Top 25 individuals setting business agenda in 2020

Jeremy Awori - Business Monthly

The Top 25 are inspirational ladies and gentlemen who continue to raise the bar in the standards they set in their firms, industries and business associations they lead.

Dr. Hanningtone Gaya remembers July 1, 1995 like yesterday. It is the date he launched his first magazine, the monthly MOTOR. The rest, as they say, is history. Since then, he has been publishing leading life style and specialized magazines, including the monthly MOTOR, Business Monthly and Mum and Dad.
According to Dr. Gaya, “When you are in magazine publishing, every new issue must have fresh, interesting and engaging content. That means investing in quality, informative, educative, entertaining, topical, bold and relevant content every month.’
‘’In this kind of work environment, time moves very fast. You hardly notice that you have been in the business for more than two decades,” says the publisher, who this year, is celebrating 25 Years Silver Jubilee in Magazine Publishing, with seven leading magazine titles under his belt.
Looking back, the fast-paced world of publishing that Dr. Gaya works in has not robbed him of time and perspective to reflect on his 25-year journey in publishing, which he says has been fruitful due to the support of loyal readers and subscribers, including some of the top names in medicine and law. The coffee tables of leading doctors and lawyers’ suites have been adorned by the glossy covers of Media Seven Magazines. From Nairobi Hospital to The Aga Khan University Hospital Doctors Plazas, these waiting rooms are reading libraries of Motor and Business Monthly magazines, many of them being subscriptions dating all the way back to the mid-90s. 

Dr. Gaya is most grateful for the support enjoyed by thousands of readers, most of who are looking for premium content in a market where magazines come to market but quickly disappear, due to inadequate advertising support from industry and commerce.
In particular, Business Monthly, the flagship titles in the Media Seven stable, has cut out a niche for itself as the go-to source for premium business content. “We don’t tell you what happened in the world of business. 

Twitter can do that for you nowadays.  Rather, we tell you why it hap-pened and what is likely to happen next from an industry or policy standpoint, bringing in experts from industry and academia to offer different perspectives,” says Dr. Gaya.
This rich and informed debate on topical issues in the world of business and economics makes our readers better managers, better decision makers and better business people, since our core readership is largely drawn from the world of management, business leadership and public service, including academia, adds Dr. Gaya.
“I realized that although magazine publishing was a passion, I needed a professional approach to consolidate the progress I had made since the 90s. That is why I enrolled for further studies in business,” says Dr. Gaya, who holds a PhD in Commerce in Business Management from Nelson Mandela University.
Throughout the years, Dr. Gaya has built a solid network of editorial and advertising partners who have helped him defy the odds in an industry famed for its unforgiving terrain, a dearth in magazine advertising being the daily menu that is served. Because of this, “We are grateful to our advertising partners because they understand the power of spot-on niche marketing that our magazines have afforded them. We are a great platform for premium marketing and the leading brands we have helped position are testaments to the power of magazine editorials and advertising. 

Dr. Gaya

One rarely gets this in media. People avoid ads. Even on YouTube, most viewers skip ads,” notes the publisher. To mark Dr Gaya’s  25 Years of Excellence in magazine publishing, Business Monthly, in partnership with leading research and PR firms, have been putting together a list of 25 top women and men to be feted, each top leader representing each year of excellence in magazine publishing.
Each of the top 25 has contributed in more than three criteria of qualification, including walking the talk in business ethics including corporate governance and social responsibility, entrepreneurship, wealth and employment creation, industry leadership, policy development, people management and mentorship, small holder and MSME financial inclusion.
The Top 25 are people whose stars are shining and continue to shine on the industries and commerce where their contributions leave colossus footprints as they delve their mark on a daily basis. The Top 25 are inspirational ladies and gentlemen who continue to raise the bar in the standards they set in their firms, industries and business associations they lead.

Business Monthly is glad to celebrate Dr. Gaya’s Silver Jubilee by honoring them in this 25th anniversary and inaugural awards,” concludes Dr. Gaya. In the same vein, Business Monthly recognizes efforts of recent regular contributors and columnists who have contributed topical, interesting and deeply researched articles: Mike Eldon, Phyllis Wakiaga, Prof. Scott Bellows, Jeff Aludo, Anzetse Were, Cathy Mputhia, William Maema and I, Lennox Yieke. 

Jeremy Awori has been the Managing Director, Chief Executive officer and Executive Director at Barclays Bank Kenya since February 2013.

Jeremy Awori - Business Monthly

#1
Dr Jeremy Awori

In banking industry leadership, Jeremy has been the chairman of Kenya Bankers Association between June 2013 and July 2014, the industry banking body responsible for managing the banking agenda and liaising with key stakeholders including the government and key consumer institutions

He is the accountable executive for Barclays Bank Kenya Subsidiaries which include the Barclays Financial Services, Barclays Bank Insurance Agency, Barclays Microfinance, and Barclays Nominees.
Jeremy has been central in the bank’s adoption of internet banking. He led the bank in the launching of the most advanced mobile lending app in Kenya dubbed ‘Timiza’. The app is allowing Kenyan consumers to apply and get instant loans based on the strength of the M-Pesa trans-actions, and irrespective of whether they are Barclays Bank customers or not. Over the time he has been at the helm of Barclays, the bank has been steadily growing in profitability. In advocacy, Jeremy sits as a Director of Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), an umbrella business lobby group on economic empowerment, from May 2013 to date, where he has articulated with dexterity and intellectual precision intricate banking concerns; including conducting high-level advocacy on cross-cutting laws and policy-related issues that help place Kenya a globally competitive financial destination.
Prior to this, Jeremy was the Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) in Tanzania from December 2008 to January 2013, having risen from December 2008 to January 2013, from the position of Regional Sales Director, Middle East, South Asia and Africa for Standard Chartered Bank, a position he held from 2006 to December 2008.

Jeremy Awori - Business Monthly

Jeremy has also been the Head of Consumer Banking in United Arab Emirates (U.A.E) and for East Africa between the years 1999-2003 for Standard Chartered Bank (SBC). During the same period, Jeremy was Board Director of SCB Kenya, then the largest listed company in the Nairobi Stock Exchange, where he was the youngest Board Director in the history of SCB.
In banking industry leadership, Jeremy has been the chairman of Kenya Bankers Association between June 2013 and July 2014, the industry banking body responsible for managing the banking agenda and liaising with key stakeholders including the government and key consumer institutions.
While at SCB, Jeremy won sev-eral accolades among them, The Banker Magazine – Bank of the Year in Tanzania 2010 and 2011, Euro money – Best Bank in Tanzania 2011, EMEA Finance – Best foreign bank in Tanzania 2012. Jeremy holds a BSc Degree in Pharmacy from the University of Manchester in the UK and an MBA
degree in Finance and International Business from McGill University in Canada.
In 2020, all eyes are on Jeremy as he leads Barclays Bank Kenya transition to Absa Bank Kenya PLC, after a presence of over 100 years as the premier bank in the country. Going by the 2018 Integrated Report, Jeremy is on course, having led the bank in registering its fastest growth in a decade at 12% year-on- year, with a strong revenue growth buttressed by well-contained cost base, increased operating profit by 8% year-on-year, the highest since 2010.
Such a success during a brand-ing and shareholder transition peri-od is no mean a feat, the basis for this award and recognition. 

-Life Time Award: Transition Leadership from Barclays Kenya to Absa Bank Kenya PLC.
-Industry Leadership- KEPSA and KBA.
-Brand Equity- Maintaining Barclays Kenya as the premier bank for seven years.
-Change Management- Corporate Governance- Board Composition and Diversity

#2 Carole Kariuki

Carole has a wealth of experience in leadership, having worked for, among others, Barclays Bank of Kenya and the Sagamore Institute for Public Policy Research, Indianapolis – Indiana, where she acted as a liaison between KEPSA and the institute before formally joining KEPSA

Caroline Kariuki - Business Monthly

As CEO of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), she is credited with trans-forming the organisation from a little-known business lobby group to one of the most influential institutions in Kenya and globally. Everyday, from diplomats to business leaders, global and local, all line up on the corridors of Shelter Afrique House on Mamlaka Road, all eager to pay a courtesy call on probably the most influential, if not equally powerful woman in Kenya today.
Meet the diminutive Carole Kariuki, who holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics and Sociology from the University of Nairobi and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and International Affairs from Bowling Green State University, Ohio, USA. Additionally, Caroline boasts of several professional courses on Public-Private Sector Dialogue, Global Leadership and Private Sector Development under her belt.
Carole has a wealth of experience in leadership, having worked for, among others, Barclays Bank of Kenya and the Sagamore Institute for Public Policy Research, Indianapolis – Indiana, where she acted as a liai-son between KEPSA and the institute before formally joining KEPSA. She worked for several years before being appointed CEO. KEPSA is the Apex body of business groups in Kenya, galvanis-ing the private sector through public-private dialogue and influencing the economic and development agen-da of the country and Africa.
Carole also serves on several boards, including: Chairperson, Special Economic Zones Authority, Kenya, Board Member, East African Cables PLC, Board Member, Internet Solutions Kenya, Board Member, Harvard University Center for African Studies, Africa Advisory Board, Board of Trustees Member, United States International University–Africa (USIU-Africa), Kenya, Board Member, Business Advocacy Fund, Danish Embassy Kenya; Ambassador, African Women in Business Initiative of the Africa CEO Forum, Paris, Council Member, The National Council of Administrative Justice (NCAJ), Kenya, Advisor, Nailab 3.0 (Nairobi Innovation Lab) Board, Kenya.

