Nothing can stop the determined
VICTOR KIPLAGAT, 26, is the operations manager with Comviva Technologies Limited at Airtel Chad. GARDY CHACHA found out what drives his success
Being Kenyan, how did you land a job in Chad?
I was in the Nairobi office and when our company rolled out the project across West Africa, I was picked to run Airtel Chad. I find it nice here since there are several Kenyans in Chad working with non-governmental organisations, the UN, telecom companies and other sectors.
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What are the challenges of your work?
We are driven by two important things: Customer satisfaction and surpassing revenue targets. In telecoms, you cannot make revenue if your customer is not satisfied with the service and, therefore, the challenge is in how to satisfy the customer’s needs and to keep him coming back so that you make good revenue.
How does it feel to work in a foreign country?
It’s fun and at the same time challenging. Fun in terms of travelling and meeting new people, learning new languages, getting new friends; you appreciate other people’s culture. It can, however, be quite lonely, especially at the beginning before you get used to the climate, the food and the people.
On a personal note, it has given me a good chance to study. I get a lot of time to read books after work and during weekends. I have been able to focus and think critically about the direction I should take in life, investments and other possibilities. So it’s been a good chance for me.
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What did you study in campus?
I did Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering. I also got a Cisco Certified Network Associate certification while in campus. I am currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration (MBA) at Kenyatta University through distance learning.
What does that involve?
Software Engineering is an information technology specialisation that focuses on programming and software development. It has a lot of similarities with computer science. On the other hand, MBA is a management course with several specialisations including Finance, Project Management, Marketing, Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship.
What are your ambitions for the future?
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First, I need to build my career within the telecoms industry and then climb the ladder to senior management positions within the sector. I need to finish the Master’s programme and then, hopefully, serve my country through political leadership.
What kind of discipline do you maintain at work for smooth delivery?
I create an image, I am a reliable person and that I can deliver what is required without supervision. I also try as much as possible to surpass set targets. I am also keen on details and focused on my role. One has to be respectful, not only to bosses, but to everyone.
What do you think about working in the same position in Kenya?
That would be fine. I think Kenya is more competitive than Chad and Kenya’s population is four times that of Chad. That would be a greater and welcome responsibility.
What makes a graduate good for employment?
The ability to learn, If you are ready and willing to learn, I am sure you will fit in any environment. I didn’t have much experience when I took up this responsibility, but I was willing to learn from my seniors. People are quick to notice potential in you, hence whenever given the opportunity, work hard and maximise your abilities. By that, you will be opening more opportunities for yourself.
How do you ease off the pressures of work?
I like listening to gospel music, especially when stressed and tired. I also like spending time with friends and discussing politics.
What do you love about your job?
Success achieved so far from the time I came in. That’s my driving force.
Are you living your dream?
I think so, especially career wise. I feel I am headed in the right direction, taking a step each day. I think I’m doing well on many other personal issues, so, I’m thankful to God.
Who is your role model?
My mother, She is a pillar in my life and I wouldn’t have come this far without her guidance. In the career circles, Dr Julius Kipng’etich, the chief operating officer at Equity Bank, is my mentor. He is a performer and I admire his leadership style.
To young people: Decide today to pursue your dream and never relent till you get it. Stop procrastination, they may be small shaky steps; it doesn’t matter, as long as you make a step. Don’t just think of employment as the only way to success.
Be zealous of success; dream of it then live it. Nothing can stop someone who has made a decision from achieving success. Let go of your old limiting beliefs and change your destructive habits.