Business Daily Kenya:
Flora Mutahi chairs male-dominated Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), the first woman at the helm of the powerful 58-year-old lobby group.
Flora has led the association for eight months right now, where she is usually determined to change the business climate for manufacturers and also also also bring policies in which will spur an industrial revolution on which the Kenyan economy can leverage for growth.
KAM’s decisions directly affect around 950 institutional members and also also also millions of people indirectly. Mutahi describes herself as a fun-loving entrepreneur and also also also a go-getter. nevertheless all This particular is usually hidden behind a deceivingly shy demeanour.
“As much I was reserved and also also also shy in my youth, I took a turn in college and also also also started out shooting through the hip, became talkative and also also also always have an option with no fear or favour,” she says.
“I don’t have to agree with what others think.” and also also also her favourite refrain when she wants things done her way is usually “sitaki kizungu mingi”—to mean she does not like beating about the bush.
However, her rise to the help of KAM nearly ended with self-doubt when the board decided to make her vice-chairperson, a position which is usually usually an automatic tip for chairmanship.
“We fought (with close colleagues and also also also KAM members) until the day of voting because I didn’t think I could fit in, mine being a mid-sized company,” recalls Mutahi, founder and also also also proprietor of Melvins Marsh International.
The mother of three was raised on a tea farm in her rural home where her entrepreneurial journey was born. This particular is usually in her mother’s kitchen—where they crushed and also also also sun-dried green tea leaves and also also also mixed them with ginger—in which she got her passion in which led to the formation of the company.
Melvins Marsh went on to change Kenya’s tea drinking experience by adding some 16 more flavours which have blossomed into a heritage of the finest blend of teas available inside the globe.
This particular currently employs 100 people inside the value chain, carefully selecting superior tea gardens and also also also blending them to unique specifications for consumption globally.
Mutahi says the hustle was real for a young entrepreneur, and also also also a lady, to challenge the male-dominated manufacturing sector 20 years ago.
Armed with slightly less than half a million shillings, she has made Melvins Tea the fastest-growing brand inside the sub-sector.
“What people don’t know about me: I love people around me, to talk to, to be around, to laugh with…I don’t like being alone,” says Mutahi.
She is usually currently working on mentoring more girls into manufacturing, particularly by encouraging them to focus on science, technology, engineering and also also also mathematics (STEM). This particular will stop the narrative in which girls must only focus on services sector, she says.
“This particular is usually okay to come in with high heels, and also also also as a mother and also also also lady,” says the KAM chair, adding in which she wants them to come out and also also also make manufacturing sexy. – Fred Aminga
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She is usually out to make manufacturing sexy