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Business Leaders of the Year: List of 70 Most Outstanding Kenyan Business Personalities in 2022


  • Nelly Cheboi was named the 2022 CNN Hero of the Year, an award that celebrates individuals who are making the world a better place through small acts of kindness
  • Bonfire Adventures led by Simon Kabu and his wife Sarah was crowned Kenya’s Leading Travel Agency for the seventh year running
  • Turkana agronomist Aaron Nanok scooped the United Nations (UN) in Kenya Person of the Year Award in 2022 for his commitment to sustainable agriculture

The World Bank projected Kenya’s economy to grow by 5.5% in 2022.

Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa.
Safaricom under Peter Ndegwa’s leadership remained Kenya’s most profitable company. Photo: Peter Ndegwa.
Source: Twitter

The growth was slower compared to the remarkable recovery of 7.5% in 2021 post-COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the recovery is still hindered by the Russian invasion of Ukraine which has led to skyrocketing food and fuel prices.

Amid the crisis, some Kenyan business personalities stood out in the year, leading their companies to big profits, while others won several awards.

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TUKO.co.ke lists the most outstanding business personalities per sector.

Startups/tech sector

Nelly Cheboi

Nelly Cheboi is the founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of TechLit Africa, a non-profit organisation that redistributes recycled technology to build computer labs in African schools.

Through her organisation, she has managed to build over 10 computer labs in rural Kenya. Besides featuring in the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, Cheboi continues to attract recognition and accolades for her life-changing initiatives.

She was named the 2022 CNN Hero of the Year, an award that celebrates individuals who are making the world a better place through small acts of kindness.

Speaking to TUKO.co.ke, Cheboi said they are leveraging the digital economy to provide more opportunities for rural Africans to make a living.

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“We want our students to have the skills to work for international companies remotely from the village. So, we are incorporating digital skills in schools while building a pipeline for them once they graduate from high school. We are currently in 15 schools. Our fifth graders are building websites and some of our teachers are working remotely for Tech companies in California.”

David Kyalo

David Kyalo is the founder and CEO of Laivli Media, a marketing agency.

The marketing guru was previously featured in Forbes Africa’s 30 Under 30; Business Daily Africa’s Top 40 Under 40, and Top 100 Most Influential Young Kenyans by public relations and rating firm AvanceMedia.

Laivli media founder David Kyalo.
David Kyalo, founder and CEO of Laivli Media. Photo: David Kyalo.
Source: UGC

Kyalo’s most notable achievement in 2022 was managing one presidential event that hosted all ODPPs from Africa.

“The event took place at Sarova Whitesands mid-this year. We also managed the East Africa human resource (HR) symposium,” he told TUKO.co.ke.

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Mark Ndung’u

Mark Ndungu is the general manager of Bean Interactive Limited, a full-service digital agency specialising in digital marketing, digital campaign planning and execution, lead generation, among other services.

The marketing agency was named among the top 100 fast-growing mid-sized companies in Kenya in a survey by Business Daily Africa and accounting firm KPMG.

Mark Ndung'u's Bean Interactive was named among the the top 100 fastest growing mid-sized companies.
Bean Interactive Ltd general manager Mark Ndung’u. Photo: Mark Ndung’u.
Source: UGC

While commenting on their natable achievement in 2022, Ndung’u told TUKO.co.ke they worked on a number of amazing projects including the launch of Audiense TV.

“Our proudest achievement this year is Audiense TV, a proprietary innovation from BEAN Interactive (in partnership with Eskimi). Audiense TV (www.audiense.tv) is a self-serve TV buying platform that allows advertisers to air ads in Kenya in three easy steps from as little as Ksh 18,000.”

Wyclife Omondi and Sonia Kabra

The duo co-founded BuuPass, an online bus booking platform that enables travellers to reserve seats and make payments in a convenient and timely way.

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BuuPass was selected for Google Black Founders Fund this year. The company has grown in leaps and bounds since winning KSh 122 million (US$1 million) in seed funding from the HULT Prize competition in 2016.

BuuPass CEOs.
BuuPass co-founders Sonia Kabra and Wyclife Omondi. Photo: BuuPass.
Source: UGC

Commenting on their most notable achievement in 2022, Omondi and Kabra disclosed BuuPass is building the digital infrastructure for the broken and hyper-fragmented US$40 billion long-distance transport market in Africa.

“Our solution is a B2B2C full-stack marketplace that digitises the operations of transport companies and connects them with online ticketing platforms where travellers can book their intercity bus, train and flight tickets online.

One of our biggest achievements this year has been our expansion to Uganda. We are currently live in over 800 locations in Kenya and Uganda and process over 10,000 tickets per day across all platforms,” Kabra told TUKO.co.ke.

Jinal Savla

Savla is the founder and chief growth officer of Solutech Limited. The tech company solves informal retail challenges through sales automation with a range of tools proven to increase sales operations’ effectiveness and efficiency.

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This year, Solutech was selected for the Google Black Founders Fund and stands to benefit from US$ 4 million in funding meant to support startups.

Solutech’s CEO Alexander Odhiambo Aluoch also made it to BD Africa’s Top 40 Under 40 Men Kenya in 2022.

