From a pharmacist to a hospitality consultant i got to chat with David on what led him down this journey with Tamu hospitality and catering consultancy. At Tamu they saw gap in the hospitality sector, and with their experience in the industry they assist  clients to achieve greater profitability, growth, and professionalism. 

Tell us about you:

I am a consultant director at Tamu hospitality and catering consultancy together with my two partners. I began my career in healthcare sector (pharmacist) but few years ago I was drawn into the hospitality industry where by, am well-versed with ten years of hotel experience under my belt.


Your best social media platform?

My best social media is twitter; I love the audience and interaction that happens on that platform.


What do you use social media for mostly?

I use social media mostly for business to connect me to the business word/clients and to stay updated with current events/entertainment and friends.


What did you study?

I studied pharmacy, but later on I decided to focus on my passion which was in the hospitality industry. I enrolled in customer care service and business development & management.


Tell us more about Tamu hospitality and catering consultancy:   

Tamu consultancy is specialist in business development & management. Skilled in branding, marketing, sales and strategic business planning/ organization. We help companies build new markets and brands; develop sustainable & exciting business models, whilst implementing the best practices in management, service, and system training. No job is too big or small.


Why the hospitality sector?  

My dad introduced me to the coffee drinking culture, every time we would visit a coffee shop I would be mesmerized with the barista playing with his machine and so I ended up having a great passion for coffee and that’s how I found myself being behind the barista counter at Dormans from where I grew to senior management personnel in the industry.

(As Tamu we saw the gap in the hospitality sector, and with our experience in the industry we assist our clients to achieve greater profitability, growth, and professionalism)



How is overall branding changing?

Kenya is changing rapidly, so is branding, there is stiff competition  within the market, it’s even more important to stand out, that’s why even leading brands work hard to remain relevant in the market and retain customer loyalty.


What can you say has been the defining moment of your career?

This happened when I walked out of my former job because we could not agree with my employer on the level of professionalism I was projecting, only the next morning to be called by one of his loyal customer who had noticed my level of professionalism to go and advice on his restaurant which was in crisis. That’s when I knew I had to be in a different place and the rest is history, that’s how my consulting career started.


What are some of the challenges you face with clients?

Most of the clients invest so heavily on machines and buildings they forget the need to invest in staff and good business practices, this very often leads to a poor returns and weak company performance. It is for this reason we would argue that quality advice is essential, particularly if investors don’t have industry experience. The other issue is clients expect an overnight profit, rather than seeking the advice of professionals that would cost reasonable returns and project realistic break-even points; this protects investors from under investment and premature business failure. And with all these challenges they end up forgetting the major area which is to have the budget for consulting services

What is your take on mixing family or friendship with business?

What happens at work stays at work and vice versa. Business run by family members and friends fail more frequently than they succeed, due to family members not necessary having the requisite skills.


What are some of the challenges entrepreneurs face in Kenya?

The short cut culture is the main problem, leading to weak delivery and poor performance. Financing is an issue every industry understands, Kenya is a risk adverse economy and investors look for quick returns, rather than taking a longer-term position that would allow for a deeper penetration to the market.


How do you manage to keep your private life off social media?

I have always ensured that my social media remains strictly for business content, and I always try as much as I can not to post about my private life.


Tell us something about David that would surprise us:

I always have to have a bottle of water or tic tac during meetings, it helps me drive shyness away and gives me confidence.


Who are the Top 5 male entrepreneurs you look up to?

Mr. Simon Kabu

Mr. Aliko Dagote

Mr. Jack ma

Mr. Jeff Bezos

Mr. Reid Hoffmann


What advice would you give young you?

Always follow your dreams, do not stop and one day you will thank yourself for not giving up.


If you could be the president of Kenya what would you do differently in terms of employment creation and creating a thriving environment for businesses?

Reduce the cost of doing business in the country and invest more in innovation hubs which will be a great source of employment for the youth.


Kindly tell us your parting shot in regards to both life and work:

Let your passion be your product, brand it and market it and money will follow you.

Find him on twitter- David jonnes (@davidjonnes2)

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