For the first time, a Kenyan is finally set to occupy one of the biggest seats in the country – that of East Africa’s most profitable company, Safaricom.
From a humble background in Ol Kalou, Nyandarua County, Mr Peter Ndegwa has risen to beat all odds and prove that he is capable to hold this position.
This is his story…
Peter Ndegwa, an alumnus of Starehe Boys Centre, pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Nairobi, and later proceeded to the London Business School for his MBA.
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He is also a Certified Public Accountant and a member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK).
He began his eleven-year career with global consulting firm PwC as a consultant, relocating to London, UK under the firm’s talent development programme in 1996. In 1999, he transitioned from the Accountancy practice to the Consulting & Corporate Finance Unit at PwC. After completing his MBA, Peter took on key assignments in corporate advisory and project management at leading European and American banks and insurance businesses.
He returned to Nairobi in 2002, where he worked on several significant corporate advisory assignments – providing strategic transaction advice, due diligence, valuation, financial planning and modelling, and significant project leadership and management – mostly in the financial services sector.
East African Breweries
In 2004, Peter joined East African Breweries (EABL), a Diageo subsidiary based in Nairobi, as Strategy Director. In this role, he led the NSE-listed beer manufacturer in shaping a five-year strategy.
This included the development of an affordable beer strategy which saw the creation of Senator Keg – one of Kenya’s and Diageo’s most iconic beer brands.
During that period, Peter also led significant business development agendas including the acquisition of Serengeti Breweries Limited, a major subsidiary in Tanzania.
He left EABL in October 2011, to join Diageo subsidiaries Guinness Ghana Breweries and Guinness Nigeria both of which he led as CEO.
His commitment to investing in people, introducing new brands and improving efficiency saw him grow both businesses despite the challenges they were facing. In Ghana, he led talks with the government leading to the introduction of an affordable beer in the country.
In Nigeria, he helped transform the business – at a time when the country was facing economic challenges due to declining oil prices. His efforts resulted in a 40% recovery in the share price. He left Nigeria for his current role in Europe in July 2018.
In his career spanning over 25 years, Peter has demonstrated a commitment to simplification of business process and on leadership and talent development has helped create a sustainable business for the future. This has not only resulted in a career decorated by new brands but also winning accolades as an employer, manufacturer, purchaser and investor.
Peter has also demonstrated a commitment to sustainable business practices. Beyond championing talent development, he has also enabled a range and depth of investment in water and environment programmes.
He draws his inspiration from Starehe Boys’ long-serving director, the late Dr Griffin. There is no doubt that the director’s words: “Go and do your work to the best of your ability and then serve the less fortunate, not for any gain, but because it’s the right thing to do,” inspire Peter.