The Business Program had a semester pre wrap-up week last week. One month to go for this semester and now it’s important to sum up what has been achieved and re-examine the direction to be taken. Since working from Panama City, the Business Program folks (Victor, Sebastian and Aki) might be seen almost as a separate unit from the rest of the Kalu Yala operations. This is partly true because at the moment most of the work the business program is performing require their presence in the city. The Business Program strives to boost a positive growth of the company and for other programs to get the financial support they need to function and keep developing their field operations.
As a matter of fact, the Business Program can be seen as a link between the wild and running errands in the city. These two environments are then tied together to enable the Business Program to concentrate in developing the structures and occasionally work together with the teams in the frontier.
From an intern’s point of view, I can say that the business internship has been both challenging and interesting. What we originally went for as we started working has now been partly achieved and a new pace is to be set for Kalu Yala’s future internships. Efficient use of our current assets in the city, in San Miguel and in the Valley have all been scoped out and plans to accelerate growth and transformation of Kalu Yala Internships are now ready to be implemented. The Business Program has been working long hours trying to figure out the required plans of action and numbers behind them to establish a thorough picture of the next necessary steps to take. A new strategy to comply throughout the internship company is now one step closer to be achieved.
Nevertheless, to hit your target is not always as easy as it looks like. Changes in company structure are not something to be taken lightly and developing operations is hard work. The list of challenges to tackle is long.
First you have to assess the current state of operations, and then figure out the capacity and potential of your assets. Once you have outlined the proposed strategic next steps of the company, you have to create realistic sales forecasts and plans of implementation to support your vision, and vice versa. You have to assess the risks, keep up with legislation and finally bake all this into the grand budget. Variables come in many forms, and variables vary also.
You’ll need to have patience and consideration to be successful, and the time to figure out what it takes to go where you’re headed. Additionally, the means to the end must always cohere with the companies’ principles and with other programs’ visions. A big part of being sustainable is the after sales assessment of your products and services. The products and services you are launching or developing must also be defined as responsible. It certainly doesn’t help if you use rash judgment and end up re-doing everything you started.
These are the main reasons why the Business Program might be seen sometimes so as they don’t provide visible results. Kalu Yala people working in the jungle frontier are the assets that the business program must leverage in the city for the advancement of the company as a whole. The Business Program’s contributions are also long term, just as those in the valley. The Outdoor Recreational program interns don’t just go marching in the jungle leaving a zigzag trail behind them. They approach the wild from different angles, get to know the terrain and learn new ways to orienteer efficiently. Then they regroup, sharpen their machetes and go to work. We’ve seen the results of premeditated trail creation in the valley which looks beautiful and benefits the whole company.
Here are some of the milestone projects that are essential to streamline and enhance Kalu Yala’s capacity to create a smarter, more efficient and sustainable operation:
- Maximizing our PTY network within the tourism industry- Create as many connections as possible within the industry as a support for our current and future tourism projects.
- Mapping the processes of Kalu Yala Internships, S.A. to make current operations more efficient and organized. –Develop a balanced scorecard approach to create accountability. Rationalize operations to eliminate waste.
- Creating a separate Eco-Tourism brand that will serve as an umbrella and base for future Kalu Yala Tourism developments-Create a foundation brand that will support multiple new revenue streams by leveraging our eco-tourism assets.
- Launching Kalu Yala’s first 2 Eco-Tourism programs aimed at multiple markets and sold at multiple price points- Pilot programs set to start March 30th and April 6th
- Creating an action plan for part of Kalu Yala’s Panama City rental property to become a concerted center for sustainable operations and accommodation. –This will be an engine that accelerates networking, marketing, brainstorming, brand recognition and a strong revenue stream for KY internships S.A.
- Setting up internet connection to San Miguel location to support more permanent operations in the KY Valley. –This will enable Kalu Yala internships to substantially increase the time and continuity of local development projects and our overall effectiveness.
Even though the Business Program is not always that visible, you can see us working hard along with other Kalu Yala folks and participating also in field work. You can hear us asking questions, taking notes and on our part trying to map the future of this sustainable community. What comes to this semester, the whole Kalu Yala organization with all its friends are more than justifiable to expect great results from the Spring 2012 Business Program.