Meet the Boss: Paul Muhato, MD, Engen Petroleum (Tanzania)
1. What was your first job?
My first job was a management trainee position in the sales and marketing department at the five-star Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya.
2. What parts of your job keep you awake at night?
Historical tax and legal matters that have significant implications on the business. I also toss and turn while thinking of how to grow the company with limited resources.
3. Who has had the biggest impact on your career and why?
My wife, she has been my biggest supporter and encouragement throughout the tough times and hard decisions.
4. What is the best professional advice you’ve ever received?
A positive attitude will capitalise the smallest opportunity.
5. The top reasons why you have been successful in business?
Persistence, consistence, people-orientation, good listening skills and a positive attitude.
6. Where’s the best place to prepare for leadership? Business school or on the job?
On the job, most definitely.
7. How do you relax?
Socialising with family and friends, and an occasional round of golf.
8. By what time in the morning do you like to be at your desk?
9. Your favourite job interview question?
When can you start?
10. What is your message to Africa’s aspiring business leaders and entrepreneurs?
This is the time to build Africa for Africans by Africans. This continent has all the necessary human and capital resources as well as the markets to make every business venture a success. Let us invest in one another and join hands to lobby for better governance that will facilitate open trade between countries.
In January, Paul Muhato was appointed the new managing director of Engen Petroleum in Tanzania. Muhato has 11 years experience in sales and marketing, as well as supply and trading, in the Kenyan oil industry. Prior to joining Engen he was the marketing manager and acting general manager of Kobil Tanzania. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Eastern Africa, Baraton.