Bico Noriss Hamalah

Hamalah is the CEO of Kobby Technologies Limited. The tech company offers a broad range of Information Technology (IT) solutions, services and products for both developed and emerging markets.

The firm made it to BD Africa’s list of the top 100 fastest-growing mid-sized companies in Kenya this year. Bico was recognised among the top 10 CEOs of the year.

Sadaam Suleiman

Suleiman is the co-founder and managing director of Dragonfly Limited, an award-winning creative agency.

In November 2022, DragonFly was recognised among the top 100 mid-sized companies in Kenya, thanks to its high-flying thinker Suleiman whose passion for branding and digital marketing has kept the firm constantly on the growth path.

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Suleiman was previously featured in Forbes Africa 30 Under 30.

Dragonfly boss Sadam Suleiman.
Sadaam Suleiman, managing director, DragonFly Limited. Photo: Business Daily.
Source: UGC

Fintech sector

David Karanja, the founder and CEO of Professional Digital Systems Limited launched a revenue management system to help businesses monitor revenue streams.

Richard Machomba’s firm FlexPay supported over 400 stores, serving over 150,000 customers across the country.

Other fintech personalities that stood out in 2022 include Eric Muli, Njavwa Mutambo and Hilda Moraa.

David Karanja

David Karanja is the founder and CEO of Professional Digital Systems Limited (PDSL), one of the leading providers of ICT and fintech solutions to businesses.

PDSL was recognised among the top 10 fastest-growing mid-sized companies in Kenya in the Top 100 SMEs Survey 2022 by BD Africa and KPMG.

Commenting on his most notable achievements, Karanja said their greatest accomplishment in 2022 was the new flagship product Revenue Management System (PiDiPay).

David Karanja at his office.
David Karanja is the founder and CEO of Professional Digital Systems Limited. Photo: PDSL.
Source: UGC

“PDSL prides itself in its new flagship PiDiPay as a key achievement of the year 2022. In-house and innovatively developed through intense market intelligence and research, PiDiPay is tailor-made to suit all clients’ needs.

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“It is a one-stop shop that will help our clients monitor revenue collection from multiple streams through our Business Intelligence Module,” he told TUKO.co.ke.

The CEO noted the facility will help institutional financial decision-making from real-time data collected for improved strategic planning.

Richard Machomba

Richard Machomba is the founder and CEO of FlexPay Technologies, a merchant-embedded digital save-to-buy experience. FlexPay rewards customers for saving up for large and small purchases they need.

Richard Machomba.
Richard Machomba, founder and CEO of FlexPay Technologies. Photo: Richard Machomba.
Source: UGC

FlexPay was one of the few Kenyan startups that was selected for Google’s Black Founders Fund (BFF). Commenting on their achievements in 2022, Machomba said the fund will be significant in the company’s expansion drive across Africa.

“We are also thrilled to be one of the Kenyan startups that were selected for Google’s Black Founders Fund (BFF) this year which is key to helping us expand our footprint across Africa,” Machomba told TUKO.co.ke.

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The CEO noted that through their business model, they were able to support over 400 stores, serving over 150,000 customers in 2022.

“We are Africa’s first merchant-embedded saving-based purchase platform (“Save Now, Buy Later”), flipping the Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) credit model on its’ head to prioritise savings and make products and services affordable for the vast underserved African population.

“In 2022, we closed the affordability gap by providing sustainable financial solutions to more than 400 stores across, serving over 150,0000 customers across the country,” he added.

Eric Muli

Eric Muli is the CEO of Odyssey Capital, developer of Lipa Later, a platform that allows consumers to shop for items and pay over time.

Lipa Later boss Eric Muli.
Eric Muli, the founder and CEO of Lipa Later. Photo: Eric Muli.
Source: UGC

In January 2022, Lipa Later raised about KSh 1.5 billion (US$12 million) from a consortium of investors. The equity-debt funding enabled Lipa Later to expand within Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and beyond.

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In October 2022, the fintech was selected by CATAPULT Inclusion Africa as one of the most promising fintech startups.

Muli was previously featured in Forbes 30 Under 30 and Business Daily’s Top 40 Under 40 Men.

Njavwa Mutambo

Njavwa Mutambo is a co-founder and CEO at TopUp Mama, a platform that enables customers to save time and money when shopping.

Njavwa Mutambo and the TopUp Mama team.
Njavwa Mutambo (right) pose for a photo with TopUp Mama investors. Photo: Njavwa Mutambo.
Source: Twitter

Through TopUp Mana, customers can source all their restaurant goods from one place and get them delivered to them for free.

TopUp Mama is one of the startups that qualified for the Google Startups Black Founders Fund (BFF) 2022, second cohort.

The firm stands to benefit from a total of US$4 million (KSh 491.2 million) in funding.

Hlilda Moraa

Hilda Moraa is the founder and CEO of Pezesha, a Kenyan fintech that provides affordable working capital to financially excluded MSMEs and institutions

In August 2022, the award-winning innovator raised about KSh 1.3 billion (US$11 million) pre-Series A equity debt.

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The funds enabled Pezesha to expand its embedded finance offerings beyond Kenya, Uganda, and Ghana.

