Saturday, January 27, 2007

Game over, Microsoft here I come...

So its time to break the news- I have signed on with Microsoft for a full-time role as a product manager in the Office Enterprise division where I interned last summer. Without going deep into the factors that made me decide, I will say that lifestyle made was a major influence in the decision:

Factors considered:
- I am passionate and have always loved technology- and the opportunity to marry this up with business in an organization that is balanced in engineering vs marketing.
- Ability to move around not only core software, but emerging media and consumer electronics product areas.
- Work with truly smart, driven, diverse people not only composed of type A personalities.
- Seattle area as an emerging areas for non-profits (another passionate area)- I will be able to give back to communities, including work on Africa related projects.
- Seattle as a great area to live, yet not quite being too far away from Silicon Valley and rest of California.

My life at business school has now changed! No more recruiting has opened me up to do a lot more within the GSB community. I am also spending considerable time building relationships with entrepreneurs in the valley.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Meanwhile, back on the other side of the world...

Happy New Year everyone!
Its great to be back at Stanford after a much needed rest. Although I am excited to be back in California, half my mind is still in Tanzanian. Firstly, I should mention how proud I am to be Tanzania right now since the appointment of the new deputy of the UN Secretary General- Dr Asha-Rose Migiro. She is also the first woman to hold the post. Finally, I think Tanzania may finally stand out on to the map!

It is worth mentioning my last trip within Tanzania to visit my grandfather- at the age of 85, he runs a small drug store/pharmacy at a coastal town in the north of Tanzania. In discussing with him, he outlined his plans to open up a small clinic and healthcare training center as an extension of the shop on a micro-scale, focusing specifically on quick diagnosis and clinical tests. This struck me as very innovative, as it strives to tackle the stark lack of available and affordable healthcare in rural areas. Often the sick will travel miles only to be misdiagnosed by a busy and overstretched doctor- the results are often fatal, as everyone is "assumed" to have a case of malaria, when it could be something else.
I returned to the GSB within 3 days to attend a meeting where there is a huge effort to build a healthcare worker training center in Tanzania that will effectively double the no. of healthcare workers in Tanzania. Question is, after that where will they be deployed? In the already over-crowded hospitals in urban centers? What about rural areas? It turns out, the idea my granddad stumbled on is a concept in micro-franchising- known as "CFWshops". It is clear in my mind that just as microfinance is revolutionizing credit in the developing world- the concept of micro-clinics/drugs stores in rural will have a huge impact.