-Private-public dialogue champion
-Sustainable business leadership
-Economic environment leadership
-Business Policy Formulation
-Gender Empowerment
-MSMEs champion

Caroline Kariuki - Business Monthly

In 2012 she was voted ‘Extraordinary Personality to Inspire the Future’ by 80% of the 20,000 students of the Entrepreneurship Clubs of Kenyan Universities.
In November 2019, Carole was appointed to the board of Global Compact Network Kenya (GCNK). The GCNK is designed as a multi-stakeholder body, whose board provides ongoing strategic and policy advice for the initiative, which acts as the flagship for responsible business action.
Board members are considered champions who are willing and able to advance the mission of the United Nations Global Compact.

#3 Margaret Ireri

In a record six months of her stay, a new position opened up for the research manager at the Uganda office. She applied for the job and was initially sent there on a temporary contract to hold brief as the company recruited a more experienced manager.

Margaret Ireri - Business Monthly

Margaret (Maggie) Ireri is an award-winning market researcher pro-fessional, recognized for her contribution to the development of research methodologies for Africa, by respected regional research bodies such as Pan Africa Media Research Organization (PAMRO) and Southern African Marketing Research Association (SAMRA).
She is the Founder and CEO of TIFA Research, a Kenyan research agency that leverages on technology to meet clients’ needs faster and efficiently.
Maggie, as she is affectionate-ly known to her close friends, has over 15 years multi-sectoral research experience and works closely with client to transform the research data to insights and then into action. Research and insights are in her DNA – she has traversed across the continent interviewing, observ-ing and understanding consum-ers, trips that have benefitted from her multi- sectorial experience in media, education, health, telecom-munications, manufacturing, and banking sectors in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana, Zambia, Mozambique, Somalia and Nigeria.
Maggie’s experience in inter-national business management has involved with time and include set-ting up full country offices and new business divisions in various coun-tries including Nigeria, Zambia and Rwanda.
Maggie’s career journey started in market research in 1998, when she joined a leading market research company as a trainee in their Kenya branch office. She had just graduated with a degree that was considered to have a dead-end in the job market then and as result was look-ing for a career break. Within three months, she realized that she needed to do something radical to propel her career forward. 

Published and presented a paper on “The challenges of conducting research in Africa” South African Market Research Association (SAMRA) Convention and was awarded the Eddie Shultze award for contributing to the development of research methodologies in Africa PAMRO conference – presented a paper on use of passive technologies for audience research methodologies and won an award for best paper Chairperson of the Marketing Society of Kenya (2015/2018) Board Member of the Marketing Society of Kenya (2013-2015) Consecutive appearance on the highly acclaimed list of “Top40 under 40 women”

In a record six months of her stay, a new position opened up for the research manager at the Uganda Pan-Africa. Her primary role was overseeing several country offices in Africa, working with the respec-tive country managers to ensure sustainable revenue streams. In this role, she set up coun-try offices and additional business divisions. The company was even-tually acquired by a global com-pany, with Maggie as the lead inte-gration manager, a process that she completed within 12months. In 2011, she took up the role of Managing Director of the Kenya offices, which was one of the most extensive operations in Sub-Saharan Africa with a staff size of over 250. 

This role exposed Maggie to more complex operations, interna-tional clientele, corporate affairs and media relations. Some of her achieve-ments during her four-year tenure included; business revenue growth (of over 15% per annum), launch of innovative products, organization culture transformation to a more corporate entrepreneurial ethos and also corporate brand building.
In 2015, she set up TIFA Research, her own, with all the skills she had acquired over the years and from those many countries. In the last four and half years, Maggie has built the TIFA corporate brand and an enviable client base.
Informally, Maggie acts as an adviser to a number of Cabinet Secretaries (CSs) in Kenya.

Margret Ireri - Business Monthly

#4 Joshua Oigara

Joshua Oigara was promoted to the coveted position of CEO Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) Group in January 2013, a position he holds to date. Joshua is described in LinkedIn as a very passionate manager boasting a broad managerial experience in providing leadership to teams and is great in strategy, finance, business development, innovation and Information Technology (IT). According to LinkedIn, Joshua is a solid business executive with inspiration and ability to lead and motivate ordinary performing staff to achieve excellence and world class performance.

Joshua Oigara - Business Monthly

The last seven years have witnessed Joshua presiding over KCB Bank Group, East Africa’s largest bank and led the acquisition of the National Bank of Kenya towards the end of 2019. Among the achievements of the KCB Bank under his watch is the partnership with Safaricom to offer loans through the mobile phone that is KCB MPesa, a game changer in the financial services sector; an innovation that was quickly imitated in the industry. Currently, the KCB Bank boasts the largest brand network in the region with over 250 branches, 962 ATMs and 10,102 Banking agents. KCB has also been a catalyst in championing motor sports in East Africa, culminating in Rally Kenya’s return to the coveted WRC status after an 18 years spell. Prior to his appointment, Joshua served as Chief Financial Officer and Member of the Board of Directors of the bank for one year. He joined KCB Group in November 2011 from Bamburi Cement where he served as Group Financial Director and Chief Financial Officer for the East Africa region. In addition to this, he was the Group
Business Performance Manager at Bidco Africa between 2002-2004.

Joshua is a Certified Public Accountant of Kenya, a title he obtained from the School of Accountancy, the Strathmore University in 1997 and a member of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya. He obtained a Masters of Business Administration degree in International Business Management from Edith Cowan University in Australia in 2011. He also completed the Advanced Management Program from INSEAD France in 2010. He completed the program for Management Development at the Duke University Fuqua School of Business in North California in 2006. Prior to this, he received a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Nairobi. He won Africa investor (Ai) CEO of the year awards for 2017. The award recognizes and rewards CEOs that have shown commitment and sustainable development. This trait has been displayed in Joshua through his and the Central Bank of Kenya timely actions when both Imperial and Chase Banks collapsed due to corporate governance
lapses a couple of years ago.
In public service, Joshua Chairs the Energy Regulatory Authority and sits on the prestigious Vision 2030 Delivery Board. In 2020, he is keenly being watched to play a strategic role in the sponsorship for Rally Kenya, the
successor of the Safari Rally during its maiden run return to the WRC calendar.

#5 James Mwangi

Dr. James Njuguna Mwangi was born in Kangema, in Muranga County of Kenya in 1962. Dr. Mwangi is a career accountant, banking and real estate mogul, businessman and philanthropist extra ordinary. He is the current Group managing director and Group chief executive officer of
the Equity Group Holdings PLC, the banking conglomerate with the largest customer base on the African continent, in excess of 12.4 million as of June 2018.

James Mwangi - Business Monthly

Dr. Mwangi was included among The Financial Times 2009 list of the top 50 thought leaders of emerging markets, and among the top 20 most influential people in Africa. Not new to being fetted, Dr. Mwangi was awarded the 2012 Ernst &Young World Entrepreneur of the Year
award. According to diverse media reports, Dr. Mwangi is an astute businessman best known for his efforts in shepherding the Equity Bank Group from a technically insolvent building society in 2004, to one of the largest and most profitable companies in Kenya. Dr. Mwangi also serves as Chairman of the Equity Group Foundation, the social impact investment arm of the Equity Bank Holdings Group PLC which is the CSR arm of the Equity Group, best known for awarding scholarships to top students from all over Kenya. The most notable is the Wings to Fly scholarships that are given to top performing pupils in the Kenya
Certificate of Primary Education(KCPE) and who are economically and socially marginalized, from every district where Equity Bank has a branch.

Business Africa Editor Anver Versi profiles Dr. Mwangi in 2012, as one of world’s business leaders, who has won the most coveted awards for business leaders, including the Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Anver depicts Dr. Mwangi’s journey’s as a story that is both fascinating and inspiring on account of triumph against severe odds.
Kenya Citizen TV adds that Dr. Mwangi is a man who from very humble and very difficult childhood rose to become a respected name in the banking industry and a player in the global business leadership arena.

#6 Dr. James Mworia

James Mwirigi Mworia is a Kenyan lawyer, accountant, real estate mogul and business executive. He is the managing director and group chief executive officer of Centum Investment PLC, the largest publicly traded private capital firm in Eastern Africa. He has served in that
capacity since October 2008. Dr. Mworia joined Centum as an intern in 2001 and rose to the corner office in less than seven years. At the time of his appointment as the CEO at the age of 30 years, he was the youngest CEO of a listed company in Kenya.

james Mworia - Business Monthly

With over 11 years of experience in investment banking and management at Trans-century and Centum, Mworia is a CFA Charter holder, Certified Public Accountant, holds a Bachelor of Law Degree from the University of Nairobi and an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya. He is a member of Law Society of Kenya (LSK) and a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accounting (CIMA). He represents Centum as a non-executive director on the Boards of UAP Holdings, UAP Insurance, UAP Insurance Sudan, UAP Life Assurance, UAP Properties, Nairobi Bottlers, Mount Kenya Bottlers, Isuzu East Africa and NAS Airport Services and SIA (K) Holdings.