Mamta Jatania

Jatania is the managing director of Simba Technology Limited. The firm is a pioneer in providing digital and enterprise software solutions and services to the private sector and governments in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

Simba Tech bagged the Digital Transformation Award 2022 in the Top 100 SMEs survey by BD Africa and KPMG East Africa.

Jatania scooped the Women CEO of the Year Award.

Dominic Mburu and George Kung’u

The duo is the founders of DohYangu, an innovative shopper cashback App.

The application rewards shoppers directly on purchases they have made, with money flowing back instantly to their pockets via mobile money services like M-Pesa.

DohYangu is among Kenyan startups that qualified for the Google Black Founders Fund (BFF) and stands to benefit from a total of US$4 million (KSh 491.2 million) in funding.

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Tekwane Mwendwa

Mwendwa is a co-founder and CEO at Asilimia, the developer of Leja.

The digital payment platform allows small businesses to manage their transactions in real time.

Asilimia also qualified for Google’s Black Founders Fund (BFF) this year.

Steve Biko and Sebastian Mithika

Steve Biko and Sebastian Mithika are the co-founders of Zanifu.

The platform allows small retailers in sub-Saharan Africa to procure inventory from their suppliers and pay later.

It was among the 12 Kenyan startups that were selected for Google’s Black Founders Fund (BFF) in 2022.

Health sector

Kenya’s private health sector continues to grow, commanding 50% of all goods, services, products and technologies.

In 2022, a few men and women stood out in the country’s healthcare industry.

Zuri Health led by Ikechukwu Anoke raised a total of US$ 1.3 million (KSh 159.5 million) in the pre-seed funding round.

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Diana Esther Wangari, the CEO and co-founder of Checkups Medical Centre, was previously featured in BD Africa’s Top 40 Under 40 Women in Kenya.

Other outstanding personalities in the sector were Shirlene Nafula, Tara Nyambura Gitau, Nilesh Dave, Peter Gicharu and Dr Kiran Radia.

Ikechukwu Anoke

Anoke is the founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Zuri Health, a virtual hospital providing healthcare services to patients across sub-saharan Africa via mobile app, website and SMS service.

Zuri Health boss Anoke.
Zuri Health CEO Ikechukwu Anoke. Photo: Ikechukwu Anoke.
Source: UGC

Earlier this year, Zuri Health raised a total of US$ 1.3 million (KSh 159.5 million) in pre-seed funding round.

Zuri is also one of the Kenyan startups that qualified for the Google Black Founders Fund in 2022.

Speaking to TUKO.co.ke, Anoke said they made great strides in 2022 after partnering with renowned telcos to allow customers access affordable healthcare services.

“Zuri Health’s partnerships with telcos like MTN, AIRTEL, and TIGO have allowed the provision of its healthcare services to over 570,000+ SMS subscribers across eight African markets, including Kenya, Nigeria, Zambia, Ghana, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda.

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Anoke noted that Zuri Health received several awards for its impact on the African health sector, among them SANKALP Africa Awards 2022 Winner.

“Most recently, Zuri Health’s co-founder, Daisy Isiaho, was a finalist for the Bayer Foundation Women Empowerment Award 2022.”

Shirlene Nafula

Shirline is the founder and CEO of Crystal River Products, a Kenyan company that manufactures bio-based beauty and clean care products for personal, household and corporate user.

Shirlene Nafula was featured in Forbes 30 under 30.
Shirlene Nafula is the founder and CEO of Crystal River Products. Photo: Shirlene Nafula.
Source: UGC

Shirlene has accumulated numerous recognitions and awards for her exploits and achievements over the years. You will find her in the list of top 100 Most Influential Young Africans, Top 40 Under 40 Women and Forbes Africa 30 Under 30.

Commenting on her achievements in 2022, Nafula told TUKO.co.ke they launched Gran Mas Bar soap and Shanea Beauty soap in 2022, which cost them a lot financially and mentally.

“We registered Crystal River Products LLC in the US. It’s a big step towards achieving our global vision; did some exports outside Kenya; put up some furnished apartments – Astar Homestays; and put up a food truck in Lavington with some friends -Jiko Tamu.”

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This far, it’s been God and His abundance of grace. Great team. Hard work and excellence. We also retained great customer relations, great networks, continuous learning, trainings, mentorship and intentional improvements,” she said.

Diana Esther Wangari

Diana Esther Wangari is the CEO and co-founder of Checkups Medical Centre, which also operates under the brand name Sagitarix Limited.

The company provides tech-enabled procurement and delivery services. It helps patients get medicines and diagnostics at home. Wangari, an Oxford University Skoll scholar, was previously featured in BD Africa’s Top 40 Under 40 Women in Kenya.

She has earned herself many other accolades and awards over the years.

In an interview with TUKO.co.ke, she said she was proud to venture into a new role of investment.

“I’m now a partner at VictoriaLens, a gender lens investing fund. Simply, we are taking an approach to investing that takes into consideration gender-based factors across the investment process to advance gender equality and better inform investment decisions. It’s not just female entrepreneurs, it’s any innovative business that’s leveraging technology to drive economic prosperity and social mobility with a gender lens.

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It’s pan-African business ranging from healthtech, edutech, climate-tech, agritech, food security, e-commerce, e-mobility, and other disruptive tech sectors as well,” she said.

Tara Nyambura Gitau

She is the founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Winnie’s Pure Health Products Limited.

