A Look at Kenya's Most Outstanding CEOs
Kenyan companies have been expanding their reach across the region as they seek to become Pan-African giants. These companies are steered by some of the continents’ most innovative, strategic and revolutionary CEOs. Dinfin Mulupi takes a look at five of Kenya’s many influential CEOs.
James Mwangi CEO Equity Bank
James Mwangi, the CEO of Equity Bank Group revived the company when it was a technically insolvent building society in 2004, transforming it to one of the largest and most profitable companies in the country. Equity today has about 8 million accounts and is the largest in Africa by customer numbers. The bank has a regional presence in five countries namely Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, Rwanda and Tanzania. Mwangi was recently named the 2012 Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur of the Year.
READ: James Mwangi of Kenya's Equity Bank Named Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur of the Year 2012
Bob Collymore CEO Safaricom
Filling the shoes of Michael Joseph who as CEO of Safaricom unveiled the revolutionary mobile money transfer service -Mpesa is no easy task. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Collymore took over as boss at the telecoms firm just at the onset of a price war which led to a cut in price calls by upto 50 percent. Revenues were heading south while competition heightened. Yet, in the two years, Collymore has led a restructuring process, innovation of new products and services and profits in the midst of a tough economic environment.
Atul Shah CEO Nakumatt Holdings
Atul together with his brother and father built Nakumatt Holdings , one of Kenya’s largest indigenous firm. The Supermarket chain today has presence in Tanzania, Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda and has plans to expand further across the continent. Atul Shah was named by the Financial Times as one of the top 50 emerging market business leaders.
Bharat Thakkar CEO Scangroup
Thakkar heads Scangroup which controls the Kenyan advertising market with a 77 percent market share. Thakkar is the founding shareholder of Scangroup and a director of all Scangroup subsidiaries. Scangroup offers a comprehensive and integrated range of Advertising and Communication Services in Traditional Advertising, Media Investment Management, Marketing Consultancy, Public Relations and Experiential Marketing. Thakkar has working experience in advertising and communications spanning over thirty six years.
Jonathan Ciano CEO Uchumi Supermarkets
The Uchumi Supermarket CEO is also known as the ‘master of turnarounds’ . Ciano was brought in to head Uchumi Supermarkets-In Receivership after it was reopened July 15, 2006 ending 45 days of closure. Before leading the turnaround at Uchumi, Ciano put his skills to work at the Kenya Petroleum Refinery Limited (KPRL) and Kenya Power & Lightning Company (KPLC). This was after he was involved in strategic change and organizational buyouts in Shell international companies during his postings abroad.