The entry of corporate titan Polycarp Igathe into the Nairobi Governor Race has triggered a debate about the successful life of the former Nairobi deputy governor.
Polycarp Igathe reveals the only job he has ever applied for
Igathe, who has become Kenya's most sought after executive, added that Equity founder James Mwangi appointed him 7 times before finally agreeing to join the bank
Days before Igathe announced his political interests there were rumours that he had been appointed as CEO of Rubis East Africa, which turned out to be false.
During an interview with Spice FM the former Nairobi DG addressed questions about whether he was Kenya’s most sought after corporate executive.
He disclosed that during his career in the private sector, he has only applied for his first job at Cocacola and was headhunted for different C-suite roles due to his competence.
“For me, we should not say that you need to be desperate to become a politician or you need to have nothing else to do to become a politician.
“I'm speaking to my integrity. I left a political position as deputy governor straight to becoming a senior executive in a bank. You should go and check the due diligence they do for you before you become an executive of a bank, that speaks to my integrity,” Igathe said.
The Nairobi governor hopeful added that he started his career as a management trainee and became a manager at the age of 25.
“I only applied as a management training in Coca-cola and then I applied as deputy governor of Nairobi and the private sector has head-hunted me right through. Please ask those people who headhunted me why they did,” Igathe stated.
He also disclosed that before joining Equity, the bank CEO James Mwangi had sent him 7 letters of appointment.
“James Mwangi is a dear friend, he was a dear friend and James gave me seven appointment letters before I accepted the seventh one to join Equity.
“I am so fortunate in my life that I have learned on the table and I've sat on the shoulders of giants like Dr James Mwangi, he's an absolute giant.
“I've never seen a genius of his type, he's obviously disappointed I've chosen to go back to public life because in his view we can transform lives and livelihoods even in banking but I told James I’m continuing with the mission but in a different side,” he stated.
After serving at Cocacola, Igathe joined Africa Online which is considered the biggest internet service provider in Africa as a sales and marketing manager.
He was later appointed as the sales operation manager at East African Breweries Limited and later promoted to the marketing manager position.
Igathe would later move to Haco Industries where he worked as the managing director for 10 years. His close relationship with the late Chis Kirubi triggered a rumour that he was the billionaire’s son.
After leaving Haco, the corporate titan joined Vivo Energy Kenya as its first MD and also doubled up as as the chairman of the Kenya Association of Manufacturers, Petroleum Institute of Africa, Special Economic Zones Authority of Kenya, Anti-Counterfeit Agency and also the Director and Trustee of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance.
In 2017, he left Vivo to join politics and became deputy governor for about 6 months. After resigning from politics, he was appointed to Equity as the bank’s MD in Kenya.
Vivo Energy would later poach him back as its Africa Executive Vice President in charge of sales and marketing. Months later, he returned to Equity as group chief executive officer.
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