Top 60 Most Transformative CEOs Impacting The Economy

Flora Mutahi’s journey, from founding and leading the largest natural-flavoured tea company in Kenya to her various board positions, reflects a remarkable career path built on innovation, strategic leadership and impactful social initiatives

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FLORA MUTAHI

FOUNDER & CEO, MELVINS TEAS

Flora Mutahi is a dynamic and passionate entrepreneur who has made significant contributions in manufacturing and business. With over 27 years of experience as a C-suite executive, she has proven to be a visionary leader, business advisor, and an inspiring mentor to young entrepreneurs.

Ms Mutahi’s journey, from founding and leading the largest natural-flavoured tea company in Kenya to her various board positions, reflects a remarkable career path built on innovation, strategic leadership and impactful social initiatives.

Founding Melvins Teas in 1995 marked the beginning of Flora’s entrepreneurial journey. Through her visionary leadership, the company has experienced exponential growth in local and international markets. Under her guidance, Melvins has expanded its reach countrywide and beyond, introducing a wide range of teas tailored to its young and vibrant consumers.

The Melvins tea collection exemplifies Flora’s innovative approach, firmly establishing the brand as a trailblazer in the tea industry.

Ms Mutahi’s expertise extends beyond the tea business and into other industries such as real estate. She successfully established Azizi Realtors, a thriving real estate company offering property sales, letting, management, and advisory services.

Her contributions to global trade finance were recognised when she participated in the Advisory Group on Trade Finance (ATF) in 2020, a high-profile committee hosted by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), McKinsey Group, and Fung Institute. Flora provided valuable insights into global finance solutions, collaborating with prominent figures such as the CEO of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) and ICC.

Apart from her entrepreneurship pursuits, Ms Mutahi has demonstrated a strong commitment to fostering innovation and empowering others, as evidenced by her multiple board positions. Notably, she became the first female Chair of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), where she actively championed initiatives supporting entrepreneurs, attracting investments, and promoting innovation.

Additionally, as Chair of the Anti-Counterfeit Agency, another milestone as the first female in this position, she successfully implemented a recordation process to significantly reduce counterfeit goods right at the source while boosting revenue generation.

In her role as Chair of the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), she made history as the first female to hold this position in the organisation’s 57-year existence. Here, Flora brought her expertise to bear on strategic governance and operational excellence. Her leadership was instrumental in creating the ‘Changamka Festival’, a platform that showcased local products and innovations while empowering women in the manufacturing sector through the Women in Manufacturing program.

She is currently an Independent Director on the board of SBM Bank Kenya, where she assumed a crucial role in successfully overseeing the acquisition of two banks, with her expertise and insights playing a vital role in navigating the intricate process.

Flora’s dedication to sustainable development extends to her involvement with the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC). As a Board Member of UNGC (New York) and UNGC (Kenya), she actively promotes the principles of the initiative and fosters impactful change locally and globally. Furthermore, in her role as a Board Member of Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030 (P4G), she advises and supports investments in impactful initiatives aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) and the Paris Agreement.

Ms Mutahi’s track record as a board member reflects her commitment to making a positive difference in the companies she works with and the broader community and economy.

Flora is committed to mentorship and women empowerment. She has launched the Melvins Mentorship Impact Programme, which provides personalised coaching and mentoring to female entrepreneurs. Through the programme, she has positively impacted the lives and businesses of many women, helping them scale their manufacturing businesses and access formal markets. She continues to look for avenues to coach and mentor other entrepreneurs so they can run successful business ventures.

Flora’s educational background is just as impressive as her career path. She has a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from the University of Cape Town (UCT) and a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Finance and Accounting from the United States International University-Africa (USIU-A).

Ms Mutahi holds various professional qualifications including a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certification and an Executive Coaching and Marketing Diploma. Flora’s educational achievements are a testament to her commitment to continuous learning, complementing her impressive career path.

Flora’s professional journey showcases a path of success as an entrepreneur, leader and mentor. From founding and leading a successful agro-based manufacturing company to actively contributing to various boards and driving impactful social initiatives, she continues to imprint indelible marks on the business landscape.

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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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