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Glovo manager Priscilla Muhiu on career and leadership

BUSINESS
By Jacqueline Mahugu | March 8th 2021

Priscilla Muhiu’s (pictured) career life has been a revolving door of possibilities. If things had worked out the way she initially wanted, she might have been toiling away in a white coat. She wanted to do medicine, then briefly, engineering and actually tried it on for size at the university before settling on the course she had been accepted for, Food Science and Technology. 

She ended up being employed in none of those fields. “You know after campus you try out anything. I worked for Healthy U for two months, and also did call centre for two months, then I landed myself in an agency as an intern, but PR didn’t work out for me so I decided to go into media buying. I really enjoyed what I was doing. It was more data-driven, and I am very passionate about data. I did it for four years then I joined the tech sector,” she says.

She had a stellar career in marketing, in the type of companies that did not even exist back when she dreamt of doing medicine -  internet-based companies such as OLX and Sendy. Today, her career has once again evolved and she is now at Glovo, where she is the General manager. 

“When it was announced that I was going to take over as the general manager for Kenya, there was a lot of social media buzz which was very organic. I did not expect it. There was a hashtag going around saying, #WomenMustLead or something similar and I was part of that alongside very strong women. I really felt proud. It felt like I had really accomplished something,” she says.

For her to get there, it has taken what she describes as a very positive mindset, a lot of self-belief and undying ambition. 

“I think, also, the fact that I am quite confident, I don’t feel like I get intimidated. I always go for what I want. Like the first time I applied for a job at Glovo, I wanted to be a General Manager but I didn’t have what they were looking for. 

“I came in and became the head of marketing for Africa. I never stopped pursuing my ambition. When the opportunity presented itself, I got it. So I really believe in going for what you want. You would rather try than not try and not know if you would have gotten it,” she says.

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As much as she has reached the highest echelons of society, something else gives her the most fulfilment. 

“Having my first child was very fulfilling. It is the hardest job, yes, but it is a fulfilling job,” she says.

She advises people to go after careers they really want or find ways to find happiness in what you do. “It is very important to do what you want and what you are passionate about. From Monday to Friday, you spend 8 hours, come back home, spend four hours and sleep. So you spend the majority of your time at work. You can imagine spending majority of your time in a place you hate and you don’t like what you do. You becomes miserable and it affects other aspects of your life. Being happy with what you do is super critical,” she says.

Specifically to women, and especially leaders and those aspiring to be leaders, she is all about straightening each other’s crowns.

“I’ve seen women who bring down other women because they feel intimidated. I feel sad when that happens. I believe in pulling each other up because when we do that together, we rise.  My advice is that whenever you are in leadership, make sure you bring your team up. 

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