Daniel Kung’u is the Finance Manager at Superior Homes Kenya.
I have been fortunate to have worked only in my area of expertise. After graduating, I joined Stima Sacco and worked for two years in the Finance Department where I was exposed to various finance tasks.
I later joined Superior Homes Kenya as a Finance Assistant and rose up the ranks to the position of the Acting Finance Manager, after the position fell vacant at the beginning of 2012. After a few months in the position, I was confirmed as the Finance Manager, a position I have held to date.
Being the Head of Finance for both the real estate and hospitality arms of this business, I had to spearhead a working system, especially for our hospitality entities. Establishing this system was not an easy task, but it was necessary to ensure we are able to attain our financial objectives.
I also realized that despite the seemingly perfect systems presented by various service providers during the procurement process, one could only test their compatibility once installed and hotel operations commence.
I learnt that Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems installation should not be rushed, and a lot of work needs to be done before operationalization of the same.
My biggest money mistake has been passing up on opportunities to make money. I would not say that I have made a decision that led me to lose money.
Back in 2012, one of my friends advised me to invest in the stock market but I was reluctant since I did not want to take a risk and I was not sure if the investment would pay off. After a few months, he sold the stocks and made substantial money out of the transaction.
The reason why I consider this as my biggest money mistake is that despite knowing that my dad used to make money in stock markets, I was not able to take that risk and invest and maybe it could have been one of many good stock market transactions.
From this experience, I learnt that you do not need to be too analytical and one needs to take a calculated risk that they can live with the consequences if it doesn’t work.
My greatest career moment was being promoted to the position of Finance Manager in less than a year after joining Superior Homes Kenya. After the Finance Manager whom I worked under left, the company embarked on a recruitment process for a more experienced candidate to fill up the position, but they could not find a suitable candidate.
Since I was holding the position temporarily, the Managing Director and General Manager after a few months appreciated the work I was doing and offered me the opportunity to serve as Finance Manager.
I have never taken this opportunity for granted and that has been reflected in the tremendous growth of the company under my tenure. I am fortunate to not only have grown as an individual but also become a better manager to those under me.
Currently, I tend to be more analytical and take up investments that are less risky. Previously, I would have been more aggressive and made investments with higher risks since the higher the risk the higher the return.
I save my money through a Sacco. I find this means of saving effective since it instills financial discipline as I am not able to easily access the money saved for a certain period. At the start of my career, I opened an account with another bank for the sole purpose of saving, which was different from the one my salary was being channelled.
In the long run, this proved to be ineffective since I had to incur standing order charges, and monthly account maintenance fees for the savings account and sometimes I would make impulse purchases since the account had an ATM.
Financial discipline is a necessity if you want to live a life void of unnecessary financial pressures. Saving and investing when you are still energetic is good, living within your means will guarantee your peace of mind and a simple budget of your income and expenditure will go a long way.
Taking loans from financial institutions especially to buy assets that do not depreciate in value such as a residential home is always a wise decision that one cannot regret.
A version of this profile feature on Daniel Kung’u of Superior Homes Kenya was also published in the Saturday Magazine. The Saturday Magazine is a publication of the Nation Media Group.