Name Position

Santiago Benedit

Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO)

Wilfred Waithaka

CTO

John Ngoru

Chief HR Officer

Francisco Palasi

Corporate Development Director

Rakesh Kukreja

MD Wananchi Business Services (WBS)

Jane Kebenei

Head of Customer Experience Cable

Eric Casse

Head of DTH

Ravi Kumar

Head of Customer Experience DTH

Kathleen Openda

Head of Corporate Affairs

Jocelyn Muthoka

Group Chief Legal and Regulatory Affairs Officer

Santiago Benedit

Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO)

Santiago Benedit was appointed to the position in November 2015.

Santiago brings more than twenty years international successful experience in the telecom businesses. His career has spanned both the technology and telecommunication sectors in which he has held Chief Financial Executive positions.

Prior to his appointment as Chief Executive Officer of Wananchi he was the Chief Financial Officer at Orascom Telecom Algeria -DJEZZY- (VimpelCom Group), the largest mobile operator in Algeria with USD 2.5 billion in revenues and over 17 million customers.

Prior to DJEZZY, Santiago was the Chief Financial Officer for AVANZIT/EZENTIS Group, a global technology and infrastructure Spanish listed Company with presence in more than 20 countries, where he was credited with the successful turnaround of the company across the world.

Santiago, 48 years old, is a Spanish national, holding a degree in Business Administration and Economics as well as an Executive General Management Master from the IESE Business School. He started his career with Alcatel/Lucent in Spain for whom he also worked in Bogota (Colombia) and at its head office in Paris. He also served as Finance Director at the Spanish mobile operator AMENA prior to its acquisition by ORANGE.

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Wilfred Waithaka

CTO

Wilfred Waithaka became Group Chief Technical Officer of Wananchi Group in June 2013. Before that, he was Deputy Chief Technical Officer of Wananchi Group since November 2011. Prior to joining Wananchi, Wilfred was General Manager at Intersat Africa Limited, a leading VSAT service provider in Africa for four years. From 2001 to 2007 he worked with UUNET Kenya (now MTN Business) in various Technical Operations, Management and Service Delivery roles. From 1999 to 2001, Wilfred worked with Africa Online (now iWayAfrica).  Wilfred has worked in the ICT industry in Kenya for over 15 years and is a Kenyan citizen.

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John Ngoru

Chief HR Officer

John Ngoru joined Wananchi Group as Group Chief Human Resources Officer in 2014. He is a practicing Strategic Human Resources management and development business partner.  Prior to joining Wananchi Group, he was the Group Head of Human Resources at ABC Group and a member of the Bank’s Execo team. He was instrumental in providing HR leadership that transformed ABC Bank Group from a bottom 3rd Tier Banking institution to a respected Group of companies offering a one stop financial solution and insurance services in the region. Before joining the Bank, John was retained by the SAFAL Group as HR Head for their Steel business. He also previously worked with Del Monte Kenya Ltd from 1998 to 2002 after which he proceeded to the United States of America and joined Johnny’s Grandson as Human Resources and Administration Director based in Atlanta, Georgia.  John is a Kenyan Citizen.

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Francisco Palasi

Corporate Development Director

Francisco Palasi joined Wananchi in January 2014 as Corporate Development Director. He has extensive experience in Financial Planning, Commercial & Corporate Development. Francisco has worked in the telecommunications, cable and media industry for over 10 years, previously as Director Financial & Commercial Planning at ONO in Spain. Prior to that, he held various Corporate Development roles in Liberty Global in the United Kingdom and The Netherlands.  Francisco is a Spanish Citizen.

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Rakesh Kukreja

MD Wananchi Business Services (WBS)

Rakesh Kukreja is the Managing Director for Wananchi Business Services (WBS), responsible for enterprise services under the SimbaNET Brand, carrier services under the brand Wananchi Telecom and satellite services under iSAT Africa Brand.

