How would you describe yourself?
Calm, cool, collected. Once in a while when I want to make a point I’m tough.
What does your job entail?
I am the custodian of the brand. I have to make sure there is top of the mind brand awareness, that the brand sells and also that the customer experience the brand promises borders on customer delight.
What fascinates you about the job?
It requires creativity and the beauty about creativity is that it is never the same. You do not come to work and one plus one is two and the next day it is still the same. In marketing, it can be one today, two tomorrow or four.
My mentor told me creativity is a muscle and you have to keep exercising it. The beauty is that it is a renewable resource.
The mere fact that I come to office everyday thinking, ‘What can we do today? What new idea is out there? What are people thinking?’ makes this job exciting.
How do you keep yourself creative?
I read a lot.
Any particular books?
Growing up I was a fan of Sidney Sheldon, Jeffery Archer and Robert Ludlum, but as I developed in the marketing field, I ventured into titles like 33 strategies of war,33 strategies of power, The CEO code. I read more autobiographies as I’m interested in what people go through to win or achieve. You will even find me reading books about how one became a cult leader because I just want to know the qualities he had that made people follow him blindly.
What can you say enabled you progress in your career?
There are things I believe in as a person. If you are going to do something, do it right and to the best of your ability. My father always told me, a man is only as good as his word, so when you say you are going to do something, do it. Also always be willing to recreate but there is tagline, you must recreate for relevance.
What is a letdown in your line of trade?
Someone coming up with a fancy presentation and imagery but when it comes to delivery there is a mismatch. It ticks me off because when one comes with an idea and sells it to me, I also sell it to my executive committee. The same picture I have in my mind is what I sell. Imagine I do this and you deliver the opposite!
If you say you are going to do something, do it and that is how I handle my team. I do not micromanage, so if you agree to do a project and I step out of it, you must deliver. My former Irish boss taught me one thing, it is better to say you cannot do it than say you can and fail to deliver as then, he knows how to guide you.
How do you think corporates sell themselves short?
On the contrary, I think corporates here over sell themselves. You find people overselling and under delivering and this breaks trust. That is why you find people shifting a lot in the corporate world.
How can one best sell their great attributes?
In marketing there is a mantra, under sell and over deliver to counter the expectations but I would beg to differ. I would say sell and over deliver because as marketeers we are taught we are no longer looking for customer satisfaction, we are looking for customer delight and you get this be going overboard.
As Equity bank for instance, we strive to give an over the top service thus our philosophy, we listen, we care and we partner. We are not just a bank.
Men are said to be poor communicators, how do you rate yourself?
That depends. In the business sense I would give myself seven and allow for the rest to rate the three. In the emotional aspect, my friends think I’m a bit emotional, not that I wear my heart on my sleeves, but if something is bothering me, if I do not tell you, at the very least I show it from my body language.
What makes men fail to communicate about their emotions?
I think it is fellow men. Look at it this way, if a man has gone through an emotional breakup and approaches his friends, I can bet you eight out of 10 times, they will laugh at you, take you to a bar and buy you a bottle of whisky then drop you back home. All they have done is postponed the problem. The next time you will tell yourself if I tell these guys, they will just laugh at me. Women on the other hand give you a shoulder and allow you to cry over it, thus you recover and move on.
Why do men say they cannot understand women?
Women will give you solutions for that particular problem, so when it is another problem, they will give you another set of solutions and that is where men get confused. For men, if something works, it works. So if I tell you in a Carib, use gear 1 to climb a hill even when he moves to a Land Rover, he will use that gear as it also works even if one can actually use a more advanced one. Our thinking is that if it works it works, if it does not then we will find another solution.
What attributes make a woman stand out?
In the words of my mother. Behind every successful man, there is a strong, loyal, praying woman. You need a woman who believes in you and your dreams and one who prays. If she has faith in God it means she will most probably have faith in you.
What habits would you frown upon?
Lack of self-respect. If you do not respect yourself, that is a disservice. Your need to respect yourself. Take for instance hauling profanities, even I would not do it.
Tell me about your back ground
I was born in Mulago. I travelled quite a lot because of my father’s job. In my early life I was in the UK, and then studied at Kampala Parents School, Braeburn in Kenya, Taibah International School, Kawempe Muslims High School and Kyambogo University. Currently I’m doing a Chartered marketing course at UMI.