Safaricom PLC CEO Peter Ndegwa answers 25 quickfire questions about some of his preferences.
Your favorite Kenyan holiday destination?
“Watamu. It is honestly one of the finest Kenyan towns. I like that it’s not too crowded as compared to many other Kenyan destinations, especially at the Coast. You find so much peace and solace here.”
Tik tok or Snap chat?
“Snap chat any time…….”
What advice would you give an employee on their first day of work?
“Be open-minded, be open to learning. You are coming to a new home, take your time to process and understand this- what’s the home like, how has it been functioning. You need to understand the story of how an organization has evolved over time. Remember History is an important driver of the future, so knowing the story that has happened in the company allows you to shape the direction you take as you embrace the new future. Even when you are a new CEO you don’t just come and say on day one, “I don’t like this…………” Take time to know what made that organization before embarking on any possible changes.”
Nike or Addidas?
What are the 3 least likely words someone would use to describe you?
“Extrovert, Tall obviously *bursts out laughing * and a joker.”
What’s the one book you would recommend to another CEO?
“Grit; The Power of Passion and Perseverance, by Angela Duckworth. I would advise anyone to get it actually. What determines your longevity is not intelligence or upbringing but it’s how passionate you are about what you are doing and how much you persevere and stay true to what you do. Even when you fail, you come back and rise again.”
Favorite app on your phone?
“M-PESA App. *he chuckles* You know I have always to sell, it’s part of my Job but seriously, to be fair, its Fitbit. I run a lot and monitor my sleep. I monitor health, it’s a big thing for me. I have done this for the last ten years. I run 25 kms every week, twice a week. I no longer go to the gym. I create time for this, morning and afternoon. If you don’t create time for yourself, you can’t create time for others. You have to lead yourself, to lead others.”
If you could spend a day in someone else’s shoes, whose would they be? Why?
“The ordinary Kenyan man and what they go through to make ends meet. I want to understand what they go through in their day-to-day life. Our business is about enabling lifestyles and people or even empowering businesses, so the more I can understand what the person goes through, the better. If it was a big leader though and someone who has influence, it would be Tiger Woods and how he has shaped the game of golf from elite white to ordinary and that’s one of the reasons we are sponsoring junior golf in the country, so as to demystify golf. They don’t need to belong to a club to play golf. I want them to have this opportunity and to be empowered. I want them to dream big and to see that it is possible. Empowering you to free yourself.”
F1 or English Premier league?
“I’ve attended Formula one a couple of times, but I prefer English Premier League. I’m an Arsenal fan. You need a good heart and Fitbit to be an Arsenal Fan. It is helpful. My son supports Liverpool though and he laughs at me every single time.”
3 people you have never met dead/ alive but if given chance, you would invite them for dinner.
“Before he passed on, the late Nelson Mandela. The second person would be Golfer Tiger Woods of course and lastly, Former US President Barack Obama.”
Physical health or mental health? What takes precedence?
“Mental Health. It’s very difficult to have good physical health when you don’t have good, solid mental health. I would rather get good sleep than run/ exercise. I would rather get good sleep when preparing for a big event and I don’t prepare, than prepare and not get good sleep.”
Scale of 1-10, how good of a driver are you?
“6. The times I used to drive; my wife would say I am not a good driver. These days I don’t drive as much as I used to.”
In your opinion, what makes love last- advice to a young couple reading this?
“Trust. It is the foundation of a relationship.”
Jeans or shorts on a casual day?
“Shorts. On weekends, I wear shorts even when going to the barber. But funnily though because I lived abroad for a long time, I was not a shorts person those days. But now, I even run in shorts and I love it. But when I play golf, I play in trousers. For some reason, I actually don’t play in shorts like most people.”
What/ Where is your favorite restaurant?
“I would say INTI, a Japanese-Peruvian restaurant and Mandhari Restaurant, Serena Hotel.”
What’s the first career you dreamed of having as a kid?
“You will be surprised. I actually wanted to be a Provincial Administrator/ Provincial Commissioner. You see I grew up in an era where most of what you had, was the Government’s doing. You respected the provincial administration.”
How do you keep fit?
“I run three times a week/ 25Kms every week.”
Your favorite Kenyan band, artist?
“Nikita Kering. She is very talented. I think she won an award last year and it was really good to see such young talent making a mark not only in Kenya but in Africa at large. She can and will inspire the next generation.”
Finish the phrase, “the way to my heart is……..”
“Tell me the truth, be honest at all times with me and give your best.”
Do you have a Netflix Account?
“No, but my wife and son do have, so I use their accounts.”
A gift you wish every husband, was given on their birthday (by their spouse)
“The ladies won’t like this but here’s the truth. Just focus on the sport that your partner is passionate about.. Buy them something that connects to the sport be it an official jersey or a set of golf clubs or something. There’s always a sport that the man loves. Be less functional and get them something that shows you know the things he likes.”
Golf or rugby?
“Golf any time.”
What advice would you give your young self?
“Be more patient with yourself. Use the power of people more/ get the best out of people through what their strengths are rather than what’s missing.”
What’s your hidden talent?
“Taekwondo. I learnt it in the last ten years.”
Courtesy: Capital Lifestyle