Rakesh is a communication engineer by qualification with 21 years of experience in the ICT industry in East Africa and has led many organisations including new startups.  Rakesh was the original founder of SimbaNET and iSAT Africa and became Managing Director of WBS in 2011. Over the last four years WBS has grown more than 300% and, under Rakesh´s leadership, has expanded its geographical footprints to Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Malawi and UAE.

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Jane Kebenei

Head of Customer Experience Cable

Jane joined Wananchi Group in the capacity of Head of Customer Experience in November 2014. She has a wealth of pan Africa experience in customer service operations and contact centre start-ups.

Jane holds an MBA (Strategic Management) from Moi University, B.Ed degree from Kenyatta University and Certificate in Business Management from University of Witwatersrand, SA.

She has over 15 years in management positions, having worked for yuMobile, Airtel and Air France in different capacities.

Jane started the Customer Service Department in yuMobile in 2008 and led the team to achieve industry recognition for service excellence. She played key roles in the launch and change management in Airtel Kenya and its Africa operations, through its previous brands KenCell, Celtel and Zain.

She is a Kenyan Citizen.

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Eric Casse

Head of DTH

Eric Casse was appointed as the Managing Director of the DTH business in the Wananchi Group, on 01 February 2015.

Prior to joining the Wananchi Group, Eric was the Chief Operating Officer for Azam Media Limited from July 2013 and was based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where he was responsible for setting up the operations and getting the company commercially ready for launch by 01 December 2013 in Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya.

In his previous experience in the DTH Pay TV industry, Eric spent 2 years as a Business Development Manager for Gateway TV [GTV] and appointed and worked with strategic business partners in various countries in Africa, most notably Zambia, Mozambique, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, Togo, Benin and Guinea Conakry.

Prior to GTV, he spent 18 years with MultiChoice [DStv] in various executive positions and was based in various countries throughout his career, namely, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Nigeria and the DRC.

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Ravi Kumar

Head of Customer Experience DTH

Ravi Kumar was appointed as the Head of Customer Experience DTH for the Wananchi Group on 01 August 2015.

He has 12 years of experience in customer service operations and contact center startups in the DTH Pay TV industry. He was based in India and managed the call center’s for Direct TV and Dish Network, who collectively dominate the DTH Pay TV industry in the USA.

Ravi also managed the chat support and the order entry sales processes for the MSO-Fiber triple play for Comcast, Time Warner, Charter, Bright House and ATT, based in the USA.

Over the last 2 years with Wananchi Group, Ravi has been a core part of the team in establishing the customer experience department for Zuku DTH & Fiber in East Africa. He was instrumental in launching the outsourced and decentralized Zuku DTH contact centres in Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi and Zambia and also in the setup of the Zuku internalized contact centre in Tanzania in October 2015.

He also has extensive experience in Sales, Chat Support, Social Media, Data Analysis and Budgeting and Planning.

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Kathleen Openda

Head of Corporate Affairs

As Head of Corporate Affairs, Kathleen Openda is responsible for driving brand enhancement and protection internally and externally .

Kathleen is renowned as one of Kenya’s foremost pioneer and award wining broadcast journalists. She has since specialized in leading strategic corporate communication solution provision over the past 10 years’ in the private and public sector.

Kathleen is a graduate of the University of Nairobi, the Thomson Foundation of the University of Wales, Cardiff and an Eisenhower Fellow.

She is a chorister and a member of the Parish Church Council of St. Mark’s Church, Westlands.

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Jocelyn Muthoka

Group Chief Legal and Regulatory Affairs Officer

Jocelyn Muthoka is the Group Chief Legal and Regulatory Affairs Officer.

She has a wealth of experience in legal and regulatory field having worked with Samsung as Head of Legal for East and Central Africa; Bharti Airtel International Group as Senior Manager Regulatory Affairs, Africa and Essar Telecom as Head of Regulatory Affairs

Jocelyn will provide legal and advisory services to the group and ensure effective management of legal and contractual risks.

She holds an MBA General from Management College of Southern Africa and a Bachelors of Law degree from University of Nairobi. She is a member of the Law Society of Kenya, the Institute of Certified Public Secretaries of Kenya and the East African Law Society

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