Gerald Mahinda on the up and up journey

May 21, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 21 – East African Breweries Ltd (EABL) is a Kenyan-based holding company, which manufactures branded alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

Along with its subsidiaries, the company is involved in the brewing, marketing and selling of drinks, glass containers, malt and barley. Some of EABL’s core brands include Tusker, Pilsner, White Cap, Allsopps, Bell Lager, Guinness, Malta Guinness, Alvaro, Uganda Waragi, Senator, Johnnie Walker and Smirnoff Ice, to name a few.

Its wholly owned subsidiaries are Salopia Limited, Allsopps (EA) Sales Limited, East African Breweries (Mauritius) Limited, Central Glass Industries Limited, International Distillers Uganda Limited, East Africa Maltings Limited and EABL International Limited. It also holds a 98.2 percent stake in Uganda Breweries Ltd, and an 80percent stake in Kenyan Breweries Ltd.

The company recently announced a Sh23 million incentive scheme for the national football team – Harrambee Stars – to motivate the players as they seek qualification for both the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals and the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations.

EABL Managing Director Gerald Mahinda recently visited the Capital News newsroom and shed light on his rise to the helm of the top performing company.

Born and bred in Nairobi where his parents lived, Mr Mahinda attended Catholic Parochial primary school in the 1960s and later joined Jamhuri High School for his O-Levels. He went on to complete his A-levels at Alliance high school and joined the University of Nairobi for a Bachelor of Commerce degree. He graduated in 1983.

Mr Mahinda looks back at his university days with nostalgia saying it enabled him to learn many of life’s lessons. Although the abortive 1982 coup disrupted his education for a year, he prefers to look at it as a year of learning.

After graduating Mr Mahinda practiced as an accountant, following his training at Strathmore College for 18 months.

The young Mahinda, still in his twenties, was appointed Head of Finance at Pan African Bank, a position he held for five years.

He later moved to AIG as the Head of Finance in charge of Kenya, Uganda and Zimbabwe for six years. At 32, Mr Mahinda was already the Finance Director at the Standard Chartered Bank.

He joined Kenya Breweries where he slowly rose up the ranks to reach the helm. He has been working there at the breweries now to a little bit more than ten years. 

Mr Mahinda attributes his success story to raw ambition build on a foundation of passion for success and the desire to be the best. He says that when someone has a vision, and makes a deliberate effort to achieve them, then there is nothing that can stand in the way towards achieving it.
The EABL boss says he had decided to pursue his passion for accounts while still at high school; the reason why he picked related subjects.
Mr Mahinda’s hobbies include golf, watching sports and observing nature. The financial guru is also into the latest electronic gadgets which he sometimes dismantles and reassembles. He is also an avid reader of development books which he says widen his scope of understanding of various subjects.
His advice to the youth is “to set very clear and simple goals for themselves to become their guiding principles in life.”

He explained that doing so was the only way for them to boost their chances of achieving a lot during their careers, and likened it to setting up a strategy for a business, which if executed well, can yield fruitful results. 


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