Tara Gitau displays her products.
Tara Nyambura Gitau is the founder and CEO of Winnie’s Pure Health Products Limited. Photo: Business Daily.
Source: UGC

The food and beverage company prides itself in being the number one healthy food provider in the East Africa market.

Winnie’s Pure Health made it to the list of the top 100 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in 2022 in a survey by Business Daily Africa and KPMG recognising fast-growing and sustainable mid-sized companies in Kenya.

Nilesh Dave

Nilesh Dave is the founder and CEO of HealthCare Direct (K) Limited.

The company supplies medical disposables and personal protective equipment.

This year, HealthCare Direct (K) Limited, a family business, was recognised as one of the fastest-growing mid-sized companies in the Top 100 SMEs Survey by BD Africa and KPMG.

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Peter Gicharu

He is the co-founder and chief technology officer (CTO) at TIBU Health, a disruptive HealthTech logistics company that connects Africa’s urban populations to high-quality healthcare services in real-time.

TIBU Health CTO Peter Gicharu.
Peter Gicharu is the co-founder and chief technology officer (CTO) at TIBU Health. Photo: Founders Factory Africa.
Source: UGC

TIBU Health was selected for the Google Black Founders Fund and stands to benefit from US$ 4 million (KSh 490.8 million) funding for African startups this year. And they made some inroads in the Kenyan market this year.

“We are excited to open the first Tech-powered clinic and Wellness Hub in Kenya! Big shoutout to our Design and Medical teams for helping make this happen! Schedule your first appointment today!” they tweeted.

Dr Kiran Radia

Dr Kiran Radia is the founder and CEO of Pathcare, which prides itself as Kenya’s first internationally accredited medical diagnostic laboratory providing services to clinicians and their patients.

Dr Radia’s dedication to making laboratory medicine services accessible to all Kenyans propelled Pathcare to BD Africa’s Top 100 Mid-Sized Companies in East Africa.

She also bagged the Woman CEO of the Year Award.

Tourism and hospitality sector

Kenya’s Tourism and Hospitality sector recorded steady growth and recovery in 2022 despite economic challenges like rising inflation.

Data from the Tourism Research Institute showed that in nine months to September 2022, international arrivals had hit 1,063,647 tourists.

The steady recovery could be attributed to the efforts of the various industry players who remained resilient and focused on bouncing back stronger and better.

Simon Kabu

Simon Kabu is the founder and CEO of Bonfire Adventures, Kenya’s pioneer domestic tour and travel agency.

The company, which Kabu runs alongside his lovely wife Sarah Kabu, was crowned Kenya’s Leading Travel Agency for the seventh year running at the 2022 World Travel Awards ceremony in Nairobi.

Bonfire Adventures founders Sarah and Simon Kabu.
Simon Kabu and his wife Sarah Kabu celebrate after receiving tour awards. Photo: Simon Kabu.
Source: UGC

Nancy Wangui

Nancy Wangui Nderitu is the founder and CEO of Travel Shore Africa Ltd, one of Kenya’s finest tours and safaris offering services to individuals, families, and groups.

Travel Shore Africa Ltd was recognised among the Leading Travel Agency in the 2022 Tours & Travel 100 Awards. Nderitu also bagged the Young CEO of the Year Award.

She attributed the stellar performance in 2022 to her staff’s dedication and efforts towards offering efficient services to customers.

“I have a team of dedicated staff that ensure everyone who calls on Travel Shore Africa gets the best of service. We pride ourselves in giving individualised service to all our clients and a happy client tell others.

“We put in the work to have our brand out there and put in the work to make sure we keep the name on top there. Dedication and a lot of hard work,” Nderitu told TUKO.co.ke.

Mark Dunford

Dunford is the CEO of Knight Frank Kenya. Dunford was listed among Africa’s 100 most influential persons in the hospitality sector.

Knight Frank boss Mark Dunford.
Mark Dunford is the chief executive officer at Knight Frank Kenya. Photo: Mark Dunford.
Source: UGC

The ranking was done by the International Hospitality Institute, a global advocacy, training, and standards organisation for the hospitality industry.

“Being named among 100 top influencers on the continent in the hospitality industry was an unexpected privilege, especially given some of the peers named alongside me,” said Dunford.

Kimani Adam

Kimani Adam is the CEO and co-founder at Nature Expeditions Management (NEM).

Kimani Adam was featured in Forbes 30 under 30.
Kimani Adam is co-founder and CEO at Nature Expeditions Destination Management. Photo. Kimani Adam.
Source: UGC

NEM is an award-winning family destination management company (DMC) based in Kenya, offering tours and travel-related services for Kenya, East and Southern Africa.

Adam was previously featured in Forbes 30 Under 30.

Vivek Mathur

Mathur is the general manager of Four Points by Sheraton Nairobi Airport, one of 30 extraordinary Marriott Bonvoy hotel brands, conveniently located within the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport Complex.

Four Points by Sheraton was crowned Africa's leading airport hotel.
Vivek Mathur is the General Manager of Four Points by Sheraton Nairobi Airport. Photo: ATC News.
Source: UGC

The hotel was crowned Africa’s leading Airport Hotel for the second consecutive year during the World Travel Awards ceremony in Nairobi.

