitich, Managing Director KCB said that in order to access credit hotels should, “minimize risk in your business so that internal controls are good, train and up skill and develop management.”
For Jamie Majoro, Manager of Banana hotel in Kiyovu after understanding the significance of a business plan he suggested that despite having one in place, it should be revised.
“I have ideas for a new business plan. To be written by trainers, the owner and the manager should participate. The first one was written by someone else and I didn’t participate,” he said.
The programs also aim at understanding the hotels’ training and technical assistance needs. And at a subsidized charge IFC has provided the business edge and SME toolkit that will help in rectifying any business issues faced by the businesses.