The Founder's Feature; Caroline Kamanja
This month on the Founders Feature we bring to you Caroline Kamanja, Managing Director of Daproim Africa. A business process outsourcing company based in Nairobi that serves local and international companies, government agencies, and corporations looking to reduce costs, improve transparency, and achieve exponential growth. They provide services such as digitization, transcription, SEO services, and data management services that allow clients to be more efficient, use their data better and focus on growth.
A young lady in IT...how awesome and intimidating is that?
Well, it is awesome knowing that I am a role model to young people and especially young girls. I feel blessed to work in a place I love. Intimidating…not sure about that. I have interacted with amazing young entrepreneurs who continue to challenge me. The women in Stanford SEED Cohort 3 EA, are kick-ass women. Same as the Alibaba E-Founders women and Keroche Foundation women. I have big dreams, so, I hope what I am now is not intimidating because what I am becoming scares me too. ;-)
How do you acquire customers?
We get our clients through tendering, pitching, referrals, and networking events, through our website www.daproim.com
Being an entrepreneur is harder than what most people think, where does your courage come from?
My late husband (Steve Muthee), my mentor (Dr. Kinuthia), Mrs. Tabitha Karanja, they all instilled in me the “BE BRAVE” mentality.
How do you remain relevant in this dynamic world of entrepreneurship?
- Read daily: Know what is happening around you then position yourself strategically for opportunities.
- Do not be afraid: Ask questions, apply for that job, meet that person, just do it. This is something I am constantly reminding myself, as the world belongs to she who is brave.
- Surround yourself with like-minded people: Do not delight in being the smartest person in the room. If you are the smartest person in the room then you need to change your environment. Always keep learning and push your boundaries.
- Have your goals and align all your efforts to that goal. Big or small efforts; everything towards the goal.
- Dream big and write down your dreams: Actually, recently I was just thinking of the power of doing this. When I graduated in 2010, I did not have a job and a car. I got a book from my late husband, who was my fiancé then, by Joel Osteen. He teaches you to write down your dreams and track them. So this is what I wrote:
I will own a 4*4 car.
I will get to choose the colour of my car.
In 2015 I got my 4*4 car, and for sure, I got to choose the colour.
- Keep trusting in God and the journey He is taking you through: I quit engineering school because my mum could not afford the school fees. And I pursued Bachelor of Commerce which was affordable. I was really passionate about engineering and at that time I felt sad I was not following my passion, however, now I realize how profound that was. My business skills are what are helping me run my company now.
How would you describe your sense of style?
My style is chic, girly and comfortable. I like nice-looking outfits that are definitely of high quality.
How important is dressing/how you look to your role and where you want to go?
Dressing for success does not necessarily mean suiting up. How you look affects how you feel and ultimately will set your mood for the day. Personally, I feel great when I am well-dressed. I am more confident when I do not have to worry about how I look, what I am wearing or what impression I am creating with my outfit. My staff dress very well, and as their boss, I also have to keep up (hahaha). After this photoshoot with Sarai Afrique Fashion House and seeing all the fun looks I can do with print and colour, I am planning to change my style in the future.
If you could do it all over again, what mistake would you make again?
Hahahaha. Use all my money travelling but go slow on the shopping.
What are your top two favourite quotes?
“Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping stone to greatness.” ― Oprah Winfrey.
“If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it - then I can achieve it.” ― Muhammad Ali.
Give us your parting shot.
Just do your thing and be good at it!
You can reach Caroline at firstname.lastname@example.org
Written by Caroline Kuria
Edited by Fannis Mwende
Photography by Eugene Okoti
Dressed by Sarai Afrique Fashion House.