Bobby Kamani

Kamani is the managing director of Diani Reef Beach Resort and Spa, a tropical destination that offers world-class hospitality, a perfect place for beach holidays, corporate and social events and grand weddings.

Diani Reef Beach Resort was crowned Kenya’s Leading Beach Resort Hotel for the third time during this year’s World Travel Awards ceremony in Nairobi.

Agriculture sector

According to the 2022 Economic Survey, agriculture accounted for about 22.4% of the overall Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Abigail Gachigi

Keep it Cool co-founded by Abigail Gachigi was among Kenyan agri-tech startups selected for Google Black Founders Fund (BFF) this year.

“With the support of our partners, we continue to create efficient market channels and reduce post-harvest losses for East African white meat producers. Since our inception in 2019, we have grown exponentially supporting over 110 farmers across East Africa, offtaking over 1000MT of fish and poultry products,” Gachigi told TUKO.co.ke.

Aaron Nanok

Turkana agronomist Aaron Nanok scooped the United Nations (UN) in Kenya Person of the Year Award in 2022 for his commitment to sustainable agriculture.

Taita Ng’etich

Taita Ngetich is the founder and CEO of Synnefa. The agri-tech company helps farmers in Africa be climate resilient through modern farming tools.

Synnefa was one of the few Kenyan startups that were selected for Google’s Black Founders Fund (BFF) in 2022.

Ngetich was also voted among the Top 40 Under 40 Men in Kenya.

Bonface Nyalwal

Bonface Nyalwal is the founder and CEO of Afriagrimark.

Nyalwal helps farmers access markets.
Afriagrimark founder Boniface Nyalwal. Photo: Boniface Nyalwal.
Source: UGC

The platform connects farmers directly to a ready market, bridging the gap between the farmer’s and the vendor’s needs. Afriagrimark is one of the most promising startups in the agri-tech sector.

Aaron Nanok

The Turkana agronomist scooped the United Nations (UN) in Kenya Person of the Year Award in 2022 for his commitment to sustainable agriculture.

He was also featured in Business Daily Africa’s Top 40 Under 40 Men in Kenya this year. Nanok is employed at the Agri-Nutrition Unit in Turkana County, an opportunity that he revels in.

Kumar Santosh

He is a director at East African Business Company Limited (EABCL).

The company distributes agricultural inputs in the East Africa region. EABCL was listed among the fastest-growing mid-sized companies this year in the Top 100 SMEs Survey by BD Africa and KPMG.

Steven Ogwapit

Steven Ogwapit is the CEO of United (EA) Warehouses Limited.

Steven Ogwapit.
United Warehouses Ltd CEO Steven Ogwapit. Photo: Steven Ogwapit.
Source: UGC

The company offers integrated logistics solutions in the tea, general and bulk cargo industry in Kenya. United (EA) Warehouses made it to the top 10 fastest-growing and sustainable mid-sized companies this year in the top 100 SMEs Survey by Nation Media Group (NMG) and KPMG.

Energy sector

The Kenyan government is keen on its plans for a 100% transition to green energy by 2028.

Lucy Mugala

The scheme could be accelerated by various industry stakeholders, leaders and players like Roam.

Lucy Mugala is the Spokesperson and Lead Engineer at Opibus, which recently rebranded to Roam, a Swedish-Kenyan electric mobility company based in Nairobi.

In November 2022, Prince William named Roam as one of the three finalists for the Clean Our Air Category of the Earthshot Prize.

It was also featured in the Project Management Institute’s 2022 Most Influential Projects. The company was selected for The Future Of Eco-Designed Vehicles programme, among other notable recognitions.

Mugala led the company in producing the first electric motorcycle fully designed.

“We believe this step will lead to a clean future for our children powered by renewables and help everyone working in the vehicle industry every day be able to sustain a livelihood as the fuel prices rise around the world,” said Mugala in an exclusive interview with TUKO.co.ke.

Roam's Lucy Mugala speaks at a past event.
Lucy Mugala, lead engineer at Roam Air. Photo: Roam Air.
Source: UGC

In October 2022, the firm partnered with Kenya Power and Kenya Mpya to introduce the first-ever electric mass transit bus in Kenya.

Another venture, Mukuru clean stoves founded by Charlot Magayi, strived to ensure Kenyans shift clean energy used for cooking.

Magayi was also one of only four Kenyans who made it to Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 in 2022, which recognises young entrepreneurs across the world.

Christopher Mukiri Maara

Maara is the founder of Kiri EV, a Kenya-based electric vehicle startup on a mission to challenge the status quo of the motor industry across Africa.

Kiri EV boss Christopher Maara.
Christopher Mukiri Maara, founder and CEO at Kiri EV. Photo: Electric Drive Africa.
Source: UGC

Mukiri’s dream was birthed in 2019 and in 2020, his electric motorcycle and battery swap stations came to life.

In 2021, Kiri EV launched the widest range of electric vehicles in East Africa. The company was previously shortlisted as ESG regional finalist for the Global Startup Awards Africa.

The award offers access to new markets, funding opportunities, a Global Network Of Leaders and exposure on a global stage.

Charlot Magayi

Magayi is the founder and CEO of Mukuru Clean Stoves. This is a social enterprise that designs, produces and distributes improved, reliable and affordable cook stoves for low-income households.

