Saturday, November 8, 2014

Kenya CEOs with a difference

Some CEOs of blue chip companies have that aura of indifference-almost out of this world while others are amiable and you won’t miss them in social events. Safaricom CEO, Bob Collymore is the type that will make you feel comfortable around as he has demystified the perceptions we have about CEOs. Philanthropy is synonymous with James Mwangi who has revolutionized banking in Kenya. Opening a bank account was the preserve of the selected few who were moneyed until Equity opened its door. Equity has the highest number of account holders in Kenya and Africa. Here are some of the Kenyan CEOs.
Bob Collymore: The trendy CEO
Unlike his predecessor Michael Joseph, Bob Collymore is amiable, trendy and a genius who has managed to steer Safaricom to astronomical profits since he took over in October 2010 in the face of fierce competition from other telecom firms. Filling the shoes of Michael Joseph who is the brain behind Mpesa money transfer service seemed impossible. BC as he is also known as continued where MJ left and Safaricom continues to post staggering profits each year with innovative products. Through his stewardship Safaricom has played a major role in the growth of talent in Kenya through the various events they have organized like Niko Na Safaricom held countrywide annually. Awarding winning gospel Singer Jimmy Gait featured Bob collymore, Jeff Koinange and Julie Gichuru in his furi furi remix hit where the CEO sang a few lines.
James Mwangi: Profits and Philanthropy
He brought to life a nondescript building society that was literally on its knees to one of the most profitable bank in Africa. Equity Bank Group CEO is a man of many achievements. In 2012, Dr. James Mwangi was crowned as the prestigious ‘Forbes Africa Person of the Year 2012’ held in Nigeria. Apart from steering to profitability the CEO is known for his philanthropic ways. He gave a personal donation of Kes. 100 Million to Meru University of Science and Technology. Thousands of needy children in Kenya have accessed secondary through Wings To Fly secondary school scholarship program. Equity Bank has spread its tentacles in Uganda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Rwanda. The bank has the highest number of customer account numbers.
Atul Shah: Brains Behind Nakumatt Holdings
Atul business acumen is undeniable. He built the largest supermarket chain together with his father and brother in Kenya. Nakumatt Holdings, though facing stiff competition from emerging supermarket like Tuskys still remains the pride of Kenya. The supermarket chain can also be found in Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda with plans to expand further afield. Atul Shah made it to the top 50 emerging market business leaders by the financial times.
Bharat Thakkar: Advertising Guru
Scangroup has dominated the Kenyan advertising industry with over 70 percent control of the market share. With over thirty six years experience in advertising and communications, the CEO Bharat Thakkar sterwardship has ensured that the group has remained relevant and profitable over the years. The market leader in advertising and communications services has its presence in Tanzania and Uganda. Scangroup services include Media Management, Public Relations and Experimental Marketing among other services.
Jonathan Ciano: The Master of Turnarounds
Uchumi Supermarket had gone under and not even the most optimistic Kenyan thought anybody would be able to resuscitate the fledgling Supermarket back to life and profitability. Enter Ciano as the head of the supermarket after over a month of closure. The CEO does his magic and before Kenyans know it Uchumi is doing brisk business. He has been labeled as the master of turnarounds after successful stints in Kenya Power and Lighting Company and Kenya Petroleum Refinery Limited.
Mugo Kibati: Vision 2030
Mugo Kibati is an alumnus of Oxford University-St. Peters College is the CEO of Vision 2030. He has worked in the same position at the East African Cables Limited and Electrical Engineer of Bamburi Cement Company Limited. His exemplary performance has earned him recognition by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader. The young CEO is shouldered with the responsibility of ensuring that Kenya is a middle level income country by 2030.

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