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James Mworia - Business Monthly

Dr. Mworia has received the following awards: Africa’s Rising Stars 2014, Africa CEO of the Year 2013, Africa Young Business Leader of the Year 2011 and Archbishop Tutu Leadership Fellow 2012. He is also the Chancellor of the Machakos University, one of the youngest public university that was awarded a Charter on 7 th October 2017.

#7 Rita Kavashe Nairangai, MBS

Described in an article by Business Daily in 2014 as a bubbly spirit, light-hearted and full of laughter, Rita Kavashe is the Managing Director of Isuzu East Africa (formerly General Motors East Africa (GMEA). She received her bachelor’s degree in Education from Moi University in 1991 and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA)in Strategic Management from the University of Nairobi in 2005. Rita has also participated in General Motors sponsored leadership programs including the Harvard Business School Leadership Program.
Her career in GM began in 1995 in its East African operations where she has worked for the last 24 years. Prior to her current position, Rita held several key roles in Sales and Marketing organizations both in Kenya and South Africa.

Rita Kavashe - Business Monthly

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus In 2010 when she became the Managing Director, Rita put in place solid strategies that improved the company’s competitiveness and gained customers in a rapidly growing automotive industry. This resulted in the company’s market share rising steadily from 24.3% (in 2011) to 39.1% in 2018. In 2017, Rita led the company through a successful transition from GM East Africa to Isuzu East Africa. The
process was conducted smoothly with key stakeholders appraised regularly on the change of shareholding, company name and overall business continuity. Isuzu EA has remained dominant in the Kenyan auto industry maintaining its top position 7 years in a row. The company continues to provide thought leadership in the industry by advocating for progressive government and supportive policy for the growth of local motor assembly in order to expand the country’s manufacturing base. Rita holds directorships with various business associations such as the Kenya Vehicle Manufacturers Association
(KVMA), the East African Business Council (EABC) and chairs the Kenya Motor Industry Association (KMIA). She is also the Vice-Chair of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA).nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

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Rita Kavashe - Business Monthly

Rita has a record in Public Service as the current Chairperson of the Kenya Roads Board and a Member of the Kenya Vision 2030 Delivery Board. In March 2017, she was appointed to the board of Bamburi Cement, a listed firm on the Nairobi Securities Exchange. In October 2017, Rita was invited to join a select group of inspirational and influential African CEOs leading public, private, medium and large sized companies as a member of the B Team Africa. The B Team is a not-for-profit initiative formed by a global group of business leaders to catalyze a better way of doing business for the wellbeing of people and the planet. On 12th December 2017, Rita was awarded the Moran of the Order of the Burning Spear (MBS) by President Uhuru Kenyatta for exemplary service to the country in her capacity as a business leader. Rita has for a long time had a passion for mentoring young girls and women from diverse backgrounds. In November 2018, she received her certification as an Executive Coach from the Academy of Executive Coaches (AOEC) UK to strengthen her capacity coaching corporate leaders and executives.

#8 Peter Ndegwa

Mr Peter Ndegwa joins Safaricom from Diageo, a global leader in the alcoholic beverages business, where he is currently serving as Managing Director of Continental Europe. In his current role, he oversees business operations in 50 countries in Western and Eastern Europe, as well as Russia, the Middle East and North Africa region. He was appointed to the role in July 2018, becoming the first African to run a large business for Diageo outside of Africa. In his time in Continental Europe, his energy to drive transformational change has delivered significant results. Prior to this Peter led two of Diageo’s biggest businesses on the continent, Guinness Ghana Breweries Plc and Guinness Nigeria Plc. At Diageo Peter has developed a reputation for cultivating a strong inclusive culture which has been paramount in his leadership. He began his eleven-year career with global consulting firm PwC as a consultant, relocating to London, UK under the firm’s talent development programme in 1996. In 1999, he transitioned from the Accountancy practice to the Consulting & Corporate Finance Unit at PwC. After completing his MBA, Peter took on key assignments in corporate advisory and project management at leading European and American banks and insurance businesses.

Peter Ndegwa - Business Monthly

He returned to Nairobi in 2002, where he worked on several significant corporate advisory assignments – providing strategic transaction advice, due diligence, valuation, financial planning and modelling, and
significant project leadership and management – mostly in the financial services sector. In 2004, Peter joined East African Breweries (EABL), a Diageo subsidiary based in Nairobi, as Strategy Director. In this role, he led the NSE-listed beer manufacturer in shaping a five-year strategy. This included the development of an affordable- beer strategy which saw the creation of Senator Keg. Senator keg has gone on to become one of Kenya’s and Diageo’s most iconic beer brands. It has led to a strong partnership with the Kenyan government and created a viable entry level beer which reduces the consumption of illicit brews, increases local raw material use and boosts job creation. As a result, it was recently featured in the Harvard Business Review.
During that period, Peter also led significant business development agendas including the acquisition of Serengeti Breweries Limited, a major subsidiary in Tanzania, and unwound a complex shareholding
structure with SAB Miller (now ABI) in both Kenya and Tanzania.

He left EABL in October 2011, starting an eight-year sojourn away from home to Diageo subsidiaries Guinness Ghana Breweries plc and Guinness Nigeria plc both of which he led as CEO. His commitment to investing in people, introducing new brands and improving efficiency saw him grow both business despite the challenges they were facing. In Ghana, he led talks with the government leading to introduction of an affordable beer in the country. In Nigeria, he helped transform the business – at a time when the country was facing economic challenges due to declining oil prices. His efforts resulted in a 40% recovery in share price. He left Nigeria for his current role in Europe in July 2018. In his career spanning over 25 years, Peter has demonstrated commitment to simplification of business process and on leadership and talent development has helped create a sustainable business for the future. This has not only resulted in a career decorated by new brands, but also winning accolades as an employer, manufacturer, purchaser and investor.

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Peter Ndegwa - Business Monthly

Peter has also demonstrated commitment to sustainable business practices. Beyond championing talent development, he has also enabled a range and depth of investment in water and environment programmes. Following the appointment as CEO of Safaricom Plc, Peter once again returns home to Nairobi. Peter is married with one child. He holds an MBA from the London Business School and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Nairobi. He is also a Certified Public Accountant and a member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK). Peter draws his inspiration from his teachers in primary school, the legendary Dr Geoffrey Griffin – the late founder of Starehe Boys Centre – his alma mater, and his parents, especially his mother.
“Instead of just looking at what governments can do, we need to acknowledge that large organisations can
improve society and shift how people think and feel. For me, this is about working with others to build
sustainable businesses that can make a difference in people’s lives.” – Peter Ndegwa

#9 PHYLLIS WAKIAGA

Phyllis Wakiaga is the Chief Executive of the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), which is the credible voice of industry with over 1000 members. She is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya and holds a Masters in International Trade and Investment Law from the University of Nairobi, Masters in Business Administration from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Bachelor of Law Degree from the University of Nairobi, Diploma in Law from Kenya School of Law, and a Higher Diploma in Human Resource Management from the Institute of Human Resources Management Kenya.

Phyllis Wakiaga - Business Monthly

Phyllis began her career in 2005 as a Legal Assistant at Otieno Omunga and Ouma Advocates. She then joined Kenya Airways (KQ) in 2007, as a customer relations executive, serving in that capacity for three years. She was then appointed a coordinator of government and industry affairs at KQ. Later she became Government and Industry Affairs Division manager at the airline. In 2013, she joined the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), as the Head of Policy, Research and Advocacy, becoming Chief Executive Officer in 2015, taking over from the legendary Betty Maina, who joined the public service as the Principal Secretary for Trade and Industry. Phyllis is an alumnus of the Swedish Institute Management Program on Sustainable Business Leadership and Corporate Social Responsibility and was part of the inaugural program for Africa in 2014. She has also been trained in the Role of the Private Sector in Government Policy by Strathmore Business School and John Hopkins University; Investment Treaty Law and Arbitration – Africa International Legal Awareness (AILA) UK London and High-Performance Boardrooms- Institute of Directors.

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Phyllis Wakiaga - Business Monthly

Phyllis represents KAM on various state corporations boards and chairs the Kenya Water Industrial Alliance. She is also the United Nations Global Compact Network Representative in Kenya. Born in 1982, Phyllis has been recognized as among the Top Africa Economic Leaders for Tomorrow on the Choiseul 100 Africa list 2018 and one of the 2019 Most Influential People of African Descent, Global 100 Under
40.

#10 Geoffrey Odundo

Geoffrey Otieno Odundo is the Chief Executive of the Nairobi Securities Exchange PLC (NSE) the largest stock Exchange in East and Central Africa. Appointed CEO of NSE on March 3, 2015, Geoffrey is an accomplished Investment Banker and has been in the financial services sector for the last 26 years, 20 of which have been in the Capital Markets. In his current role, Geoffrey has spearheaded the development of innovative financial solutions for both investors and issuers making the NSE the second most product diverse market in Africa. Thus, supporting Kenya’s aspiration to become Africa’s premium financial services hub by the year 2030.

