CHAIR OF BOARD TECHNOLOGY SERVICE PROVIDERS OF KENYA
With a passion for all things technology and equipped with over fifteen years of experience in various management roles across East and Central Africa, Hilary Itela finds himself as the Chair of the Board at Technology Service Providers of Kenya (TESPOK). He is also the General Manager (GM) at AURA.
How did he get here? Well, after high school, Hilary pursued an LLB degree from the University of Nairobi (UoN). He then proceeded to the University of Liverpool for his Master of Science (MSc) degree in Logistics and Supply Chain. He later obtained another post-graduate degree, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the United States International University – Africa (USIU-A).
These academic credentials would soon inform the foundation and upward movement for Hilary in his professional career. He has been the Head of Operations at Multichoice Kenya, Operations Director at Engie Fenix in Uganda, Head of Logistics at Copia Kenya, GM Operations at Imperial Health Sciences, as well as Head of Secure Logistics at G4S Kenya, just to list a few.
Established in 1999, TESPOK is a professional, non-profit organisation representing the interests of telecommunication service providers in Kenya. TESPOK is an all-inclusive body representing not only telecom operators but also software and hardware developers and ICT hubs.
Under Hilary, TESPOK champions issues of professional conduct and standards of service within the ICT industry and its subsectors. Indeed, TESPOK’s role and image has being growing in leaps and bounds in the last two years, wrung from its pre-eminent role in keeping the industry alive and ahead of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 Pandemic. TESPOK provided the leadership that enabled immediate increase of internet capacity and uninterrupted accessibility to cope with the increased demand, for homes that also became offices, online education and off-office meetings, conferences and issues internet security.
TESPOK under Hilary, has targeted educational institutions with a view to enable them provide courses that impact relevant skill sets required within the industry. TESPOK has also increased capacity through seminars and preparation of white papers that address the lack of understanding of ICT based business. Hilary adds “The strength of the association rests on its ability to be truly representative of the Kenyan industry as a whole.”
Early last year, AURA – a leading South African security and medical response platform, announced its imminent expansion into Kenya, which Hilary leads. Partnering with KK Security, owned by GardaWorld, AURA offers its emergency and medical response services in Nairobi and Mombasa.
At AURA, Hilary brings a wealth of specialist expertise within various verticals including security, e-commerce, logistics, pharmaceuticals, FMCG and renewable energy. In addition to working closely with Kenyan partners to build a large and effective response network, Hilary is responsible for growing the AURA business footprint across the region to ensure that smart security solutions are available to all.
During the announcement, Hilary said he looks forward to shaping a business that will contribute to the safety and security of the community and create employment opportunities that positively impact the economies in which we operate. From entry, AURA has been focusing on further global expansion in territories with similar inefficiencies to South Africa.
Kenya has been dubbed the silicon Savannah with many homegrown technology companies. The future of Africa and its ability lies within the tech space. Various innovations, including but not limited to, Fintechs, logistics and e-hauling, e-commerce, telemedicine and pharmaceuticals delivery have all carved a niche within the Kenyan Market particularly during the Covid-19 Pandemic period.
According to Hilary, the responsibility as TESPOK is to ensure a level playing field for all the players within the Technology space to ensure transparency and be the arbiter to enable a competitive environment.
Hilary had this to say on the possibility that he would have followed an alternative career path: ‘I am a fighter and I always wanted to join the Airforce. I guess if my parents had not insisted that I proceed to the University after my high school, I would perhaps be a General in the Air Force by now’.
On the way forward for the future, Hilary opines that we ought to spark the innovation and creative spirit in the minds of our youth early. ‘The world is definitely theirs for the taking once we spark this ambition into their minds early enough,’ he adds.
Apart from Technology, Hilary lives within some passionate spaces such as sports, education, environment and community empowerment. It is within these spaces that he currently holds positions such as Treasurer of Rotary Club NABO IF, Board Director of Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) where it is fair to note that he is a former Kenya National Rugby Team player.
Hilary Itela also chairs the advisory boards at St Paul’s Amukura and St Jude’s Onyunyur High Schools in Busia, Kenya.