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Meet Nick, Swifts boss

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 26 – Despite not being able to complete his university education as result of what he termed as ‘personal reasons’ new General Manager at Swift Global says he is able and willing to see the ISP Company excel to the next level.

Mr Nick Odero began his career as a driver-cum-salesman over a decade ago and has climbed the corporate ladder through sheer hard work and determination.

Capital Business desk managed to have a chat with Mr Odero on his plans in the new position, personal aspirations and view of the industry as a player.

Who is Nick Odero? I am a 40 year old married man with an advanced Diploma ABE (UK) in marketing/management option and I am currently pursuing the Chartered Institute Marketing course (CIM) and I am also planning to pursue a degree in Bachelor of Commerce.

Where were you before joining swift Global and what will your new assignment entail? I was stationed at Altech Stream Rwanda. While there I managed to set up a full operational infrastructure network.

My new assignment will involve changing the perception of Swift Global from how it has been viewed traditionally as a corporate ISP provider specifically dedicated to providing lease lines to the high end of the market.

We are now expanding to include the home users and the Small and Medium Term Enterprises (SME’s). This will be through shared capital access through the fibre optic that our partner Kenya Data Network has launched.

We have also brought in a new concept for a one stop shop, where for instance if a person is setting up in  Kenya all they will need to do is to make one phone call to get fully set up.

 Remember our two principal shareholders recently announced a Sh79.5 million capital injection which will finance the company’s regional expansion, finance development and launch of new products as well as an aggressive staff development programme. Out of the funds 60 percent will be used for new product development, 30 percent will be for disaster recovery renovation while training will take up 10 percent.

 Define your style of management – I would say I am an open door policy kind of person. I’m accessible to everyone and all the time so that decisions are made on time and targets are met. Apart from the traditional way of managing there will be a lot of delegation because I have competent staff.

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 Your strengths – I don’t give up. I like challenges. I have built networks before. I think this is the third one after KDN which I was involved in from inception and then Altech which now has customers and is making revenues. I think it is as a result of good previous performance that I was given this new position.

Weaknesses– I am a workaholic and as you know this take’s a toll on the family front. I get to work at 6 am and leave way past 8 pm. 
 What Challenges do you think you will face?  The biggest will be to change the market perception of Swift Global from that of a big boy provider’ to attracting the Small and Medium Enterprises which will take a lot of hard work and pro-activeness from our side.

However I am not new to challenges because in the past I did work for the Coca Cola Company for eight years and managed to turn around sales for the western region through setting up of depots and growing sales in the remote regions like Kakamega.

What drives you? Challenge drives me. The most recent model on the scene is US president Barrack Obama. If he can do it all of us can. And this market is growing so there is opportunity.

What is your view of the market? It is price sensitive but despite how you price your product if you do it right and the service is good your customers will be loyal. We have had some of our customers since 1997. There is a time we went through a rough patch and some of our staff left resulting in the service deteriorating but due to our high standards our customers chose to stick with us.

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