‘Meet the Boss’ is a How we made it in Africa interview series where we pose the same ten questions to business leaders across the continent.[hidepost=9][/hidepost]
Mike Macharia, founder and Group CEO, Seven Seas Technologies
1. What was your first job?
I was an accountant in a local ICT firm.
2. Who has had the biggest impact on your career and why?
I believe that I am an achiever and I believe I removed my safety net at a very early age. It is about thinking without the box.
3. What parts of your job keep you awake at night?
Talent management. Business is about people and my biggest challenge is about developing and retaining the right kind of talent. I endeavour to attract the best, unique and extraordinary people and provide them with an environment to live their dreams and realise extraordinary achievements, aligned to their core purpose.
4. What are the top reasons why you have been successful in business?
I am very passionate and I have a very high level of clarity of thought. I am also persistent.
5. What are the best things about Kenya?
Kenyans have a very high level of tenacity, which is a good and bad thing. We are very adaptive.
6. And the worst?
We have no identity. Our identity always comes down to tribe. We have no unique value system that joins all of us together.
7. Your future career plans?
I want to become a technology investor. I am of the opinion that my rich and vast experience can help young upcoming entrepreneurs achieve their goals.
8. How do you relax?
I play golf sometimes. I have recently began biking. I also like music and art. I think music is very healing.
9. What is your message to Africa’s young aspiring business people and entrepreneurs?
Reputation is everything. Manage your reputation at all costs. Keep pressing on and ensure you are passionate about your business endeavour. Please note that failure is part of life. The challenge is to think positively about it, look for the learning, wake up and keep going.
10. How can Africa realise its full potential?
By pulling together and by having more selfless leaders who put the needs of their people before their own.
Mike Macharia is the founder and Group CEO of Seven Seas Technologies (SST), one of East Africa’s leading technology companies. Under his leadership, the company continues to expand into Ethiopia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Ghana and Nigeria. It is also undertaking projects in Uganda and Rwanda with additional joint ventures and investments in tech companies in Portugal. Macharia is currently executing his long held plans to transform the company to a pan-African systems integrator giant, whilst mulling various options of unlocking shareholder value.