Top 25 Most Powerful Women in C-Suite Impacting Business

Zuhura Odhiambo holds an MBA degree in Marketing from Kenya Methodist University and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree from Limkokwing University, Malaysia.

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Zuhura Odhiambo

CEO NEW REVENUE SOLUTIONS AFRICA (NRSA)

As a young girl growing up in the village, Zuhura’s dream was to become a conscientious leader who would positively impact society. Her desire has always been to improve the livelihoods and dignity of the majority of people especially those at the bottom of the pyramid.

During an interview with this publication, Zuhura recalled her mother constantly reminding her that, “For you to be a leader, you need to be disciplined, passionate, a good listener and compassionate; one who continually puts the interests of others before self.” According to Zuhura, these words became her clarion call and point of reference through her leadership journey that spans over 15 years in business, corporate, ministry and social spheres.

Zuhura is a professional leader skilled in business management, organization development, strategic communication, media analysis and social marketing.  Her work experience spans top tier media houses as Nation Media Group and Capital FM, where she held a number of senior management positions.

As a Commercial Director, Zuhura was in charge of teams handling key accounts on media advertising for radio, digital and on-ground for both direct and agency clients. Other key responsibilities involved overseeing territorial management of clients aimed at increasing client base. This made her appreciate the importance of teamwork and shared leadership in organisations.

Having spent close to fifteen years in the corporate space and having gained a wealth of experience, Zuhura decided to transition to entrepreneurship by teaming up with a business partner to set up Cocoa by Design, an events management entity. Cocoa by Design transacted businesses not only in Kenya but also Uganda, Tanzania and South Africa.

Zuhura the found and set up New Revenue Solutions Africa (NRSA) in 2015 where she serves as CEO.  Under this organisation, Zuhura has been able to leverage her knowledge and experience in business strategy, marketing, communication and digital transformation to advice especially MSMES on how to enhance their efficiencies and effectiveness to grow and sustain revenue, through the use of data.

Her focus is to see businesses develop winning strategies, generate multiple income streams and nurture strong brands while ensuring affirmative action is institutionalised and operationalised in the policies of organizations. In this regard, Zuhura spearheaded the launch of the 30% Club in East Africa. As a Regional Lead and Coordinator of the 30% Club, Zuhura facilitated the signing in of the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) to run a global campaign led by Chairs and CEOs taking action to increase gender diversity at board and senior management levels by at least 30%.

According to her, the leadership journey has not been easy. Some of the profound lessons that she gleaned along the way is that for a woman to be successful, she has to be resilient, continually innovative, agile, an effective communicator and emotionally intelligent. These attributes need to be firmly anchored on faith in the almighty, in God. She further adds that women leaders have to be purpose driven, confident and ready to seek mentors and learn from them. Zuhura posits that she has learnt that even though the journey as a woman leader might be challenging, what matters most is God, support from family, friends, mentors, and other leaders in the field.

During her free time, Zuhura mentors young leaders from various institutions like Kenyatta, KCA and Strathmore Universities, among others. She is passionate about propelling the woman leaders for tomorrow, who will need to work with the man for good gender equality. She has ensured that the boy child is not left behind either and she does this through Next Gen Fathers which is a young man’s mentoring organisation with a Mantra of “give us your boy and we shall give you back a refined man” where she serves as a Board member.

Zuhura remains a big force in the Creatives Industry where she serves as a Chair of Board of EMAK Events Managers Association of Kenya (EMAK) to bring professionalism in the Industry.

Zuhura holds an MBA degree in Marketing from Kenya Methodist University and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree from Limkokwing University, Malaysia. She has undertaken the Senior Management Leadership Program and Developing Leadership Competencies courses at the Strathmore Business School (SBS). She is also an alumni of Female Future Force programme (FFFP) from the Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE).

Ms Odhiambo is a member of the following associations: Women Corporate Directors (WCD), Marketing Society of Kenya (MSK), Public Relations Society of Kenya (PRSK) and the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).

Zuhura was instrumental in seeing the first Women Economic Forum being hosted by development partners, government, private companies, informal sectors, civil society organizations (CSOs) and women leaders which discussed the role of women in reshaping the Kenyan economy in February 2021.

She was involved in coaching and mentoring start-ups to develop award winning business cases and plans during incubation with Ibiz Africa a Standard Chartered Bank Initiative in 2019.

Zuhura participated in the formation of the first Female Governor’s Network in Kenya to enable better County service delivery in the 5-year time frame in 2018 and initiated partnerships and was involved in having the first Indian Film Festival Kenya from the Indian Film Festival Worldwide which was also the first in Africa in 2018.

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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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