“Jambo!” – Kenyan tradition synergised with internationality
No, this isn’t about the well-known pop song “Coco Jambo” by Mr. President. The traditional greeting in Kenya is a hearty “Jambo” (Hallo) in Swahili. Our journey today takes us to a country 10,000 km away, to be more precise to Nairobi. Here, in a dreamlike atmosphere between endless horizons, snow-covered mountains and lonely acacias, you will find a small spot of Kenyan soil accommodating around 84 Kronese.
Here, life is idyllically peaceful and almost no one ever seems to hurry. It’s currently ten past one in the afternoon Kenyan local time, and the staff are making their way to the canteen for a hearty lunch of chapatis, githeri, pilau and ugali. These national dishes rank among the Kenyans’ favourites. Occasionally there are international recipes as well on the menu of the Krones canteen in Nairobi, but hearty traditional fare is what our colleagues in Kenya like best. Pizza, döner and co. are rather less common.
Traditionally, by the way, people eat with their hands. This applies particularly to ugali, which closely resembles maize porridge and is pressed together to form a lump (or as the Bavarians would put it, a “glob”) and then eaten with your right hand together with meat and gravy.
Kenyans, by the way, are in most cases extremely serene and dogged people. It’s rare to see anyone in a hurry here – as everyone knows, slow and steady wins the race. A viewpoint unequivocally embraced by the Kenyans. When it comes to meetings and appointments, it’s not at all uncommon for these to begin 15 minutes after the agreed time. Well, the Kenyans simply don’t take punctuality as seriously as the Germans do.
Hakuna matata is the watchword!
After a nice long lunch break, the staff, satisfactorily fortified, embark on their afternoon tasks. People here work from 8 in the morning to 5 in the afternoon on average. The Kenyans are particularly keen on close family bonding, so the late afternoon and the evening are traditionally reserved for your own family. Then the clan (not infrequently three generations of them) gathers in the kitchen to cook, chop vegetables and roll chapatis in harmonious teamwork. Much to the delight of my Kenyan colleague Irene, who emphasises that Krones provides the best options for smoothly combining work with a proper family life.
But if you’re imagining large production halls and loud machinery out there in Kenya, you would be wrong. The Krones East Africa LCS Center is a dedicated service facility, where only individual parts and spares are stored, and otherwise everything revolves around supporting and progressing the sales operation, plus the service network in the region. Besides service technicians, engineers, financial and logistical staff, there are also numerous other people from a huge range of different specialisms working at the service facility in Nairobi. Our delightful colleague Irene Mutegi, who was kind enough to answer some questions for me about the work/life balance at the facility in Nairobi, works as an assistant in Human Resources, for example. So I’d like to say a big thank-you here to her for all her help and her time. Asante sana Irene!
Young recruits, too, are optimally supported and encouraged in Nairobi. Training for apprentice electronics technicians or mechanics is organised in conjunction with our partner companies Coca Cola and Centurion Systems, for example. This training project, which lasts about eight weeks, can be comprehended as a shortened basic training course. Our sandwich course student Mario here relates his experiences in the “TiA” project a few years ago.
Traditional family live is here harmonised with international corporate culture. All this, together with the Kenyans’ warm-hearted affability, makes our facility in Nairobi into something unique and very special. And here ends our journey to a land of contrasts. In the upcoming weeks and months, we shall also, of course, be reporting on other international facilities. After all, do you already know everything about the facilities in Nittenau, Rosenheim and Neutraubling?
Kwa heri! (Goodbye) and see you again soon!