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Year 2023 in Focus: 5 Kenyan CEOs, Startup Founders to Watch


  • Sonia Kabra, the CEO and co-founder at BuuPass company said leveraging on technology was a key milestone in 2022
  • Kabra noted that the company is keen to ensure continued innovation, leading to efficiency in customer service
  • Username Investment CEO and co-founder Reuben Kimani said the real estate firm embraces technology to diversify projects across the country

The year 2022 was both challenging and rewarding for various businesses across the country.

Sonia Kabra said she will continue leveraging on technology to ease customer service.
Sonia Kabra is the CEO and co-founder of BuuPass. Photo: Sonia Kabra.
Source: UGC

From the rising cost of living to the August General Elections, most companies faced a myriad of challenges but remained resilient, thanks to efforts laid by the management.

We look at the company CEO and founders who stood firm for the success of their businesses and are ready to spin the wheel in 2023.

1. Sonia Kabra

Sonia Kabra is the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder, BuuPass – Kenya’s market leader for online bus booking.

In 2022, Kabra led the company to enhance the digital infrastructure for the $40 billion (KSh 4.9 trillion) 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,” said Kabra in an exclusive interview with TUKO.co.ke.

The CEO revealed she was able to weather the 2022 economic challenges by employing heavy technological strategies that improve operations and customer experience.

“In 2023, we plan to continue expanding our services to more geographies and transport companies, as well as introducing new features to our products to provide the most value to our users,” she said.

Sonia noted the company is keen to keep the business afloat by staying agile and responsive to customer needs, as well as investing in research and development to stay ahead of industry trends.

2. Reuben Kimani

Reuben Kimani said the firm will issue more title deeds in 2023.
Reuben Kimani, CEO and co-founder of Username Investment Ltd
Source: UGC

Reuben Kimani is the CEO and co-founder at Username Investment Limited – a real estate company in Kenya.

Kimani saw the company bag various awards in 2022, including the Corporate Social Responsible Top 100 Mid-sized Companies Award and Digital Transformation Award by KPMG.

“The year was very successful having won various awards across the industry, launching various projects, issuing over 15,000 title deeds and serving over 17,000 clients both in Kenya and in the diaspora,” Kimani told TUKO.co.ke in an exclusive interview.

He revealed that the company looks set to diversify its projects across the country in 2023, issuing more title deeds and transforming lives through corporate social responsibility.

” This year we hope to create a greater impact in various ways across our communities. We will continue to offer affordable properties with flexible payment plans in areas with high growth rates to ensure Kenyans are able to invest and also get value,” he said.

3. Paul Russo

Paul Russo is yet to complete a year since he was appointed in May 2022.
Paul Russo is the new CEO of KCB Group. Photo: KCB Group.
Source: Twitter

Paul Russo is the new Chief Executive Officer at KCB Group, yet to complete a year since his appointment in May 2022.

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.

The CEO is keen on spearheading the company to new heights, bringing on board a wealth of experience in banking, operational management, people management, strategy, and sharp business acumen.

4. Richard Machomba

Machomba is keen at spearheading the company's expansion drive in Africa.
Richard Machomba is the CEO and founder of FlexPay Technologies. Photo: Richard Machomba.
Source: UGC

Richard Machomba is the founder and CEO of FlexPay Technologies, a merchant-embedded digital save-to-buy experience.

Machomba led the firm to become one of Kenya’s startups selected for Google’s Black Founders Fund (BFF) in 2022.

He is keen on spearheading the company’s expansion drive across Africa.

5. Mark Ndung’u

Ndung'u led the firm to win Kenya Top 100 Mid-size company awards in 2022.
Mark Ndung’u, General Manager, Bean Interactive Ltd. Photo: Mark Ndung’u.
Source: UGC

Mark Ndung’u is the General Manager of BEAN Interactive Limited – a digital transformation service provider.

Ndung’u led the firm in winning three categories in the Kenya Top 100 Kenya Mid-size Companies Awards 2022 by Nation Media Group and KPMG East Africa.

List of CEOs who joined new firms in 2022

Meanwhile, most CEOs moved to different companies in 2022.

Absa Bank Kenya’s long-serving CEO Jeremy Awori also left and was replaced by interim CEO Yusuf Omari.

Joshua Oigara took over from Charles Mudiwa who has been with Stanbic Bank for over two decades.

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Source: TUKO.co.ke





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