My relentless journey to better my good

By Mwangi Alberto
Thursday, June 10th, 2021 00:00 | 4 mins read
BrighterMonday Kenya head of operations and customer experience Bella Abok. Photo/PD/MWANGI ALBERTO

Mwangi Alberto @Alberto_Mwas

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I was born and bred in Nairobi. I schooled in Parklands and proceeded to Precious Blood Secondary School in Riruta.

I then graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Mathematics and Statistics from Moi University.

Every child has their dreams. What were you aspiring to become when you grow up? 

Like most children, I had two or so phases. I remember telling my father I wanted to be an airhostess, and telling my brother I wanted to be a lawyer.

What is clear now is that I was drawn to a people-driven career of service.

What drove you towards corporate management?

I would say, constant learning as well as the innate calling to serve as a leader.

From an early age, I knew I was born to lead. When I was in my teens, I wondered what people saw in me.

At 17, I lost my father a few months before sitting for my Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education exams.

His last words to me must have unlocked the gift that was buried within. “Come let’s go on this journey together.

A journey of greatness, where challenges or obstacles aren’t insurmountable; where we don’t rest until our good is better and our better is best.”

Who was your inspiration?

My father. He was a tall man who valued academic performance. He had schooled himself, his wife and five children; not just in accounting and the Kenyan school curriculum, but also on time management, self-expression, dressing up and showing up. I could go on and on.

Your profile is very decorated. What are some of the career objectives that you are proud to have achieved thus far?

I’m proud to be a Net Promoter Score-certified customer experience (CX) professional.

I’m also recognised as a Customer Journey Architect (a journey architect is dedicated to the entire customer journey and all their experiences along the way).

This uniquely places me at the helm of the Roam Africa (marketplaces group) CX Centre of Excellence.

We are a team of CX practitioners who are working cross functionally and collaboratively to embed CX tenets within Roam brands throughout Africa.

I’m fulfilled to be in customer experience, a career path that is disruptive and distinguished as the key differentiator for growth in the business world.  

When and how did you join BrighterMonday?

I joined BrighterMonday in February 2020, after a maternity break. I interviewed for the role in October of 2019 when I was 34 weeks expectant.

I wrote a brief version of this story on Mother’s Day 2021. I’m proud to work at BrighterMonday and Roam Africa at large.

I was previously a customer success manager at an integrated CX organisation, and before that I was in sales.

I lead a team that supports customers in their journey with BrighterMonday.

Customer experience strategy formulation and implementation falls in my docket.

What lessons have you learned through the experiences?

My team and I are constantly putting the ‘voice of the customer’ first. We’re listening across channels.

We’re soliciting feedback directly and indirectly from both internal and external customers.

The answers and ‘silver bullets’ are in feedback. We’ve learnt to huddle together in agile cross-functional customer rooms, where we resolve customer issues and implement solutions based on our deep-dive sessions. It’s a continuous learning process. We celebrate customer centricity.

How is BrighterMonday fairing amongst its competition?

BrighterMonday is resiliently supporting its customers, especially during these Covid-19 times.

We had a ‘UnityInAdversity’ campaign from April to November of 2020, where we gave organisations access to advertise their vacancies at no cost.

From then on, we’ve accorded a hands-on approach to enabling our customers to utilise the Applicant Tracking System in positioning themselves as employers.

The job market is an ecosystem where the best-fit talent who optimise their profiles are visible to employers; and so, we are continuously fueling the supply and demand of talent in East and West Africa alongside Jobberman, as part of the Roam Jobs vertical.

Which careers are currently in demand locally?

The current job market is strained. We have entire sectors that are near collapse, and have had to shift their core business to supporting the essential services sectors.

The careers in demand have pivoted towards technology and tech-supported innovations and partnerships. Fintech, EduTech and HealthTech definitely take the lion’s share.

And so information technology professionals, data scientists, business analysts, business development professionals, digital marketers, medics and customer service roles are most in demand. 

Are skill-based careers getting the employers’ attention, and do we have enough skilled people?

Yes, skill-based careers are a specification for employers. We’re now seeing employers utilise the Skills Assessment tool that BrighterMonday provides.

We have customers who identify talent fit based on the assessment performance, married on to the shortlisting process.

Yes we do have the talent pool. We’ve observed a trend where candidates have training and academic qualifications, but face a challenge in demonstrating their acquired skills.

Most will ignore mentioning their transferable skills, yet this is what employers are really looking out for. 

Do we have a severe brain drain in Kenya? 

According to an International Development Research Centre study, Africa has already lost one third of its human capital and is continuing to lose its skilled personnel at an increasing rate.

The move is about opportunities and definitions of success. Opportunity to earn more money and improve one’s quality of life. 

Going forward, what are Brighter Monday’s aspirations?

In the near future, our business is honing in on democratisation of data that enables better decision making for our internal teams as well as for our customers.

Our immediate focus is dabbling down on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises related partnerships to empower growing businesses to leverage technology and recruitment partners to hire the right way.

We strongly believe that this is the vehicle for improving the economic status of the country.