Magayi was among the most outstanding business leaders in the energy sector.
Charlot Magayi, founder and CEO at Mukuru Clean Stoves. Photo: The Earthshot Prize.
Source: UGC

In 2022, Mukuru Clean Stoves made it to the list of the top 15 finalists for the 2022 EarthshotPrize. The prize was founded by Prince William to offer spotlight, support and scale groundbreaking solutions to climate change.

Magayi was also one of only four Kenyans who made it to Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 in 2022, which recognises young entrepreneurs across the world. She was also named Stanford Global Energy Hero 2022, among other recognitions.

The CEO said she was moved by the urge to help mothers keep their children safe, save on fuel consumption and reduce household air pollution.

Rose Thiga

Rose is the chief operating officer of PayGo Energy, a Kenya-based venture-backed technology company.

Rose Thiga.
Rose Thiga is the chief operating officer at PayGo Energy. Photo: PayGo Energy_clipdrop-enhance.
Source: UGC

PayGo’s mission is to support the growth of new markets for Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) through digital innovation.

It also aims to expand access to clean cooking for millions of households in the developing world. Thiga was previously featured in Business Daily Africa’s Top 40 Under 40 Women in Kenya, which recognises the most influential business leaders.

Chris Mbori

Chris Mbori is the chief executive officer at Eenovators Limited.

Chris Mbori.
Chris Mbori, CEO of Eenovators Limited. Photo: Chris Mbori.
Source: UGC

The company is a Kenya-based Energy Consulting firm dedicated to offering innovative and reliable energy efficiency solutions.

Its products and services are rooted in engineering and driven by innovation, passion, state-of-the-art equipment and world experience.

Mbori leads the firm in various energy projects including Eagles Energy Management Programme, Energy Audits, Energy Efficiency Tools, and Solar PV Solutions, among others.

Eenovators is one of the Kenyan-founded firms that was selected for Founders Boost, a global startup pre-accelerator programme, in 2022.

Banking sector

The banking sector in Kenya has bounced back from COVID-19 effects to record huge profits.

Paul Russo

Paul Russo was appointed KCB Group CEO in May 2022, taking over from Joshua Oigara who exited after 10 years at the helm.

KCB CEO Paul Russo started his tenure on a very positive note as the Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed KCB Group’s net profit rose 21.4% to KSh 30.6 billion in the third quarter of 2022.

During the year, Russo was appointed to serve on the United Nations Environment Programme Finance (UNEP-FI) Leadership Council, joining other global leaders in mainstreaming and deepening sustainability integration across the financial industry.

James Gachora

NCBA Bank is the third-largest bank in Kenya and among the largest asset financiers, digital leaders and wholesale banks in the East Africa region.

Under the leadership of John Gachora, NCBA Bank has doubled its dividends to KSh 4.94 billion and increased its net profit to KSh 10.22 billion.

John Gachora, who doubles as Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) chairperson having been reelected for the period of 2022 and 2023, was previously the NIC Group managing director and remained at the helm after one of the most scrutinised merger deals in Kenya’s banking sector.

James Mwangi

James Mwangi is the Group CEO of Equity Bank, Kenya’s largest bank in terms of customer base with over 16.9 million customers across Africa.

Mwangi was a finalist for the CEO of the Year Award by both The Africa CEO Forum Awards and Digital Transformation (DX) 100 Awards.

This year, Equity was named Africa’s Best Bank for Corporate Responsibility in the Euromoney Awards for Excellence 2022, awards that matter to the banks and bankers who matter.

Equity CEO James Mwangi.
James Mwangi has steered Equity’s expansion. Photo: Equity Bank.
Source: Facebook

Mwangi was also a finalist for the CEO of the Year Award by both The Africa CEO Forum Awards and Digital Transformation (DX) 100 Awards.

He has won numerous recognitions and awards over the years for his excellent leadership and contribution to the growth of the banking industry. Equity Group’s net profit for nine months to September 2022 jumped by 26.61% to KSh 33.35 billion.

Gideon Muriuki

This year, Co-op Bank Group CEO Gideon Muriuki bagged his third honorary doctorate from The African International University which conferred him with the Doctorate of Humane Letters (Honoris Causa) –DLitt.

This was in recognition of his exemplary contribution to Africa’s banking sector and the Co-operative Movement.

Muriuki received his first honorary doctorate in 2011 from Kabarak University in Business Leadership and the second one in early 2022 from the Co-operative University of Kenya. He has worked at Co-op Bank for over two decades since 1996.

He rose through the ranks from a senior corporate manager, then director of corporate and institutional banking and eventually became the managing director in 2001.

Under Gideon Muriuki, Co-op Bank’s Q3 profit jumped by 38% to KSh 22.7 billion while total assets grew by 5% to KSh 622.1 billion.

Telecom sector

Kenya’s telecommunication sector in 2022 saw increased competition between the top telcos.

Safaricom led by Peter Ndegwa bagged the prestigious Global Mobile Award (GLOMO) for the M-PESA Super App at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

After years of losses, Airtel Kenya has finally smelled profit under the guidance of Ashish Malhotra who was appointed CEO in July 2022.

