By David Kipkorir
Eliud Chepkwony, the CEO of Jamii Savings and Cooperative Society, only has a few days at the helm of the Sacco before he calls it a day.
Chepkwony has decades of experience in finance in the Sacco sector and has served Jamii Sacco for the last 34 years.
Speaking to Sacco Review, Chepkwony pointed out that it’s time to pass the baton to someone else.
“Once my term ends after the April Annual Delegates Meeting (ADM), someone else will take the mantle,” he said.
He revealed that during his career at Jamii Sacco, he led over 24,000 members. He was also in charge of assets worth Shs 5 billion.
“During my tenure, the Sacco’s assets base rose from Shs 1.6 million to Shs 5 billion currently,” he said.
He said that one of his main objectives at Jamii Sacco is to make customer satisfaction the most important part of the company. That implies that every decision the Sacco’s management takes is for the benefit of the members.
He said that through his guidance, the Sacco is working to become increasingly agile and efficient, all in the name of improving customer satisfaction.
He said that he has stimulated collective work, which implies that he has combined an elevated degree of entrepreneurship, initiative and autonomy with clear processes to achieve results.
He said that he rose through the ranks from a junior officer to the helm of the thriving organization thanks to his dedication and work.
Through his leadership, the Sacco, which was established in 1972, was ranked as a tier one Sacco in 2021.
His contemporaries call him the trailblazer and he has a reputation of being tough and compassionate, something he asks future leaders to emulate.
He stressed on the need for leaders to be open minded since business transactions in the current world need companies to adapt and evolve.
“Future leaders must always be open to questioning ideas and assumptions from people on their team and outside voices. With so much change, leaders can’t be expected to always have all the information and answers. Instead, they must realize the value of the people around them and be open to new ideas”, he says.
He adds that leaders have to rely on their customers and people with varied backgrounds and perspectives to make the best decisions.
“This means that in order to have a successful company, leaders must be open-minded to ideas that are not their own. Future leaders must be open-minded, customer-focused and collaborative. These three mindsets are crucial in setting leaders up for long-term success.” He said.
Due to his soft spoken nature, many outside the exclusive cooperative society might not know his name and that might be an irony since even those who have achieved a fraction of what he has achieved have painted the town red and been celebrated as high end achievers.
His soft nature is as a result of his deep rooted polite character that defines enjoyment and happiness in a very personal and delicate term.
“While we have a preconceived notion about how life should work, ultimately it is really an individual thing. My own idea of enjoyment is what gives me happiness. My ability to develop things and make a difference is enjoyment for me. I like to develop others in terms of backing up their education. I like seeing people rise from nothing to something. Being part of such a process gives me happiness.” He said.