Rita heads the Enterprise Business Unit (EBU) having joined Safaricom in August 2009 as Head of Consumer Segments, a role in which she proved over the years to be invaluable in driving revenues through her great understanding of consumer behaviour. She later held the role of Marketing Director until she was appointed as the Director, Enterprise Business in March 2015, a role which has since been renamed to Chief Enterprise Business Unit Officer.
Rita has a proven track record of creating and leading new business lines for top-notch multinationals in emerging markets. She is particularly skilled in revitalizing organisations by translating abstract concepts, theories and methodologies into simple but effective programmes that people can believe in and are ready to work hard to achieve.
She enjoys taking on tough business challenges, influencing large-scale transformations and driving businesses to the next level. She is passionate about creating environments that spark collaborative innovation between multiple stakeholder groups with a focus on developing result driven, game changing solutions.
In 2014, Rita was nominated as one of the 50 global CMOs to watch in the Telecoms sector for her extensive contributions in building the Safaricom brand and enhancing revenues. The nominees were chosen because of their commitment to innovation in their field and their ability to communicate the role of operators and vendors as continuing shifts shape the telecoms sector.
She was one of just 12 women around the world who received this accolade awarded by Global Telecoms Business magazine. She was recognized for her role in crafting specialized marketing campaigns that bring Safaricom’s Transforming Lives purpose to life.
In her role as Safaricom’s Chief Enteprise Business Unit Officer, Rita has transformed the division’s focus from just selling Telcom services to becoming a Digital Partner of Choice for Business enabling them to succeed in a Digital world. It is also under her stewardship that Safaricom has ventured into what would be considered non-traditional telco services like education, agriculture (through DigiFarm) and e-commerce (through Masoko) to help boost the company’s revenue streams.
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Prior to joining Safaricom, she held several senior marketing roles, including Head of Marketing at MTN Uganda, Head of Communications for Etisalat Tanzania and Group Product Manager for Eveready in Kenya. Rita is also a Trustee of the Safaricom Foundation, one of Kenya’s largest Corporate Foundations in Kenya where she leads the foundation’s Maternal and Child Health focus area, an area that she is quite passionate about.
Under her leadership and guidance, the Safaricom Foundation has set aside 132 million shillings to improve access to quality maternal healthcare through provision of infrastructure and building capacity through purchase of equipment. Already in Lamu County, the Foundation has constructed a maternal shelter and a newborn unit which are equipped with assorted maternity equipment and trained over 30 health workers who have reached over 26,000 community members.
Outside of Lamu, the Foundation has renovated and equipped the Coast General Hospital new born and maternity unit and has also equipped the new born unit at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital and the Moiben Sub-County Hospital in Uasin Gishu County. The team has now shifted its focus to Baringo County where it has set aside KES 82 million aimed at reducing the county’s maternal and infant mortality rate.
As one of three women in Safaricom’s Executive Leadership team, Rita is also part of the team that leads the Women in Leadership and Women in Technology programmes. The two programmes focus on how to bring more women into leadership and technology by offering on the job trainings and opportunities.
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Rita is also a board member of the Kenya Pipeline Company where she chairs the Board Audit Committee, DigiFarm (an integrated mobile platform that offers farmers convenient, one-stop access to a suite of information and financial services) and Mezanine (a company that specializes in developing mobile enabled solutions for businesses). She is also a member of the Women Corporate Directors – Kenya chapter and a certified executive coach. In the past she has also sat in the boards of Jambo Jet, SOS Children’s Home and Kenya Advertising Standards Board.
Rita holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics and an MSc in Marketing from the Business Faculty of the London School of Economics. Besides her family and job, she has a passion for empowering women and children and enjoys reading as well as motivating people.