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Leading the Industry

  Aug 19, 2011

The Real Estate Executive Program was a success again this year. Attendees included Joe Mungai of Tamarind Properties, Mumo Museve from Planning Systems and representatives from the Shelter Afrique, Kenya Commercial Bank and the Ministry of Housing, among others.

Dr. Laila Macharia, the course leader, started off by welcoming participants and explaining the relevance of the program in light of changing trends in the property industry. She explained that, with the market entry of investors from all over the world, the industry has to adapt rapidly to reach globally competitive standards. In another session, Laila explained how companies can anticipate regulatory change to gain competitive advantage. But the most intriguing session was a local case study highlighting the risk that faces Kenyan projects at different nodes in the building supply chain. This gave participants the skills to understand how to categorize, assess and mitigate project risks. This foundation blended well with a panel of external experts who engaged participants on successful site management.

Dr. Tony Ciochetti from the Center for Real Estate at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology (MIT) was the international faculty again this year. Under Tony’s leadership, the Center for Real Estate has spread its influence all over the world, offering property development courses in China, Portugal and the UAE. Students were impressed once more by Tony’s deep and wide experience as he imparted world-class principles for market assessment and financial analysis using real-life examples. This year, the course introduced an additional element of after-hours consulting, allowing students to bring forward any problem or concept for feedback from the course instructors.

In her sessions, Winnie Ogutu from Lattice Consulting, guided participants through the strategic planning process. Students particularly enjoyed the session on property market cycles where she showed how property companies can exploit rather than fear cycles. She then facilitated a case from Mexico that illustrated how a small developer grew to eventually be listed on the stock exchange by adopting a supply chain strategy for property development.

The last day offered a hands-on experience with green building and was crowned by an Industry Roundtable entitled “The Chinese are Coming”. The panelists engaged the audience in an enlightening discussion on accessing project finance from China, strategies for successful procurement in China and learning site management techniques for Chinese contractors. Graduation followed with participants expressing enthusiasm and optimism that with the knowledge gained from the program, they were well equipped to compete with the best in the world.

Click here to view pictures from the program.

For more information on REEP, click here.

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