Geoffrey Odundo - Business Monthly

Notable achievements include fronting the roll out of the world’s first mobile traded government infrastructure bond dubbed M-Akiba which plays a significant role in informing the future of Capital Markets transactions globally. He also spearheaded the development of the second Derivatives Market in Africa, offering investors a new avenue for deployment of capital in the wake of rising asset price volatility in both regional and international markets. Geoffrey has democratized access to capital markets to Small and Medium Scale (SMEs)
enterprises through the development of Ibuka, a unique incubation and acceleration program that provides an opportunity for SME’s to access public markets within a regulatory environment designed specifically to meet their needs. Over the course of his career, Geoffrey has contributed immensely towards the growth of the
Capital Markets industry in Kenya through current and former roles as a Director/Board Secretary, Kenya Association of Stock Brokers and Investment Banks, Chairman of the Financial Standards Committee – Kenya Bureau of Standards as well as being a Board Director of NSE. To support Africa’s economic growth and development, he has spearheaded regional integration among African Securities Exchanges as director and head of the African Securities Exchange Association secretariat.

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Geophrey Odundo - Business Monthly

Geoffrey has advised on a number of corporate finance mandates in both the public and private sectors; he has also managed key mandates in the asset management industry through leading in various senior roles in asset management, corporate finance and securities trading. He is currently a Director of the Central Depository and Settlement Corporation, a Director of the NSE Clear, and a trustee of the NSE Fidelity Funds. Geoffrey is a member of the Central Bank Consolidative Forum for Domestic Debt Market (CFDDM) and a Council Member of the Institute of Certified Investment Financial Analysts (ICIFA). He is also a Director of the Association of the Stock Exchanges of Africa (ASEA) and is a Member of the Thomson Reuters Africa Customer Advisory Network. Geoffrey Odundo holds a Master’s degree in Strategic Management from the United States International University-Africa and an undergraduate degree in Mathematics and Economics from the Egerton University. He is also an Advanced Management Program (AMP) graduate from Strathmore Business School.

#11 DARSHAN CHANDARIA

Darshan Chandaria is the Group CEO and a Director of Chandaria Group. He holds an undergraduate Business Management degree from Cardiff University and is a Fellow of the 2017 Senior Executive
Program from Harvard Business School. In 2018, he was the youngest ever East African recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from United Graduate College & Seminary International, USA. Over the past 10 years, Darshan has built Chandaria Group into one of the largest and most diversified business groups in Africa. Today, the group’s operations include Tissue Paper & Hygiene Products Manufacturing, Real Estate, Venture Capital, Insurance, Banking, Automobile Manufacturing, Mining, Flexible Packaging and Solar Energy Generation, with over 3,000 employees in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, India, UAE and the United Kingdom.

Darshan Chandaria - Business Monthly

Darshan is an accomplished mentor for many entrepreneurs, both start-ups and upscale, including businesses owned by indigenous Kenyans. He particularly supports the scaling up of MSMEs, including facilitating their access to capital and credit. This interest led to the
formation in 2017 of the Chandaria Capital, the professional early stage investment arm of Chandaria Group. In Kenya, Chandaria Group portfolio of companies includes Mobius Motors, Sokowatch, Kobo360, Koko Networks, Ilara Health, and Safi Analytics.

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Darshan Chandaria - Business Monthly

To this end, Darshan has an impressive list of Kenyan, African and International awards and recognitions. These include:

 Darshan has been invited by Sony Entertainment International and KCB Bank for 4 consecutive years (2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019), to be a Lion in the Lions’ Den business show in Kenya, which is Kenya’s equivalent of Dragons’ Den/Shark Tank.
 Overall winner in the list of the 100 Most Influential Young Kenyans 2018 by Avance Media.
 Asian Weekly’s award for the Best Business Icon (Male) in 2014, 2016 & 2019.
 Board Member of the World Wide Fund for Nature, Kenya (WWF – Kenya) in 2019.
 In recognition of his business and brand building leadership excellence, he was invited to join the Superbrands Kenya Council in 2018.
 Led Chandaria Industries towards winning the Oshwal Business of the Year Award 2018 – Large size company category, for the second time in a row at the Oshwal Awards 2018.
 Under his leadership Chandaria Industries successfully secured 1st Runner-Up, Best East African Company of the Year 2018 – Manufacturing Sector and 2nd Runner-Up, EABC Chairman’s Award for Overall Best Regional Company of the Year 2018 at the EABC Business Excellence Awards 2018.
 Nominated for Young CEO of the Year for 2 consecutive years 2017 & 2018 at the Africa CEO Forum Awards in Geneva.
 In 2017, appointed to the United Nations Youth Association Advisory Board for business leadership and youth development excellence.
 Received a special invite from the government of India in the year 2018 to be a panelist at the Mandela Gandhi Youth Summit in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.
 Awarded Young Business Leader of the Year 2016 for EAST AFRICA & ALL OF AFRICA Business Leaders Awards by CNBC & Forbes Africa, the most prestigious recognition in Africa.
 Country Winner (Kenya) and Regional Winner (East Africa) in the Manufacturing & Engineering sector at the CEO Global Titans 2017 Awards for the Most Influential Leaders in Africa.
 Listed in the Business Daily’s Top 40 Under 40 Men’s list for 3 consecutive years (2014, 2015 & 2016).

#12 Lenny Nganga

Lenny Nganga is the CEO at Saracen Media Group. He has had a 25-year career in Advertising, starting out at Ogilvy and Mather as a Media Executive, where he rose through the ranks fast enough to be
headhunted by McCann Erickson to manage a span of 39 countries.
Whilst at McCann, Lenny launched the first ever Media Independent agency in East Africa, Universal McCann, earning him the HK McCann Global award, for passion and dedication to driving media excellence in Africa. This award is only given to 10 people in any one year across McCann’s global network. In 2003, Lenny left McCann to join Saracen Media, an advertising agency he co-founded with three other
partners. This was the first, and currently the only locally owned international advertising independent agency. At Saracen Media, Lenny was elected CEO by his fellow partners a “Primus Interpares” and in his 16 years at the helm, he has led the agency to increase turnover by 1,000%.

Lenny Nganga - Business Monthly

In addition, the advertising agency has expanded into Uganda, and Tanzania, in addition to forming international strategic partnerships that have propelled the agency from last place at inception, to the
2 nd largest agency group in East Africa, with affiliation to the global Omnicom Media Group. Omnicom Media Group is one of the World’s largest advertising group. Lenny prides himself with the fact that the Saracen Media Group has the lowest if not negligible staff
turnover in the advertising industry. He actively strives to create a learning, fun, collegial working environment that endear the employees to the company. Lenny believes in giving back to the industry that has enabled him to make a living, and to this end, he served as Vice chairman of the Association of Practitioners in advertising (APA) for 3 years, before stepping up to Chairman for a 4-year term that expired in 2018. He still serves on the legislative committee of the APA to support the association’s lobbying agenda. Lenny also serves as the Chairman of the Oversight committee of the Kenya Audience Research Foundation (KARF), the Industry body mandated to deliver gold standard media consumption research, a role he has fulfilled since 2013, and continues to do so to ensure that the research continues evolving to be even more accurate, in addition to using contemporary media research methodology. Both roles
are Pro-bono.

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Lenny Nganga - Business Monthly

As he is also passionate about the environment, Lenny serves on the board of the Tsavo Heritage Foundation, an organization dedicated to the preservation and rejuvenation of the Tsavo ecosystem which is in peril. “The Tsavo holds a special place in my heart, a magical trip in primary school to the Mzima springs, Shetani Lava flow and the park’s wildlife captivated me then and still do now,” notes Lenny. He is also a co-founder of the Amalgam leadership programme, a unique training programme for business leaders, designed and delivered by CEOs who are leaders in their fields to impart practical, cutting edge, and field-tested knowledge to the learners. The programme is in its second year. Lenny holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Nairobi in Political Science and Philosophy, plus numerous Executive education certifications. In his leisure time, he enjoys Golf, Computer gaming, and the wildlife.

#13 Serah Katusia

Currently Managing Director, Mediacom and MEC East Africa, Serah Katusia leads a team of key connection and content experts to deliver strategy, execution and content planning that drive the best in market value across all media platforms in East Africa. Katusia is a highly driven and experienced top advertising executive who has vast knowledge in the traditional and new media advertising and management skills. She has an extensive understanding on how to win in the advertising industry and driving growth for brands in Kenya and beyond. She was been in charge of some of the most iconic brands locally and globally. From Coca-Cola to Safaricom, KCB, P&G, Diageo, Tigo Tanzania, USAID, Vodafone, PSK, Shell, KQ, Brand Kenya, KTB, OPPO amongst others.

Serah Katusia - Business Monthly

In her learning curve and experience, Serah remains passionate, is a high performer and has a deep love for content, connections, nurturing talent and delivering business solutions. Previously, Serah held the positions of the Country Manager, JWT, Scanad & Roundtrip Tanzania (2015 and 2016), Media and Client Service Director JWT and Scanad Tanzania (2015 and 2014) and Regional Media Director East Africa, Scan Group (2012-2013). These multi-discipline senior and Africa positions have given her unmatchable experience in system thinking, communication planning and business both locally and in the region. As a leader, Serah thrives in creating teams that deliver efficiently and is committed to the common vision of the organization. She has perfected the art of being human at work while still ensuring high level delivery of work across the system.

