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The SBS MBA helped me climb the Corporate Ladder

  Apr 16, 2014

An increasing number of people are choosing to further their education each day. This is being done in various ways; some are choosing to pursue postgraduate education locally while others internationally.

To be the crème de la crème in the business world one Charles Wanjohi took the step that has somewhat moulded his career life into what it is today. He was recently promoted to the position of Marketing Director at Bharti Airtel Limited, a leading global telecommunications company. Charles accredits his promotion to pursuing the SBS MBA.

Starting off as the business analyst for the Sub-Sahara region on joining Airtel previously known as Celtel in 2009, this avid basket ball fan who can be caught at the Nyayo Stadium watching the KBF playoff games has clearly climbed up the corporate ladder from serving as a business analyst, to pricing for the commercial department, setting up the Kenyan operation business planning team, as well as being a part of group roles in Zain Africa offices.
Having run the Pan Africa finance projects while in the Bahrain offices, he then proceeded to the African market where he got the opportunity to travel extensively across Airtel’s 17 operations in Africa.

Such vast exposure led to his ‘Aha! Moment’. He realized that he would actually like to run a Telco marketing operation and when the position of Airtel marketing director came up, he was ready to seize the opportunity.
His new role, as enjoyable as it is, is no bed of roses as most would expect with the onset of any promotion. He will be expected to spearhead the marketing operations for the Kenyan branch. This entails marketing and brand strategy, marketing communication, product development and roll out, pricing, retail communication, consumer promos and offers among other challenging roles.
Charles has clearly got his work cut out for him but has already taken the bull by the horns evident from all the Airtel ads and promos bombarding our radios and television screens with the “Airtel top-up and Samba ” adverts in line with the upcoming FIFA World Cup.

Even with the experience he has acquired working for Airtel, Charles frankly admits to the fact that this is a challenging role. “We are in a dynamic world which challenges our roles as marketers and therefore, we have to be more innovative and work harder and smarter” he said.

The SBS MBA program enabled him to be an all-rounded individual and he attests to having reaped full benefits from it. From the top-notch faculty with vast industry experience, to the visiting international faculty who offered different perspectives on current issues in the business world, the whole experience was worth going through.

The MBA program would not be complete if it did not offer interaction. Charles is quick to mention the class interactions he took part in, which included group discussions where he formed life-long friendships and valuable contacts were made.

The icing on the cake was the one-week module to IESE Business School in Barcelona, Spain. He got the opportunity to interact with fellow students from Lagos Business School and cement the appreciation he has towards fundamental issues faced by businesses across different geographies. Coincidentally the IESE module titled ‘The Impact of Globalization on the Way Businesses are Managed’, brought fourth and tried to solve the same dilemmas that Airtel Africa group previously faced.

Charles Wanjohi has admitted to the fact that indeed SBS had a great impact on him. “I would definitely recommend SBS to any professional who is interested in business in whatever aspect…whether as an owner…employee or investor…The SBS MBA program will definitely positively impact and challenge your understanding and outlook of business. It is a mind opening experience”, he concluded.

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