The series of “Employee Spotlight” articles will showcase the individuals behind the Quercus Group team. Misha Njeri Madsen is the most recent addition to the Quercus Group team. Her current role focuses on establishing cross-national partnerships between Kenya and Denmark.
Tell us about yourself
I am originally from Nairobi, Kenya but moved to Denmark 5 years ago to build a family with my Danish husband. During this time I completed a master’s degree from Copenhagen Business School in International Marketing and Management. In Kenya I attended the University of Nairobi and Moi University where I was greatly involved in AIESEC. In this global student organization I took a leadership role, where I had the opportunity to inspire other members. My responsibilities were also in marketing, partnership management, and facilitating international conferences. So far I have had the chance to work in three different countries, Kenya, Ghana, and Denmark, in fields such as advertising, microfinance and banking.
What’s your current position? Can you give us a brief overview of your tasks at Quercus Group and what motivates you?
I am a marketing and liaison officer. I am in charge of facilitating Kenyan business opportunities and communicating them to selected Danish companies. I am also coordinating the Danish - Kenyan partnerships. For example I am currently planning a Kenyan business delegation to Denmark.
I am passionate and excited about the potential opportunities that these partnerships can bring to both parties. For developing countries, it provides access to first world solutions and accelerates their growth. At the same time, for developed countries, it is an opportunity to expand into new markets and participate in the economic and social development of developing nations.
What would you say is the main difference between Kenyan and Danish business culture?
Based on my experience, I would say that it is the hierarchy of the two countries. Comparatively there is less hierarchy in the Danish workplace. Due to this, there is more openness and employee participation. As a result, ideas are easily expressed by everyone, and quickly implemented. On the Kenyan side, there tends to be more hierarchy so people are weary of expressing their ideas or challenging their leader.
How does Kenya perceive Denmark?
Unfortunately, I don’t think many Kenyans know about Denmark. If any Kenyans know about Denmark they mostly know about it from Danida. Many Danish development assistance programs are happening in Kenya towards poverty reduction and agricultural development projects, through Danida.
How do you think Kenya can specifically benefit from Danish ideas?
With climate change becoming such an issue, Kenya can benefit from the solutions that Denmark has already explored. Denmark has already developed strong competencies in renewable energy and green growth that a country like Kenya can benefit from and leapfrog its development.
How is your current job connected with your personal goals?
One of the things I would like to see is a valuable outcome for both Kenya and Denmark, from one the partnerships we are setting up. I would also like to see an internationally competitive cluster be developed in Kenya, especially in the field of green growth and agribusiness.
What are some rewards and challenges of your everyday job?
The most rewarding part of my job is getting a chance to converse with Danish companies about the opportunities in Kenya, and the interest they show towards these prospects. Of course, when working with different parties there are always up and downs and projects can take a lot of time until implementation, but I guess it is normal when working with diverse international stakeholders.
How do you relax when you’re not at work?
Every evening I look forward to playing with my son Noah who is one and a half. I also enjoy going to the fitness centre, reading books and meeting my friends at cafes or restaurants.