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Serah was the first Kenyan woman Jury President at Loeries Awards in Durban this year, she holds a Post Grad Degree from University of Liverpool, CIM Diploma from Oxford University and she recently completed an executive leadership course with Harvard Business School in December 2019. Serah enjoys giving back to society through mentorship at the International School of Advertising (ISA), where she is a board member as well as being a key mentor for women in advertising. She is ardent supporter of Strathmore Marketing Club and just launched Crucible, a marketing competition enabling students get real life experience, in addition to being a HULT PRIZE judge for Africa.

#14 Rebecca Mbithi

Rebecca Mbithi is the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director at Family Bank, an indigenous commercial bank in Kenya and the fourth largest bank by branch network. Rebecca began school with the dream of becoming a pilot but found her passion slowly gaining roots in law and finance. She is a highly experienced professional with an extensive background in leadership in various organizations at director level specializing in law, project finance, corporate restructuring, equity/ debt raising and governance. A seasoned professional, Rebecca holds a Master’s in Business Administration in Strategic Management from United States International University-Africa and an LL. B degree from the University of Nairobi. She is a Certified Public Accountant and a member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK), a Certified Secretary and a Member of the Institute of Certified Secretaries, an advocate of the High Court of Kenya and a member of the Law Society of Kenya.

Rebecca Mbithi - Business Monthly

Prior to taking over the steering role at Family Bank, Rebecca was the Company Secretary and Director, Legal Services – a position she held for four years. That put her in the steering role where she was instrumental in strategy and business development, capital and debt
raising, risk management, compliance and controls, providing legal services and strengthening the bank’s governance structures. “I have been part of the transformation journey for the bank having been part of the Family Bank’s senior management team for four years. Taking over as the CEO has given me the opportunity to steer the ship with formidable strategies that have put us back to profitability and we continue on an upward trajectory. I am privileged to be heading a team that comprises of focused staff whose resolve is to put the customer first while providing innovative products and services that meet their needs,” says Rebecca Mbithi. On her nomination as one of the Top 25 Business Leaders to watch in Kenya in 2020, Rebecca says she is humbled by the recognition and dedicates it to the customers of Family Bank whose support of the brand has been unmatched.

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Rebecca Mbithi - Business Monthly

“I am very humbled to be recognized by Business Monthly, one of the most respected monthly publications on business in Kenya, as one of the CEOs whose work has contributed to the growth of industry and commerce in our country. At Family Bank, we will continue to work hard to create value for our customers and together we can work towards growing our economy,” added Rebecca.

Away from work, Rebecca is passionate about impacting communities through provision of clean and safe water. This is especially through Family Bank’s sustainability projects such as Maji kwa Wanafunzi.

Rebecca is an avid marathoner who has run in five of the world’s major marathons including New York, Chicago, London and Berlin Marathons.

#15 Esther Ngomeli

Esther Ngomeli is co-founder and director of Redhouse Group, a leading multi-function, Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) agency with an expansive and growing footprint in East and Central Africa. Within the Group, she serves as the Group Chief Operating Officer in addition to her last assignment being the Managing Director of the anchor advertising agency – BBDO Media Edge Interactive, a company she founded and served for the last 18 years. With over 20 years of experience in senior leadership positions, Esther has been instrumental in providing strategic business and communications counsel that has resulted in the growth of key brands and businesses, both on local and regional platforms, and in all sectors of social/economic activities. She has honed her competencies in leadership, strategic planning, business and financial management, marketing, brand design and integrated communication, powered by a knack for creativity and a passion for growing great brands in sub-Saharan Africa.

Esther Ngomeli - Business Monthly

She also has been responsible for initiating and growing Media Edge Group and its subsidiary business units from infancy in the year 2000, into reputable brands in various marketing communication disciplines, led by Media Edge Interactive now BBDO Media Edge Interactive, which was rated one of the TOP 100 fastest growing Medium Sized Companies in Kenya in the KPMG Business Daily TOP 100 Index. The firm also won coveted awards from the Grand Prix – Kenya’s first
and only at the Loeries Awards – Africa Chapter, Gold Loeries, APA awards just to name a few. Other companies within the group included Media Edge Public Relations, Reel Edge Production and Outdoor Care Kenya, all now domiciled within the new investment vehicle Redhouse Group founded in 2012.
Other positions held include; Co-Founder & Director – Business Development & Marketing Services Economic Intelligence Limited, a start-up venture which offers strategic research and business
information services, publishers of MI Market Intelligence and promoters of MI Banking Awards, a top rated platform for the banking sector performance; Public Relations Manager – One Stop Media and Head of Operations/Administration-Sharper Images Limited both in the Intergrated Marketing Communications category. Esther is the second woman in sub-Saharan Africa to be bestowed with the highest and prestigious Fellow (FCIM) status by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) United Kingdom, for her strategic leadership and marketing role in the growth of key brands in Kenya and beyond.

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Esther Ngomeli - Business Monthly

She has an MBA with merit from University of Leicester (United Kingdom) and serves on the board of Super Brand Council (East Africa), the world’s largest independent arbiter of branding, which
identifies and pays tribute to exceptional brands by recognizing, rewarding and reinforcing leading brands from all over the world; and also a board member of Joyful Women Organisation (JOYWO), an NGO founded to empower Kenyan women economically to enhance household food security among them through supporting their involvement in sustainable livelihood projects. She is also a member of Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA).

#16 Andrew Mutuma

Persistent, tenacious, focused and value driven are some of the words that can best describe Andrew Mutuma, the Managing Director of DHL Express Kenya. With a global network in over 220 countries and territories across the globe, DHL is a leading logistics company with a history of 50 years since its inception, and Mutuma sits at the helm of
the Kenya operations. As a global company, DHL comprises three main divisions: DHL Express, DHL Global Forwarding, Freight and DHL Supply Chain. In his appointment to the position in 2015, former DHL’s Managing Director for Sub-Saharan Africa Charles Brewer had stated that Mutuma’s wealth of experience in general management, sales and marketing would be a great asset to DHL Express and that he was confident that Mutuma would move the DHL brand to new heights in the Kenyan market. Brewer’s words have indeed come to fruition.
In the four and a half years that he has held the position, Mutuma has registered growth of cash flow by 2,000% in 3 years, met and surpassed Earnings Before Interests and Taxes (EBIT) four years in a row and is optimistic about what the future abounds.

Andrew Mutuma DHL - Business Monthly

Under his leadership, DHL Express has received Top Employer Award in 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019 and recognitions such as Best Company to Work for in 2015, 2016 & 2017 as well as the 2019 KRA Tax Compliance Award for Most Facilitative Air Cargo Shed that was presented to him by H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta. These successes have however not come without their challenges. “Management of
people, a constantly changing market in terms of customer preferences and regulatory policies, are big challenges but also offer loads of learning opportunity,” he says of the top challenges he faces.
In his capacity, he has pushed through these rough patches with optimism noting that leadership isn’t a walk in the park. One has to always be willing and ready to make tough decisions.

“There is not a single day I take for granted or work any less hard. I work full hours plus overtime and know all my customer base on an individual level and I’m always willing to go the extra mile to build viable relationships with various stakeholders,” he says of his
engagement with his business and industry stakeholders and partners. Mutuma has always been tactical and resilient. In addition to working for DHL Express, his other major career milestone was working for Exxon Mobil, an American multinational oil and gas corporation which is the largest refiner in the world. He joined
Exxon Mobil in 1999 right after completing his Bachelor’s degree in Commerce. What makes this opportunity special to him is that, after two application rejections- his third attempt to work with the company was successful. It is here that Mutuma cut his teeth in business and management rising through the ranks in the 9 years that he worked there.

Persistent, tenacious, focused and value driven are some of the words that can best describe Andrew Mutuma, the -. With a global network in over 220 countries and territories across the globe, DHL is a leading logistics company with a history of 50 years since its inception, and Mutuma sits at the helm of the Kenya operations.

Andrew Mutuma DHL - Business Monthly

“I cannot pin point exactly what drew me to Exxon Mobil but the technical experience I gained from working with a host of engineers in the company gave me a heads-up over other peers. It gave me a much deeper understanding of the oil and gas industry as well as the business product side and how it impacts the industry ecosystem. I wouldn’t be in the position I am today without this experience,” he explains. Mutuma’s vast expertise in the corporate realm has been gained through over 20 years’ experience in general management, strategy development and execution; sales and revenue management in various industries ranging international logistics, oil and gas,
telecommunications and banking. On top of currently holding various board directorships, he is the former Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Kenya Branch, and is a Fellow and Chartered Marketer, a professional status awarded by the Chartered Institute of Marketing, UK. What drives him to be so successful in his career? The same trait we see in a number of successful executives: passion. He concludes, “I am only successful when I’m engaged in things that I’m passionate about.”

