Henry Kalule Lukenge : Most Inspiring Healthcare Leader
Henry Kalule Lukenge
Mr. Henry Kalule Lukenge’s ideology, which he founded and still holds, is centered around creating a company that would revolutionize the healthcare staffing industry. Along with this, he intends to use a portion of the company's net income and technical expertise to advance access to education, wildlife conservation, and the fight against climate change in developing countries.
Born in Uganda, East Africa during Iddi Amin's regime, he eventually moved to South Africa where he overcame apartheid. In the mid-1980s, he became a child refugee in Kenya. Despite the challenges he faced, he went on to become a Chartered accountant and achieved the enormous success that he never imagined possible.
His life journey was made possible because he was able to attend school when the majority of the children were displaced with failed to do so. This inspired him to establish NEXIM more than a decade ago. Through NEXIM, he offers internships and financial literacy programs to inner-city kids who are starting their careers and may not have access to internships or financial planning resources. He hopes to prevent others from experiencing the challenges he faced when starting out in 1990s South London, England.
Family Life and Career
Mr. Lukenge grew up in a family of entrepreneurs, where his father was the founder of one of the first indigenously owned construction companies in Uganda. He learned important skills like people management, humility, and respect for others from his father. After moving to England, he completed his high school education and studied Mathematical statistics at the University.
Later, he obtained a professional accounting designation with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants-UK and was hired by one of the Big 4 Accounting firms. He rose through the ranks to become a junior tax partner and was later headhunted for an investment banking role in Canada. – a role he did up until the 2008 financial crisis. The impact of the 2008 financial crisis prompted a crisis of confidence in life – both professional and personal – which led Mr Lukenge to quit finance . He did not feal that a career in finance was as inpactful or fulfilling – he it needed for him to he chose to go it alone in private business.
After visiting his mother in Uganda, he decided to start his own healthcare staffing company with the help of a mentor his mother found for him in England. His mentor encouraged him and impressed up on him the patience and persistence required to succeed in the healthcare staffing industry. Mr. Lukenge stayed in touch with his mentor until the latter's passing six years ago at the age of 87.
Source of Inspiration
Mr. Lukenge is a persistent individual who is motivated to achieve his goals and delays gratification to accomplish what he wants in life. He was instilled with a sense of purpose from a young age by his parents who never lost faith in Africa's dream of independence and peace.
He finds inspiration in those who sacrifice themselves for a greater cause, particularly his mother. He is driven by the pursuit of meaning and creating a better world for his child. The support of his family and friends means a lot to him and watching his child take his first steps motivates him to become a better person every day.
Mr. Lukenge's philosophy is to view challenges as opportunities for growth and self-improvement. He faced challenges early on in his career as a Chartered Accountant, including the lack of opportunities for articling internships for black-owned accounting firms. He overcame this by working for free and traveling for two hours each way to gain experience.
Currently, working at NEXIM, Mr. Lukenge faces challenges in the healthcare industry, such as a shortage of qualified and employable candidates, long wait times for internationally educated healthcare professionals, and a lack of amenities in hard-to-serve areas.
Despite these challenges, Mr. Lukenge and his team at NEXIM are working with the government, accrediting agencies, hospitals, and stakeholders to capitalize on opportunities. These opportunities include the establishment of a private career college to train healthcare staff, simplifying protocols for IEHPs/ EN’s to appear for practice compliance tests, and building an ecosystem of short-term accommodation and transportation for staff willing to relocate to hard-to-serve areas.
These efforts have led to the creation of a new business unit and a substantial real estate portfolio for stakeholders while providing reliable services to clients.
Position of NEXIM
NEXIM Healthcare, a leader in the healthcare industry, has faced risks and rewards in recent years. However, the pandemic has allowed the company to expand its services throughout the country by providing lodging, transportation, and isolation hubs for staff. As a result, NEXIM Healthcare has become the go-to business for those experiencing COVID-related staffing crises. The company was prepared for the pandemic and experienced a 150% year-over-year increase in business. Their unique approach to combining staffing with logistics has helped them become a reliable and trustworthy staffing partner for many clients. NEXIM Healthcare is committed to providing value-added services for both staff and clients at costs that the competition would struggle to match.
With the help of its board of directors and visionary leadership, NEXIM has become a unique healthcare staffing firm that provides third-party staffing services in remote locations without passing on high costs for short-term stays and logistics. Its expertise in real estate, vehicle fleet management, and management services enables it to assist its clients in reducing their costs while maintaining margins for itself.
NEXIM is one of Canada's few healthcare staffing organizations that is completely staffed 24/7/365 days. It provides seamless scheduling, intake, and timesheet tracking through a technology suite that combines scheduling, payroll, and accounting into one. This allows its clients to monitor staff on shifts from their homes to the site using digital timecards for payment and invoicing.
Vision & Mission
NEXIM Healthcare aims to provide high-quality healthcare services and uphold principles of integrity, honesty, and diversity. Their commitment to timely and excellent staffing services is reflected in their slogan, "Quality Staffing Services at a 1-Hour Turnaround, 24/7/365." They hold themselves accountable to customers, partners, shareholders, and employees by honoring their commitments, producing results, and striving for quality.
NEXIM aligns its vision and values with its mission by creating a work/business environment that embodies its vision. They offer various initiatives, such as internship programs, financial literacy programs, and re-training, to support young people and their families. As a minority-owned business, they embrace the African philosophy of Ubuntu and aim to bring along as many individuals as they can on their journey.
Opportunities for Current Healthcare
Mr. Lukenge is aware of the shortage of direct service staff in the healthcare industry, especially in Canada where the demand for healthcare talent is increasing due to the inverted demographic pyramid. The NHCI is working to speed up the integration of international healthcare professionals into the Canadian healthcare industry.
They are setting up a nationwide PCC network to train social and healthcare workers, integrating IEHPs into the labor force, and increasing scholarships for East and South African students. NEXIM's philanthropic program NIDO is also helping healthcare organizations with their international recruitment plans. Additionally, they are creating a hub for operations, shared services, and logistics units based on different time zones in Hamilton.
Mr. Lukenge had three significant turning points in his life. First, his mother congratulated him on becoming a CA and encouraged him to use his education to improve the world. His father had also offered similar words of support during his first degree in math and statistics. Secondly, despite the sacrifices required, he left his finance job to pursue a more fulfilling career which he deemed to be the best decision he ever made. The third turning point came when NEXIM made a profit, which was a breakthrough moment for him. He realized that from humble beginning , self-discipline , and a clear objective, great things could be achieved.
Balance Between Personal And Professional Life
Mr. Henry Kalule Lukenge credits his triumph to the unwavering support and guidance of his family, friends, and loved ones who have been there for him in every aspect of his life. They have provided him with emotional, psychological, and physical support, and have held him accountable for his goals in life and business.
Working directly with two of his siblings and indirectly with another has been essential in expanding his business to regions that require more effort than he can manage. His in-laws and spouse have also been a great source of strength, balance, and stability in his life by accommodating his ever-changing lifestyle needs. To maintain a balanced life, he prioritizes and exercises discipline since he understands that business does not operate linearly.
Advice to new brains
Mr. Henry Kalule Lukenge believes that becoming an entrepreneur requires self-discipline, perseverance, and the ability to work independently. He advises new entrepreneurs to be patient in delay and not give up when things don't go as planned.
He suggests that they invite others to join them, protect their ideas, and solve social problems at a low cost. He emphasizes the importance of taking breaks and being disciplined, believing that if an entrepreneur follows these principles, everything else will fall into place.