Telkom grew its mobile subscriptions to 4.1 million between July and September 2022 under Mugo Kibati’s leadership.

Kihara Maina, CEO, I&M Bank Kenya

Kihara Maina was recently elevated to the position of regional CEO for the I&M Group, ending his six-year tenure as I&M Bank Kenya CEO.

He will be replacing Chris Low whose tenure ends in 2022. Kihara, a career banker, has been I&M CEO since 2016 and was charged with accelerating the lender’s journey to tier-one bank status.

Earlier this year, I&M Bank was listed as the most attractive bank in Kenya in Cytonn’s FY’2021 Banking Sector Report, supported by strong franchise value and intrinsic value score.

John Njihia

John Njihia is the CEO of Sumac Microfinance Bank, a Kenyan lender seeking to empower businesspeople locked out by the stringent loan requirements of commercial banks.

Sumac Microfinance Bank scooped four awards at the Think Business Banking Awards 2022, including the Winner in Agriculture & Livestock Financing Award for the third consecutive year, an indication of the bank’s steady growth.

Real estate sector

The real estate sector in Kenya rebounded in 2022, recovering from the harsh economic conditions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and other external shocks.

The recovery can be attributed to various factors including growth in customer demand and efforts by key industry players.

Reuben Kimani

Reuben Kimani is a co-founder and CEO of Username Investment Limited, a real estate company that offers affordable plots for sale in Nairobi with ready title deeds.

In 2022, Username Investment Limited made it to the list of top mid-sized companies in Kenya.

Username Investment emerged as the winner in the Digital Transformation and Corporate Social Responsibility categories in a survey by Business Daily Africa and KPMG.

Username Investment Limited co-founder Reuben Kimani.
Reuben Kimani, CEO Username Investment Limited. Photo: Username Investment Ltd.
Source: UGC

Visaro Construction Ltd led by Dipesh Hirani was among the Top 100 mid-sized companies in a survey by Business Daily Africa and KPMG in 2022.

Jiinue Real Estate Ltd’s Peter Muthee led the firm to the level of an upcoming award-winning Real Estate Company, with recognition among the top 50 property companies in Kenya.

Dipesh Hirani

Dipesh Hirani is the managing director of Visaro Construction Limited. Visaro is a multi-disciplinary company offering services in general building constriction, civil engineering work and interior decorations.

The firm was among the Top 100 mid-sized companies in a survey by Business Daily Africa and KPMG in 2022.

Hirani has been leading the company in contributing expertise to several projects including residential houses, children’s homes, apartment blocks and fit-out projects.

He took over the management of Visaro Construction in July 2018, bringing onboard expertise in establishing best practices, leading to the success of the firm.

Mungeria Kirimania

He is the founder and managing director of Kiri Consult Limited.

Kiri Limited boss.
Mungeria Kirimania, Founder and Managing Director at Kiri Consult Limited. Photo: Kiri Consult Limited.
Source: UGC

The company is ISO 9001 certified and offers civil and structural engineering consultancy services in water, transport and structural infrastructure.

In 2022, Kiri Consult Limited made it to the Top 100 mid-sized companies in a survey by Business Daily Africa and KPMG. Kirimania has over 30 years of experience in civil engineering infrastructural development in both the private and public sectors.

Peter Muthee

Peter Muthee is the chief executive officer of Jiinue Real Estate Limited, which deals in land selling and offers ready title deeds.

Jiinue Real Estate boss Peter Muthee.
Peter Muthee, CEO at Jiinue Real Estate Ltd. Photo: Jiinue Real Estate Ltd.
Source: UGC

Muthee led the firm to the level of an upcoming award-winning Real Estate Company, with recognition among the top 50 property companies in Kenya.

Jiinue Real Estate emerged winner at the Real Estate Excellent Awards 2022 as the Leading Land Selling Company.

The award recognises and celebrates the key players in the real estate sector for their outstanding performance.

Kenneth Njambi

Kenneth Njambi is the CEO of Imara Land Investments Limited, a real estate firm offering land-selling services.

Kenneth Njambi speaking.
Kenneth Njambi, CEO at Imara Land Investments Limited: Photo: Imara Land Investments Limited.
Source: Facebook

The company started in 2019 with an aim of offering affordable land that meets customers’ needs and expectations.

In December 2022, Imara Land Investments Limited awarded title deeds to over 500 investors. Njambi was previously named the CEO of the year out of his passion and commitment, leading to customer satisfaction.

George Wachiuri

He is the founder and CEO at Optiven Group, a one-stop shop offering investment solutions.

Optiven boss George Wachiuri.
George Wachiuri, Founder and CEO at Optiven Group: Photo: University of Nairobi.
Source: UGC

The firm offers projects for immediate residential settlement, commercial purposes or futuristic capital gain.

Optiven has empowered over 10,000 Kenyans to own property and aims to directly employ over 30,000 Kenyans by the year 2030.

The company was awarded Topscorebrands Kenya 2022, which promotes brands through recognition, ranking and awards.

Retail sector

The retail sector in Kenya was hit by the rising cost of living exacerbated by COVID-19 and external shocks disrupting the supply chain.

Retailers and wholesalers faced numerous challenges including limited supplies and the depreciation of the Kenya Shilling against the US dollar.