#17 WACHIRA WARURU

Wachira Waruru is the Group Managing Director of Royal Media Services (RMS), Kenya’s leading broadcaster. Royal Media Services portfolio includes two television stations, 13 radio stations and digital platforms, making Wachira one of the most influential and powerful
figures in the media landscape in Kenya.

Wachira Waruru - Business Monthly

As one of Kenya’s most respected media executives, he was the first chairman of the self-regulating media body, the Media Council of Kenya, and has twice been chairman of the steering committees that organised the country’s presidential debates in 2013 and 2017. He
is the current Chairman of the Media Owners Association (MOA) having taken over from Dr. Hanningtone Gaya on April 27th 2017. Wachira joined Royal Media Services (RMS) in 2007, after being head-hunted to replicate the success he had achieved in his previous role, as the MD and CEO at Kenya’s national broadcaster, KBC. He led RMS from fifth place in the broadcast media market to first place in less than a year leveraging on local content to engage the broadcast audiences. RMS has held on to its top market position for ten years, at times with over 50% of the market share. Wachira is credited with having turned around the fortunes of the KBC, where, over his three-year tenure, he demonstrated that a national broadcaster could be both competitive and viable, while being run professionally.

Wachira is credited with having turned around the fortunes of the KBC, where, over his three-year tenure, he demonstrated that a national broadcaster could be competitive and viable

Though he studied education and trained to be a teacher, Wachira caught the journalism bug early, starting his career in journalism as an intern in 1983 with Kenya’s foremost political magazine, the Weekly Review. By 1992, he had worked his way up to become the magazine’s
Managing Editor.  He went on to work for the European Commission Delegation to Kenya, writing weekly and monthly reports on the country’s political and economic environment. Wachira was then hired by the Standard Group to become its Group Editorial Director, a
position he held for six years, during which, he increased circulation figures for the Standard Newspaper and viewership audience for KTN, for a long time Kenya’s leading news TV station.

#1 DR. VIMAL SHAH CHAIRMAN - BIDCO AFRICA

Vimal Shah is the Chairman of Bidco Africa, East Africa’s leading manufacturer of edible oils and hygiene and personal care products, and most recently set foot in the food and beverages sector launching its noodles, juices and carbonated soft drinks brands into the market, all set in a world-class industrial park officially commissioned in 2019. Currently, Bidco has over 55 brands and a footprint in 18 African countries. Bidco was founded in 1985 by Vimal Shah, his father Bhimji Depar Shah and his brother Tarun Shah. Under his leadership, Bidco has received numerous awards and accolades in the energy management, business leadership, ICT, manufacturing and sustainability categories. He led Bidco’s strategic growth and expansion which saw entry into Uganda, Tanzania and Madagascar
with manufacturing units to serve the markets.

Vimal Shash - Business Monthly

Vimal holds a BSc. Degree in international business administration from United States International University – Africa. Currently, Dr. Vimal Shah is a much sought-after speaker and mentor, both locally and globally, on Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Manufacturing. In his years of Leadership, Vimal has held many offices. He has sat in the 3 GF (Global Green Growth Fund) Advisory Board. Vimal is a past chairman of a number of business lobby groups and associations, including Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), East African Business Council (EABC) and the Mkenya Daima Initiative which fosters peaceful coexistence for economic growth and prosperity in Kenya. For these and many other efforts and contributions, Vimal has received numerous awards including the First-Class Chief of the Order of the Burning Spear (CBS) in 2011 by former president Mwai Kibaki, which is the highest national honour for a civilian outside government. Dr. Vimal has, most recently, been presented with the Fastest Growing Business of the Year award during the Jain Diaspora Business Achievement Awards in association with KPMG held in London. He won this for his sustained commitment to fostering a rapid culture of development in agriculture, floriculture, ICT and outsourcing that helped Bidco see and explore the connection between Success and Performance.

Dr. Vimal has been presented with the Fastest Growing Business of the Year award during the Jain Diaspora Business Achievement Awards in association with KPMG held in London

In 2016, Vimal Shah was installed as the Chancellor for Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology. Vimal is a firm believer of the huge economic potential and future of Africa. He is passionate about Entrepreneurship and the conviction that it is the pillar to move an economic Africa forward. He believes in inspiring the start-ups that makes him a mentor and supporter of multiple Founders’ initiatives. He is one of the strongest drivers of the Vision of Bidco Africa: To grab, grow and sustain the number one market share in African markets by 2030.

#2 AMBASSADOR DENNIS AWORI

Amb. Dennis Awori is a Kenyan diplomat and captain of industry and commerce, involved among others, in promoting the private sector in Kenya. He holds a BSc degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Manchester in the UK. Other academic achievements include a Business Leadership Program at Ashridge Management College, and a Management Development program from the Emory Business School of Atlanta University in the US. Amb. Awori has spent most of his working life in multinationals in the Motor Industry across East Africa, in which he has held various positions of increasing responsibility. These include Sales and Marketing Manager, Branch Manager, General Manager, Managing Director and Chairman. He currently serves as chairman and country delegate of CFAO Kenya Limited. Amb. Awori sits on the board of directors of CFAO Group, a French conglomerate wholly owned by Toyota Tsusho Corporation with subsidiaries across the African continent.

Dennis Awori -Business Monthly

Amb. Dennis Awori joined Toyota Tsusho Corporation in 2009 and six years later was appointed Chairman of Toyota Tsusho East Africa. In public service, Amb. Awori also served as Board Member of Kenya Vision 2030 Delivery Board, a governmental organization in charge of the long-term development plan and vision of the country. From 2003 to 2009, Amb. Awori was appointed as the Ambassador of the Republic of Kenya to Japan and Korea. During his tenure, he assisted in opening a new Embassy in Korea and built strong relations between Kenya and the two countries, especially through their private sectors, in keeping with Kenya’s new focus on economic diplomacy. Upon his return from Japan, he re-joined the private sector in 2009. Amb. Dennis Awori currently also serves as a director in Boards of several companies including Bank of Africa, Carbacid Investments and East Africa Cables. In 2015 to 2016, Amb. Awori served as Chairman of Kenya Airways, the national carrier. He has also served as the Chairman of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA). KEPSA is umbrella body for Kenya’s private sector and; as a Trustee of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry. From 2015 to 2018, Amb. Awori chaired the Economics and Macro Committee of the Board for the Vision 2030 Delivery Board, which was responsible for providing technical support to the overall board.

Amb. Awori is a keen sportsman and represented Kenya and East Africa at Rugby events in the 1980s, as well as chaired both the Kenya Rugby Football Union and the Uganda Rugby Football Union in consecutive terms.

Dennis Awori - Business Monthly

In 2010, he was appointed to the New Partnerships for Africa Development National Steering Committee. Prior to these, Amb Awori served on the Board of the Communications Commission of Kenya (2001-2004) and participated in the establishing of the regulatory framework for the telecommunications, mobile telephony and courier industries. Amb. Awori is a keen sportsman and represented Kenya and East Africa at Rugby events in the 1980s, as well as chaired both the Kenya Rugby Football Union and the Uganda Rugby Football Union in consecutive terms. He has also been a member of the Rotary and is a past president of the Rotary Club of Nairobi. Personal Mantra: “Work Hard, Stay Focused and Whatever You Do, Keep It Simple’’

#3 Dr. S. K MACHARIA

Samuel Kamau Macharia, also known as SK, is the founder and chairman of Royal Media Services (RMS), the largest private radio and television network in Eastern Africa. RMS flagship outlets are Citizen TV and Radio Citizen. SK was born in 1942 in Ndakaini, Muranga County. In 2012, he was listed among the top 10 to watch by Forbes magazine of African millionaires to watch. Macharia was on the 2013 Africa Report of the 50 most influential Africans and was honoured with the 2015 Eastern Africa Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Lifetime Achievement Award.

S.K Macharia - Business Monthly

He applied for the Kennedy Airlifts and was accepted in the 1962 group. His family could not however raise the 4,000 shillings required for the plane ticket to the United States. He could only raise 1,200 shillings and had to travel for nearly 2 months by road from Kenya to Benghazi, Libya, where he took a ship to England and then a
flight to the USA. On arrival, he enrolled in Seattle Technical College and completed his high school education two years later. Macharia would later earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Seattle Pacific University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Washington. He would then complete a Master of Science in Accounting/Finance, a Master of Arts in Accounting and is certified as a Certified Public Accountant
(CPA) in Kenya. Macharia returned to Kenya in 1969 and was employed as a Provincial Local Government Finance Officer
(Supernumerary) in the Ministry of Local Government. He later worked with Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation (ICDC) and Kenya Industrial Estates (KIE). In 1973, he was appointed as head of a
taskforce that was charged with auditing and eventually liquidating the Agricultural Development Corporation. He however convinced the authorities that ADC could be saved and worked on turning around the corporation. In 1979, Macharia left the Public Service to run Madhupaper International, a tissue production company he had
started three years earlier. By 1985, Madhupaper had 300 employees and its main product Rosy remains a household brand. Madhupaper was the only tissue manufacturer in Kenya at the time, before being placed under receivership, an action that remains in the courts to date.

