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Samuel Kirubi: Here's what it takes to succeed in a foreign land

October 7, 2018
Collins Ogutu
for Chams Media Digital

Nothing is as exciting as being an entrepreneur with lots of experience and skill gained from various countries. On Daring Abroad this week, we featured a person who believes in nothing less than aiming for the sky.

In the quest to find out more about this influential man, we boarded a bus from Nairobi all the way to Uganda to meet Samuel Kirubi, now Equity Bank Uganda Managing Director. He had lived and worked in Uganda for 3 years.

When Samuel was a young boy, he made up his mind to be a person that fends for the poor in his community. With this in mind, he grew up to study Economics and Statistics at the Egerton University in 1997.

While in school, he met Dr. James Mwangi, C.E.O Equity bank and finally, he made it as one of the first beneficiaries of the Equity leadership program.

Also Read: Why Alex Chamwada is traveling to Botswana by road

No sooner had he completed school than he got attached with the Equity branches in Nairobi, Nakuru and Thika. In time, he was promoted to the Regional Manager for Rift Valley and was posted to Eldoret.

In 2008, he was assigned to help establish the bank subsidiary in Juba, South Sudan as the Deputy Managing Director. Since the environment then was not quite conducive, it was very difficult for him to establish a bank from scratch.

However, by the fourth year, they had made a tremendous change in South Sudan where they even opened 11 branches. In 2011, knowing he was a capable man, the firm transferred him to Rwanda to establish yet another subsidiary.

“For you to succeed in a foreign land as an entrepreneur, you have to own great interpersonal skills,” he says.

In 2015, he landed in Uganda as the Managing Director of Equity bank. He claims his transition into living in Uganda was not hard at all. From what he has observed over the years, the challenges being faced at home are similar to those he faces as an MD in Uganda.

However, he also believes that since he set shop in Uganda, there is much progress that has been made. He says that however much he at times misses family, he believes that the good they have made as a group outdoes his homesickness.

He concludes his meet with the crew by these simple words, “Possibilities lie in our mindsets. It just depends with what you focus on.”

From his travels, he has grown to understand that opportunities are not scarce. One just has to focus beyond his geographical boundaries.


Lavender Amunga contributed to this report. 

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