Sector leaders like Naivas Supermarket worked tirelessly in 2022 to continue growth post-Covid-19 by expanding their businesses.

Peter Kang’iri

Peter Kang’iri is the chief executive officer at Quickmart Supermarket.

Under Peter’s leadership, Quickmart has steadily pursued and realised its growth and expansion strategy. The store grew to become one of the Tier 1 Supermarket chains in Kenya.

Kang’iri boasts over eight years of experience in the retail sector, having worked as CEO of Tumaini/Quickmart since 2018.

Rahul Bharat Parekh

Rahul Bharat Parekh is the CEO of Parshva Limited, a stationery supplies firm in Kenya.

Parshva Ltd led by Rahul Bharat Parekh was shortlisted among the winners of the East Africa Top 100 medium-sized companies award 2022, Corporate Social Responsibility/ Philanthropy Category, by KPMG and Nation Media Group.

Parshva's Ltd CEO Rahul Parekh.
Rahul Bharat Parekh receives an award during the Top100SME Award 2022. Photo: Top100SME.
Source: Facebook

Parekh emerged among the winners as Young CEO of the Year during the Top 100 SME Awards 2022.

Devesh Manharbha Patel

Patel is the CEO of Amex Autoparts Limited, an automotive parts Megastore Dealer, distributor and reseller in Kenya.

Amex boss.
Devesh Patel, CEO of Amex Autoparts Limited. Photo: Amex Autoparts Limited.
Source: Facebook

He led Amex to the top 100 mid-sized companies award 2022 in Kenya by KPMG. The firm emerged among the winners in the Family Business Category.

The CEO was named the overall winner, Young CEO of the Year 2022, during the Top 100 SME Award.

Willy Kimani

Willy Kimani is the chief commercial officer at Naivas Supermarket, one of Kenya’s largest food markets offering both online and physical sales services.

Naivas COO Willy Kimani.
Willy Kimani, chief commercial officer at Naivas. Photo: Unthinkable Kenya.
Source: UGC

Kimani spearheaded the chain store expansion in 2022, to over 85 branches across the country.

The retailer opened more than four more outlets in the fourth quarter of 2022 as it sought to increase its market share against upcoming chains.

Insurance sector

Kenya’s insurance sector is still growing, with most citizens citing financial challenges as the biggest barrier.

Chief executive officers of Kenyan insurance firms have encouraged Kenyans to embrace insurance products to cushion themselves from unforeseen risks.

Sandip Badhury

GA Insurance led by Sandip Badhury scooped six Awards at Think Business Insurance Awards, including the General Insurer of the Year Award.

Godfrey Kioi

Kioi, the managing director, Heritage Insurance Kenya Godfrey Kioi is the managing director of Heritage Insurance Kenya, a subsidiary of the NSE-listed Liberty Kenya Holdings Plc.

This year, Kioi was named among the most influential corporate governance leaders in Kenya.

He also bagged the CEO of the Year Award at the 9th Champions of Governance (COG) Awards by Institute of Certified Secretaries. Read more: https://www.tuko.co.ke/business-economy/487783-business-leaders-2022-list-7-outstanding-personalities-kenyas-insurance-sector/

Godfrey Kioi, the managing director of Heritage Insurance Kenya, bagged the CEO of the Year Award at the 9th Champions of Governance (COG) Awards.

Rosalyn Mugoh

Rosalyn Mugoh, managing director, Zamara Kenya Rosalyn Mugoh is the managing director of Zamara Kenya, which provides individual or business pension and insurance solutions, actuarial services, retirement funds administration and management, among others.

Zamara, under Rosalyn Mugoh’s leadership, was feted as the overall Best Insurance Broker of the Year during the 2022 Think Business’ Insurance Awards.

The Mugoh-led business also bagged the Best Corporate Lines Broker, Best Life Broker and Best General Insurance Broker of the Year.

Prashanth Srinivas, CEO, Pesabazaar Insurance Agency Limited

Prashanth Srinivas is CEO and co-founder at Pesabazaar Insurance Agency Limited.

It was listed among the top 100 SMEs.

The firm was Kenya’s first online comparison portal for insurance, helping Kenyans compare and save on your insurance like travel insurance, medical insurance and motor insurance.

Peter Njuno, First Assurance Kenya

Also in the list is Peter Njuno, an accountant at First Assurance Kenya.

Njuno was named the Young Insurance Achiever of the Year, courtesy of Think Business Insurance Awards 2022.

Abel Munda

Munda is the managing director of Liberty Life Kenya.

Liberty Life boss Abel Munda.
Liberty Life Kenya MD Abel Munda. Photo: Liberty Life Kenya.
Source: Twitter

The Munda-insurer bagged a number of awards during the Think Business Insurance Awards 2022, among them the Claims Settlement Award having settled a total of KSh1 billion in claims in the previous year.

Liberty Life Kenya was also crowned the most customer-centric underwriter.

Elias Kariuki

Kariuki is the corporate risk manager at First Assurance Kenya, which offers a wide range of general insurance products for individuals and corporate entities.

Kariuki scooped the Corporate Risk Manager of the Year Award during the Think Business Insurance Awards 2022 ceremony. Kariuki is a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), Certified Information System Auditor (CISA) and Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

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Source: TUKO.co.ke





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