According to recent Kenya Audience Research Foundation (KARF), Citizen TV had a 62.5% share of the Kenyan television market in 2016. Royal Media Services radio stations have a combined audience of 80% of Kenya’s population with the main radio station Radio Citizen has a 43% market share

S.K Macharia - Business Monthly

According to recent Kenya Audience Research Foundation (KARF), Citizen TV had a 62.5% share of the Kenyan television market in 2016. Royal Media Services radio stations have a combined audience of 80% of Kenya’s population with the main radio station Radio Citizen has a 43% market share. Other brands in the Royal Media Services stable include Inooro TV, Ramogi FM, Inooro FM, Musyi FM, Chamgei FM, Muuga FM, Egesa FM, Bahari FM, Mulembe FM, Wimwaro FM, Sulwe FM, Hot 96 and Vuuka FM. In addition to the media industry, Macharia business interests include investments in agriculture, transport, real
estate, insurance and banking, among others. Macharia hold an honorary Doctorate degree from the University of Nairobi.

#4 Dr. Benson Wairegi

Dr. Wairegi started his career in 1977 as an auditor with Pricewaterhouse, the forerunner of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). Between 1979 and 1982, he served as a part-time tutorial fellow in Auditing in the Department of Accounting within the Faculty of Commerce, at the University of Nairobi. After completing his CPA exams in 1979, he left PwC and joined Britam in 1980 as the Chief
Accountant, rising through the ranks to his current position as the Group Managing Director.
Dr. Wairegi is a transformational leader who is synonymous with the insurance and asset management sectors in Kenya. Under his stewardship, many businesses like Britam and associated investments have experienced tremendous growth and have won numerous local and international awards. In addition to successfully steering Britam for over three decades, Dr. Wairegi has played a
pivotal role in the growth of the insurance and the inclusive financial services., through his membership either as Chairman or board member of various boards not just in the insurance industry but also in banking, the public sector, education and other not for profit
organizations. Since 2004, Dr. Wairegi has served as a Director of the Board of Housing Finance Corporation Limited and is a former Vice Chairman of the Board of Equity Bank.

Benson Wairegi - Business Monthly

In January 2010, he was appointed Chairman of Kenyatta University Council by His Excellency, the Retired President, Hon. Mwai Kibaki, for a term of three years. Following the expiry of his term as Chairman of the Council in January 2013 and the enactment of the new
Universities Act No. 42 of 2012, Dr. Wairegi was appointed Chancellor of Kenyatta University by His Excellency, President Uhuru Kenyatta in July 2013. In December 2011, Dr. Wairegi was conferred a Head of State Commendation, Elder of the Burning Spear (EBS) by His Excellency President Mwai Kibaki in recognition of his contribution to nation building within the financial services sector. He has served in various capacities in the Association of Kenya Insurers (AKI) and was Chairman of the Association between 2006 and 2008. He has also served as a board member of the Insurance Training and Education Trust (ITET), Agricultural Finance Corporation, Federation of Kenya Employers and of various secondary schools across Kenya. In Britam, he has presided over the transformation of the company from a small home service insurance company employing about 40 employees, to a diversified financial services group with a presence in seven African countries currently employing over 1,000 employees and 3,000 financial advisors. 
The Britam today offers a wide range of financial products and services in Insurance, Asset Management, Banking and Property. The product range includes: life, health and general insurance, pensions, unit trusts, investment planning, wealth management, off-shore investments, retirement planning, discretionary portfolio management, property development and private equity.

BIO Dr. Wairegi was born on Jan 1 1953. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Hons) in Accounting from the University of Nairobi and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Strategic Management, also from the University of Nairobi. He is a Certified Public Accountant of Kenya.

Benson Wairegi - Business Monthly

The companies within the group have been very successful in growing their business and both the insurance company and the asset management company have become market leaders and very strong brands. In 2007, in a strategic move aimed at further growing the company, Britam acquired a strategic stake of 10.64 per cent in Equity Bank, Kenya’s largest bank in customer deposits, and 48.82 per cent shareholding in Housing Finance, the largest mortgage finance provider in East Africa. In 2010, under the leadership of Dr. Wairegi, Britam's regional expansion commenced with the group venturing into Uganda with the incorporation of Britam Insurance Company (Uganda) Limited. Britam Insurance Company (South Sudan) Limited was incorporated in February 2012 and is licensed to underwrite all classes of life and non-life insurance, while Britam Insurance Company (Rwanda) Limited was incorporated and licensed in 2013 by the National Bank of Rwanda.
The year 2011 marked an important watershed in the history of the company. The company was listed at the Nairobi Securities Exchange, in a move aimed at unlocking the shareholders’ value, attracting additional capital for the Group’s expansion strategy, aiding in the penetration into the regional market and the expansion of the asset management business and real estate investments. Through listing, Britam has given an opportunity to about 25,000 Kenyans to own a stake in the company. In 2012, the group rebranded from Britak to Britam, creating a new fresh identity that would aid in communicating brand uniformity and consistency across all operations of the
group in the region. The rebranding created a reputable strong brand, bringing brand consistency and the “One Company One Brand‟ mantra. The rebranding also helped the company to have a single customer view of suppliers and service providers.

In accordance with the Groups growth strategy hinged on becoming the market leader across business lines, Britam acquired a 99 per cent stake in Real Insurance Company in 2014, effectively expanding the company’s’ foot print into the Eastern Africa region. The acquisition resulted in the creation of one of the largest insurance group in the region, with operations in seven countries namely Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Sudan, Malawi and Mozambique. The acquisition will also see Britam increase its market share to rank second in the market on gross premium basis. As a result of the successful trend experienced by the company, in September 2017, the
International Finance Corporation finalized the acquisition of 10.37 per cent stake in Britam, while in May 2018 AfricInvest completed the acquisition of 14.3 per cent stake in the company. In June 2018, Swiss Re, acquired 13.81 per cent stake in Britam Holdings. These investments are a demonstration of the confidence by these organizations in Britam Holdings and these partnerships will raise Britam’s profile internationally, while providing support in the areas of social impact, environmental standards, world-class management
and technical skills support.
Over the years, Britam has supported the economic and social development of Kenya through payment of taxes and support of various corporate social responsibility initiatives through its foundation. These include supporting improvement of maternal healthcare, supporting empowerment of youth through sports, performing arts and mentorship. Dr. Wairegi is the man credited with the vision, the determination and the skills that have
turned Britam into the company it is today. Amidst the turbulence in the local and global economy, he has been able to build a super brand and a financial powerhouse, surmounting myriad challenges along the way.

Britam at a Glance

US$ 1 billion asset base
KShs.129 billion – Assets Under Management
66 branches
Over 1,000 dedicated workforce
3,000 tied financial advisors
Over 500,000 lives insured
Over 78 retirement schemes managed
Accolades and Recognition

The fact that Wairegi has steered Britam in achieving key strategic objectives is indisputable. The company, which has been in existence for close to five decades now boasts of an asset base in the excess of Kshs.112 billion and has recorded exponential growth in business across all the sectors it operates.

#5 KIPRONO KITTONY

If you ask Kip how he became a leading figure in Kenyan business circles, he will tell you it was by mistake. Kiprono Kittony, the Vice Chair of the World Chambers Federation, always wanted to study Law, despite his long and distinguished career in business today. “As a young man, I wanted to study law, but as fate would have it, I was enrolled for Commerce at the University of Nairobi. Dad told me, don’t worry, you have always had the potential to be a good businessman,” narrates Kittony, who is the immediate past National Chairman of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI), where he is credited with modernizing and restoring the organization to its glory during his two terms as Chair (2012-2019). “In my early days in business, when the pull to study Law was very strong, I realized my dad was right; I had the potential to be a good businessman. But I also learnt something else in those early days, something valuable that
has served me to this day. You can’t bank potential, you have to work hard,” he says, adding that “hard work has played a huge role in my journey, a bigger role than my knack for business.” But what does hard work look like for Kittony, whose friends fondly refer to as Kip?

Kiprop Kittony - Business Monthly

It means being constantly curious, putting in the effort to learn and partnering with others where there is a knowledge or skills gap, he explains. To illustrate this, he points to his diverse business interests, which have expanded over the past three decades to cover media, technology, telecommunications, agriculture and hospitality. “I wear many hats, and this requires a real commitment in terms of time and networks. You need to put time into building teams and networks. You can’t do everything alone. Even Bill Gates has 24 hours a day and needs a team,” he quips.

Kittony loves to network. “As Chair of the Chamber and in my capacity as a businessman, I have travelled to around 75 countries. In the course of my travels, I have built a database of 10,000+ contacts consisting of professionals, businesspersons, investors and government officials. Networks help if you want to progress in any
meaningful endeavour” he says. So, with all this on his plate, did he manage to study Law? Yes. Kittony holds two degrees from the University of Nairobi. Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Law. He also holds a Global Executive MBA from USIU-A in conjunction with Columbia University. He loves to spend his free time with his family, both in Nairobi and at the farm in Kitale, where he grows and
processes coffee, keeps dairy cattle, a few horses and ensures Sirwo Resort and Cranes Haven, two luxury hotels his family operates in the area, live up to their reputation for excellence.

Kiprono Kittony was awarded the Elder of the Order of the Burning Spear (EBS) by the President on Dec 12 2019 for distinguished services to Kenya, in the field of business leadership.

