“I was highly focused on being an engineer from a very young age since I wanted to experiment with electronics,” says Betty Mwangi, Jumia’s newest CEO replaced Sam Chappate in November 2021. Betty has grown from toying around with electrical toys at her parents home to become one of the most renowned female electrical engineers in Africa. She is an alumnus of Alliance Girls High School, former Group Director for Britam Group PLC, and former Director of Financial Services for Safaricom’s M-Pesa.
She is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Jumia, the largest e-commerce platform in Africa. Everything about this woman is outstanding, including the performances she has put at work to help the companies she has served grow to their extent.
But how does Betty Mwangi spend her typical day with so much to manage?
She rises at 5 am before daybreak and begins organizing various domestic duties at home and checking her emails. After a bunch of activities, she wakes her son up at 6:45 am to prepare him for school. After getting dressed, they both have their breakfast together and the son leaves for school as she leaves for work. At half-past 8, she has already arrived at her workplace. “I start by planning my weekday, consisting largely of back-to-back meetings that commence at 9 am. My assistant manages my calendar,” she says.
She also discusses her professional life, Alliance girls lessons she learned and the worst business blunder she has ever made.
The lesson she learned at Alliance:
“Never say ‘I should have…’. My headmistress at Alliance, the late Mrs. Joan Waithaka used to say. Get it done. This is a lesson I have always carried with me.”
Worst business blunder she has made:
“As an illustration, we previously had lost a lot of money by launching a product without consulting our consumers. We – the en of us- were the only ones who used it. But we got back up, shook off our failure and tried to make the best of it. I felt that there is something valuable to be gained in failure. The goal is to bounce back fast, move on and learn from each failure.”
Betty Mwangi is a certified marketer with the Chartered Institute of Marketing and has an MBA. She has also received the prestigious accolade; Moran of the Burnin Spear from the former late president Mwai Kibaki for her commitment to financial inclusivity at Safaricom. She was also responsible for the growth of M-Pesa in different countries from its year of inception up to 2016. Now at Jumia, she manages a group of young, passionate and tech-savvy professionals who strive to make Jumia a daily worthwhile shopping experience for clients. Betty has ensured that several SMEs join the Jumia E-Commerce platform and build their companies as well as advertise products to clients around Kenya and various countries in Africa.
Betty Mwangi has been mentored by several big profiles in the country. Linus Gitahi tops the chart. He was her supervisor at one of the firms she worked for before joining Safaricom. He instilled the value of honesty and integrity.
Betty has been named as one of the top 10 most influential women in mobile technology by Mobile Communications International.