Top 25 CEOs setting the business agenda in 2021

Under her leadership, Rebecca Miano has put Kenya on the global map as the 7th largest geothermal energy producer in the world, beating giants like Iceland and Japan, through a well thought out diversification and expansion plan.

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Rebecca Miano (OGW MBS)

MD & CEO, KENGEN

In the wise words of Ronald Reagan, former United States of America President on his testament of a good leader, “The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest thing. “

This is true for Rebecca Miano, a hands-on mother of two, a wife to a dotting husband and a leader who believes in transformational leadership, employee empathy, engagement and motivation at work and quality undisturbed family time at home. As Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Kenya Electricity Generating Company PLC (KenGen) – a public listed company on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) and East Africa’s largest electricity producer, Rebecca is the first woman to hold the position in the history of KenGen since its incorporation in 1954.

Since her historic appointment, staff engagement and morale has grown significantly, a trend that has propelled the company’s growth in profitability, organizational efficiency and effectiveness in all spheres and spaces the company has ventured in.

Notably, as part of her unique management style, she introduced annual corporate themes, usually launched at the beginning of each year, to rally staff and ensure their alignment with the realization of corporate strategic plan, objectives therein and initiatives. This has helped to bring focus on the things that really matter in the company’s growth trajectory.

The results have been phenomenal. For instance, KenGen today has an installed capacity of 1,803MW, contributing more than 70% of the electricity consumed in the country. Rebecca Miano’s other achievements are far beyond yonder, with every move she makes having that characteristic Midas touch. In the year 2019 alone, before COVID-19 landed on our shores, she grew KenGen revenues by 1.5% from Ksh 45.3 Billion in 2018 to Ksh 46 Billion, translating to Ksh 7.9 Billion profit after tax. Amidst the novel COVID- 19 pandemic in 2020, she navigated her organization through the turbulence safely with no staff layoffs, pay cuts or any form of staff downsizing. Instead, Becky, as some people would like to call her, protected her staff like a lioness protecting her cubs while not halting the company’s operations through instituting strategic business continuity plans.

Under her leadership, Mrs. Miano has put Kenya on the global map as the 7th largest geothermal energy producer in the world, beating giants like Iceland and Japan, through a well thought out diversification and expansion plan. This has not gone unnoticed and attracted international interest and business through consultancy that has resulted in KenGen being awarded two geothermal drilling contracts in Ethiopia worth USD 62.2 Million. In pursuit of KenGen’s geothermal-led corporate strategy, Mrs. Miano has turned KenGen into a geothermal powerhouse in Africa, contributing 706MW of geothermal electric energy installed capacity into the national grid.

Under her stewardship, the 172MW Olkaria V geothermal project was completed and commissioned on time in 2019 and coming soon in 2021 is another 83.3MW Olkaria I unit 6 which is likely to be completed in June. On the Corporate Social Responsibility front, Rebecca Miano is a very good student of Dr Jeremy Awori’s School of thought: business ought to create value for all its stakeholders. In the article that is included in this issue as the last word, Jeremy writes in part,’ it is imperative for leaders to act today in order to safeguard not only the future of our children, but also the sustainability of the businesses that we run. The solution to this lies in the principle of shared value, which advocates creating business value in a way that also creates value for both the society and the environment. In essence, businesses must reconnect company success with social progress. ‘’

Rebecca’s deep desire is to make a difference in people’s lives, and she has lived by this mantra. As the chairperson of KenGen Foundation, through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) she has offered educational scholarship to over 10,500 students, trained 1,066 students on life transformational skills, planted 230,000 tree seedlings and conserved 374 acres of land. Currently, Mrs. Miano is implementing KenGen’s biggest CSR activity yet, in the building of Naivasha Level 5 Hospital in collaboration with Nakuru County Government to a tune of Ksh 300 million, with a capacity to serve an estimated 600 patients a day from Nakuru and the neighbouring counties.

Rebecca Miano holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree, a Diploma in Law and Post Graduate studies in Comparative law. In 2010, she completed the Advanced Management Programme from Strathmore University. She is a registered Certified Public Secretary of Kenya and a member of the Institute of Certified Public Secretaries of Kenya (ICPSK) and the Law Society of Kenya (LSK). Additionally, she is a Commissioner of Oaths (since 2001), a Notary Public (Since 2003) and a finalist of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

Mrs Miano’s has also been feted numerous times both locally and internationally. The most notable locally being awarded two state commendation for her distinguished service to the nation in the field of Energy, Order of the Grand Warrior of Kenya OGW and Moran of the order of the Burning Spear MBS by the President of Kenya.

Internationally, she has been awarded African Business Leadership Award as Africa Business Inspirational leader 2020, and made it to the 2021 top 25 movers and shakers watchlist by the African Energy Chamber. Thanks to her astuteness, Rebecca sits on various Boards of international repute including as a Board Member, World Bank Group Advisory Council on Gender and Development (since June 2020), Board Member, UN Global Compact Network Kenya Board (Since November 2019) and Member of the Gender Sector working Group (GSWG) coordinated by the State Department of Gender, Kenya (since June 2020).

Indeed, true to her words, Rebecca Miano is a transformational leader to watch in the global energy space now and in the years to come, especially as regards to the provision of clean, affordable, and reliable energy to all under the slogan energy for the nation.

CITATION

  • Clean Energy Advocate
  • Energy Policy
  • Working Environment Champion
  • Comparative Law
  • Energy Sector leadership
  • Moral Integrity and Courage
  • Global Diversification Strategy

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Dr. Hanningtone Gaya

Dr. Hanningtone Gaya

Kenya’s Dr Hanningtone Gaya, holds a PhD in Commerce in Business Management from Nelson Mandela University (NMU), is viewed as an authority in country branding and is the founder chairman of the Brand Kenya Board.

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