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Making moves in Business Development, Fuzu's Luizer Makena.

An old dog can definitely learn new tricks too, always be ready for anything.

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An old dog can definitely learn new tricks too, always be ready for anything.

First, she takes your breath away. But it’s not until you get to know her and engage in a conversation that you’ll be impressed with her exceptional intelligence. Luizer Makena who is a Business Development Manager at Fuzu leaves nothing to chance when it comes to business, blazing her own trail instead of following the lead of others. She does it with her heart and conviction hence remaining true to her passion.  

Luizer shared with us why she believes nothing can be achieved without passion, grit and determination. 

How best would you describe what you do at Fuzu?

I tend to think of my role as the engine of the organization, a crucial component like the heart which of course is the driver of the business. My main job is to drive and improve Fuzus’ market position and achieve optimal financial growth.

Is this your dream career? 

Hahaha, my younger self would laugh at this question. Growing up my dreams kept changing. I once wanted to be a lawyer, actress, singer, engineer and to some extent, a flight attendant but my height sadly disappointed me. So your guess is as good as mine, I stopped dreaming and started living. 

What attracted you to Business Development and how has your career journey been so far?

Rocky at the beginning and fulfilling in the present. I also cannot recall any particular instance where I had a light bulb moment and fell in love with Business Development, however, have always had a knack for the pursuance of excellence, regardless, just ask my siblings, they will back me up. But they might bring up embarrassing evidence so please don’t.

So far, my role has made me realise that I am an ambivert. Given my role and the day to day duties, this is a plus if not a bonus to making my days lively and worth looking forward too. 

Throughout your 6 year Business Development career, what’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced and how did you overcome it?

The biggest challenge is payment collections!

The best thing is always to clear the air without damaging the relationship; it is always easy attacking an irate client when their guard is down. It could be after hours where they are unwinding at a private members’ club or during the weekend when you just happen to be ‘playing golf’ even if you have no idea what a ‘birdie’ is and you are busy looking for a bird while others are clapping and walking away gracefully.  Making the client feel important always works. In the end, it is a win-win with a little bit of your identity in crisis. 

Is there anything you wish to have done differently in your career?

This sounds like a trick question, Jussi (My CEO) will read this you know. 

I think the only thing would be, letting go of a dead horse (lead or prospect) quickly and hopping onto the next. Seriously, my tracker can tell tales. But I learnt my lesson and now the horizon looks brighter than Rihanna’s Diamonds.

What have you learnt at Fuzu that you will always carry with you?

An old dog can definitely learn new tricks too, always be ready for anything. ‘Startup syndrome.’

What’s that one book that you always recommend and why?

Jack Canfields’- The Success Principles, because it made me believe in the power of the subconscious mind.

In 2017 the Weinstein scandal sparked a global conversation about sexual harassment which led to many women sharing their experiences through using the #MeToo hashtag. Do you think much is being done to combat this vice? And how should ladies handle unwanted sexual advances?

Oh boy, I am a firm believer in girl power so this might take a minute, I will try to contain myself.

First of all, #TimesUp (look it up)

Secondly, IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT ladies. 

Thirdly, don’t be afraid to speak out, you are helping another sister out. 

Lastly, as women we need to stick up for each other, look out for one another and always uplift, encourage and celebrate each other. 

That is the only way #MeToo and #TimesUp will be #Forgiven


What piece of advice were you given by a mentor that you take to heart today?

I am not sure this cuts as advice but first, a standing ovation goes to my High School Math teacher, Mrs. Ochieng’ for her patience with me but also for her famous greetings every morning, ‘Never Give Up’. Those three words have seen me through the darkest and most distraught days of my life and career. Never giving up makes you stronger, better and wiser.

Another piece of advice is, ‘Always be prepared, have plan A, B, C and D’ maybe it’s the girl scout in me or my OCD but it has worked thus far.

You are a quite outgoing and adventurous, what’s that one place you’ve travelled to that you would like to visit for the second time?

My number one destination will always be Germany. Specifically, Stuttgart. You all know my love for the 3 stars. Mercedes-Benz has its headquarters in Stuttgart and a museum that I was fortunate to visit; I couldn’t believe the detail that goes into the final product that is the car. Seriously it is the best or nothing at all.

Second place is Paris; the movies don’t do it justice at all. Paris is not only beautiful but everything about it makes you warm and fuzzy inside no matter what kind of day you’ve had. The roadside restaurants were my favourite and the wine is insane.

Snapchat or Instagram?

I am an IG girl, pictures give snaps of my life. Just the way I like it (wink).

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Written by

Kelvin Mokaya

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