L-R: Mr. Kittony, the late Kofi Annan and Royal Media Services MD, Wachira Waruru, in talks involving media owners during the 2007-2008 Crisis

Kiprono Kittony was awarded the Elder of the Order of the Burning Spear (EBS) by the President on Dec 12 2019 for distinguished services to Kenya, in the field of business leadership.
Highlights in Kittony’s life include:

• Founding Chairman of Radio Africa Group, a leading media house
• Vice Chairman World Chambers Federation in Paris, where he represents Africa
• Chairman of My Jobs in Kenya, a leading jobs portal
• CEO of Capital Realtime, one of the top 10 Safaricom dealerships
• Chairman of Mtech Communications, a leading pan-African tech firm
• Chairman CreditInfo CRB Kenya Limited
• Chairman of Betway in Kenya
• Director and Board Member at Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE)
• Member of advisory council of IFHA (International Fund for Health in Africa), an Amsterdam based private
equity fund
• Immediate Former Chairman of the Media Owners Association and the AAR Insurance

#6 Linus W Gitahi

When he joined the media as the group CEO, OF Nation Media Group (NMG), from the pharmaceuticals industry, nobody expected Linus to blend in easily. This he did in record time and would soon be striding the corridors of power like a colossus, leading media CEOs in
numerous engagements with the government then. His entry coincided with the era of infighting with the media when Parliament was desirous to enact various acts to regulate the media. With media mogul SK Macharia, then media owners association chairman Dr. Hanningtone Gaya, former AG Prof. Githu Muigai and Senior Counsel SC Paul Muite, provided a conducive engagement environment that led to the enactment of the Media Act 2007, a most progressive
Act that ushered in statutory media regulation, as opposed to media control. The Act facilitated a professionally constituted and run Media Council, including the first Complaints Commission. Linus took over the chairmanship of the MOA in 2008 from Dr. Hanningtone Gaya and built it to a phenomenon and powerful industry lobby organization in Kenya serving for two terms, before relinquishing the mantle to SK Macharia.

Linus Gitahi - Business Monthly

Linus joined NMG after a successful stint as the CEO of GSK in West Africa, a public liability company quoted in the Lagos Stock Exchange. Before then, Linus was commercial director in Near East looking after Cyprus, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. At NMG, Linus grew the profit 4 times during his two terms, having taken over from the long
serving Dr. Wilfred Kiboro, the current chairman and an Aga Khan Network and Service insider. As part of his personal social responsibility, Linus started Baraka Foundation that has to date
educated over two hundred kids from poor families from form 1 to 4. For this, Linus was feted with the Order of the Moran of the Burning Spear (MBS) by President Mwai Kibaki in 2010. Passionate about generating wealth and creating employment, Linus invested in Manufacturing through Tropikal Brands Afrika, in communication through Oxygene Marketing and in farming through Sangare Gardens after leaving the NMG, not one to involve in conflict of interest. Linus was born in 1962. He holds a Diploma in Management from the Kenya Institute of Management (KIM), a BCom (Hons) degree in Accounting from the University of Nairobi, and an MBA degree from the USIU-A. He is a Fellow of KIM.

As part of his personal social responsibility, Linus started Baraka Foundation that has to date educated over two hundred kids from poor families from form 1 to 4

Linus Gitahi - Business Monthly

Linus started his career at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) as a Brand Management trainee in 1989, rising through the ranks to group CEO of West Africa. Other positions held at GSK include:
 Marketing Director East Africa 1994 -1998
 Marketing Director Africa-London 1998-2000
 Commercial Director Near East –Cyprus 2001-2001
 General Manager East Africa and Indian Ocean Islands –Nairobi 2001-2003
 CEO West Africa 2003 -2006.

Nation Media Group 2006 -2015 – Group CEO – 9 years. NMG is a public company quoted in the Nairobi securities exchange and operates in 4 countries, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda, with a Turnover of Usd 150 million and profit of Usd 40 million. During his tenure here, grew the profits 3.5 times and the turnover slightly more than doubled.
Linus experience, skills and networks have enabled him to serve in the following capacities:

 Chairman, Tropikal Brands (Afrika)
 Chairman, Diamond Trust Bank
 Chairman, Oxygene Marketing Communications
 Chairman, Msingi Foundation, an Organization dedicated to catalyzing industrialization
in East Africa
 Chairman, Zenufa Pharmaceuticals in TANZANIA.
 Board Member, Brand Kenya
 Board Member, Simba Corp
 Board Member Allianz Insurance
 Board Member Kenya Association of Manufacturers

#7 ADIL POPAT EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN: SIMBA CORPORATION LTD

Simba Corporation, a 51-year old 100% Kenyan company is a diversified business group with interests in Motor Vehicle Assembly and Distribution, Hospitality, Financial Services and Real Estate. Adil Popat is the driving force behind this successful business group. The group is the exclusive distributor of a number of well known global brands in motors such as Fuso Trucks and Buses, Mitsubishi, Mahindra, SAME Tractors and AVIS. In hospitality the group owns Kempinski Hotel in Nairobi and another in the sprawling Masai Mara National Park.

Adil popat - Business Monthly

Simba’s home-grown brand in hospitality includes Acacia Premier, Barista and UVA Wines. The group is expanding hospitality, to soon launch a first-to-market unique restaurant concept in Nairobi. As part of giving back to the community, Adil is passionate about serving the less fortunate people in the society. He is the founder of Simba Foundation which creates sustainable opportunities for the empowerment of targeted members of indigenous local community. Currently, the foundation is providing a platform to hundreds of
underprivileged youth by equipping them with technical and business skills and creating job opportunities for them, upon graduation. He has been a member of the Wharton’s Executive Board for Europe, Middle East and Africa for several years.

In his down time, he enjoys a round of golf with peers. He is an avid traveller with keen interest in destinations that inspire his love for hospitality.

Adil popat - Business Monthly

He served as Chairman of the Kenya Motor Industry Association (KMI) for 3 years and is the current Chairman of the Kenya Vehicle Manufacturers Association (KVMA). He also served as the Chair of the YPO Gold Nairobi for 2 terms. In his down time, he enjoys a round of golf with peers. He is an avid traveller with keen interest in destinations that inspire his love for hospitality. Adil Popat has an MBA from the Wharton Business School (1984) and a bachelor’s degree in Business from the University of Washington, Seattle (1980).

#8 ZARAK J. KHAN

Zarak Khan started at DT Dobie in 1981 as an apprentice. He has
demonstrated that hard work and clear determination are pre-requisites to realizing one’s ambitions. From humble beginnings he managed to travel to the UK where he studied automobile engineering. Upon his return, he secured a job at DT Dobie starting off as a workshop trainee, then as Mechanic, then Service Supervisor,
then Assistant Field Service Sales Manager and then in 1992 he moved up to become the Sales and Marketing Director and subsequently Managing Director in 1997 a position he held until 2017 before being appointed the Executive Chairman of DT Dobie.

Zarak Khan - Business Monthly

Zarak recalls, in 1997 DT Dobie introduced the Mercedes-Benz Actros into the Kenyan market and the rest as they say is history. While it was not a walk in the park, getting the Mercedes-Benz prime mover to the top of the sales charts for over 8 years is one that Zarak will always look back on with pride. “We have a special relationship with our truck customers, some of them are 3 generations old and have been with DT Dobie long before I even joined” Zarak says.
Zarak Khan has also been at the helm of ensuring that Mercedes-Benz
passenger cars have been the leaders of premier passenger cars on the Kenyan roads. DT Dobie proudly sells the entire Mercedes Benz passenger stable from the A- class to the G-Wagon. He introduced the latest Mercedes-Benz SUVs in addition to more traditional saloons, providing solid and reliable mid-sized trucks with the Hyundai light duty trucks and further the Mercedes-Benz commercial line with an all new generation Actros Prime Mover and locally assembled and built buses. Zarak’s encountered a herculean challenge when Nissan announced they would be pulling out of all CFAO countries including DT Dobie in the year 2013 after a buyout of CFAO by Japan’s TTC. The decision placed a huge burden on Zarak and the company as DT Dobie had grown and established the Nissan brand as a household name in the Kenyan automotive landscape for 50 years at the point.

Zarak’s encountered a herculean challenge when Nissan announced they would be pulling out of all CFAO countries including DT Dobie in the year 2013 after a buyout of CFAO by Japan’s TTC

Zarak Khan - Business Monthly

“It wasn’t easy, Nissan was part of our DNA but we had to quickly shift gear and look for a replacement volume brand and Volkswagen was it. I’m extremely glad we took up the Volkswagen franchise as we were able to re-invent ourselves as a fresh brand with a new and interesting product portfolio” Zarak said. His strategy was to find the right VW models to fit our market and to kick start local assembly of VW passenger cars, a first in Kenya after over 40 years. Zarak added that the Company is on a stable footing and well prepared for the
future of the Kenyan automotive Industry and he is confident that with the support of the CFAO Group the company will grow to greater heights. Zarak concluded by saying, “It hasn’t been an easy road, but resilience and belief in what we sell, what we stand for and our heritage has seen us survive.

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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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