Alumni Profile: Benjamin Makai, Senior Manager- Technology for Development (T4D), Safaricom PLC

Benjamin Makai, who works at Safaricom PLC as Senior Manager - Technology for Development (T4D) is one of the students in the first cohort of eight students who will be graduating at the 44th Commencement Ceremony in the Online MBA program, which started in December 2020.

Benjamin is an Intrapreneur, a purpose-driven Social Innovator changing the world from the inside out, and passionate about Sustainable Development. Currently, he works at Safaricom PLC, where he leads a team responsible for ideation, design, co-creation, development, launch, and transitioning of products and services that unlock new digital opportunities while delivering social impact and with a goal to position sustainability at the heart of his organization's Purpose. They leverage Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as the framework for their innovations and are guided by the principles of purpose before profit while building capabilities.

His journey towards pursuing the Online MBA began after he saw a post on Paul Kasimu’s timeline, the Chief Human Resource Officer at Safaricom, who was part of the launch of the program in 2020.

“At Safaricom PLC, we believe in learning, unlearning, and relearning, and through our 1 more skill initiative, I developed a keen interest in online learning. Prior to joining the Online MBA, I had completed over 100 online learning courses on Safaricom’s internal platforms. I had put off doing an MBA for a while, and so when the COVID-19 pandemic struck, I decided to take up the opportunity to study for the Online MBA,” he says.

“I enjoyed my studies as the program allowed me to connect from anywhere, in addition to having several ways to engage with the faculty. Lessons can be recorded for future review and revision and it is also affordable. It is efficient, and accessibility of time and place was a plus,” he added.

During his studies, Benjamin developed a keen interest in Strategic Management, and credits Dr. Juliana Namada, for her guidance and encouragement as she supervised his project, noting that Dr. Namada was instrumental in encouraging him to be confident and urging him to believe in his abilities to finalize the course on time, and to remain focused as he worked towards his dreams.

Benjamin holds a BSc. in Computer Science from Egerton University. He was also a 2020 Global Fellow in the League of Intrapreneurs, where he also serves as the current Council Member for Africa, in addition to being a member of the BMW Herbert Quandt- Global Responsible Leaders Network. He has received certifications in development of leadership capabilities from Strathmore Business School. In 2016, he was awarded a certificate of completion for the Rethinking Financial Inclusion Program at Harvard Business School, where, through the Harvard Online Business School, he is currently pursuing the Management Learning path. His final online course for the year will be at the same institution ending in November 2022 focused on Sustainable Business Strategy.

He has been instrumental in forming and managing partnerships and incubating solutions within Safaricom PLC of which some have transitioned to stand-alone enterprises such as Digifarm ( Agriculture), M-KOPA ( Energy), M-Gas (Energy), M-Tiba (Health) and propositions such as Connected Farmer, Shupavu291, GOK Fertilizer Subsidy (E-voucher) among others.

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