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Our Rich History & Heritage | Company Profile | Leadership

Our Rich History & Heritage

No private company in the ICT sector in East Africa has had such a long, rich and vibrant history

old_nairobi.jpgWilken was founded in 1958 as an air charter business based in Nairobi, Kenya. It later opened up a telecommunications division in 1962.  Wilken continued to operate as an air charter and telecommunications company until the 1970’s when the then shareholders, Mr Bruce McKenzie, a prominent figure in Government of Kenya and Mr Keith Savage, divided the company into two. They sold Wilken Air to Cooper Motors Limited (CMC Aviation), now DAC Aviation. They retained the other part of the business, known as Wilken Telecommunications, which operated as a licensed supplier of telecommunications equipment.

Wilken thrived in a sector monopolised by Kenya Post and Telecommunications Limited (KP&T) providing the first satellite earth station into Kenya. During this period, Wilken was the leading and supplier of choice for telecommunications equipment into the sector. Wilken continued to focus on its core telecommunications business, which had by this time established agencies in a wide range of products selling telecommunications equipment into the East African market. Wilken Telecommunications introduced into the market global brands such as Alcatel Lucent, Thompson, Hughes Networks.

Wilken has been in the Alternative Energy sector for over 30 years.

solar_energy.jpgIn 1982, Wilken formed a new company, Wilken Solar to take advantage of the emerging opportunities in the alternative energy sector.Wilken Solar introduced into the market global brands such as Solahart, Kyocera, Trace Engineering and Southwest Wind Power.

In 1991, Lords Valentine and Michael Cecil acquired majority shareholding in Wilken with the intention of building up a strategic position in the vital areas of Telecommunications, Satellite and Internet Services, and Security.

In 1992 the directors introduced a broader strategy into the region by removing the risk of operating in one country, Kenya. It was agreed that Wilken would expand into Tanzania and Uganda with fully operating businesses managed independently from Nairobi. Wilken today has a presence in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan and Ghana.

It was during this period that Wilken also changed its corporate strategy. The strategy was to move towards introducing telecommunications services with its predictable revenues, rather than rely on the traditional sale of equipment in an increasing liberal market and acting as distributors for the large equipment suppliers such as Alcatel Lucent, Harris, Rockwell, Philips, Motorola to name a few.

Liberalisation of the telecom sector between 1995 and 2003, the impact of competition and reducing margins required considerable investment and change to Wilkens strategy. The company looked at markets outside the region and strategically invested into telecom licences in Uganda and Tanzania to become a Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) and Internet service provider. The offshoot of this was AFSAT.

AFSAT was set up in 1994 to provide reliable and affordable data communication using VSATtechnology, which transmits data, by satellite. There are currently 600 terminals installed and maintained by AFSAT. The Modern Africa Growth Fund (MAFM) purchased shareholding into AFSAT with a view to expanding the company, not just in East Africa but in other African markets as well. AFSAT now operates in 26 countries in Africa with over 3,000 corporate networks operating VPN and HSSIA solutions. MAFM sold their stakes in Afsat in 2007 to MWEB an Internet company wholly owned by Multichoice Holding International.

Going back to our aviation roots

private_jet.jpgOn its 50th anniversary, Wilken went full circle by venturing back into the aviation business. Wilken Aviation and Westwind Aviation were setup as business entities in the aviation sector. We provide air charter and cargo services to our esteemed clients in the larger East African region.

Wilken Flight Path to 100…..through Africa

Wilken has been in existence for 50 years. For any private company, moreso in Africa, this is a remarkable achievement and indeed a key milestone. The environment that we operate in has changed dramatically over the past 50 years. Significant changes have occurred in the political, economic, social, technology and geographical front. With these changes, opportunities and challenges have arisen in equal measure. Wilken has no option but to change and adapt to take advantage of the opportunities and manage the challenges that exist and lie ahead.

In recognition of the many successes achieved and key learnings over the past 50 years, and to continue to remain relevant in the ever changing market place, the Wilken Flight Path has been developed. The Wilken Flight Path will guide Wilken for the next 50 years leading to the 100 year milestone.

Wilken will continue to partner with global brands to enable us achieve our mission. Africa is the next growth frontier with enormous potential, vast resources and growing economies. It is with this is mind that our Flight Path is destined for Africa, Wilken Flight Path to 100 …..through Africa.

Company Profile

Wilken Group is the holding company for a number of wholly and partially owned companies based in the larger East Africa region. For over 50 years, our focus has been to invest in the following sectors:

  • Aviation
  • Technology
  • Energy
  • Financial Services

vision.jpgWilken Group today, more than ever, is a vibrant, open and dynamic company. Our key values are quality service, partnership, accountability and going the extra mile.

Our vision is:

“To be partners of choice to our shareholders, customers, employees and suppliers.”

Our mission is:

“To be a reknowned and respected African brand.”

 

Wilken Group Leadership

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Graham Shaw: Group Chief Executive Officer

Graham Shaw is the Chief Executive Officer with overall leadership of the Group. Graham is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. He is a business leader with vast experience in sub Saharan Africa investing in companies across Africa and the UK. Key additional investments include Amana Capital, Afsat Africa , Rivercross Tracking and Ramani Geosystems.
 
Prior to joining Wilken he worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers as a Management Consultant in Africa and qualified with Deloitte and Touche in London.

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Andrew Lopokoiyit: Group Executive Director

Andrew Lopokoiyit is the Group Executive Director and is responsible for business development and strategy. He has gained international experience having worked in the UK for Cap Gemini Ernst and Young and BUPA.

Prior to joining Wilken, Andrew worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Performance Improvement group in East Africa managing large systems selection and implementation engagements covering ERP and core banking systems.

Andrew holds an MSc in Business with IT from the University of Salford (UK) and a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Marketing from the University of Nairobi and is a Certified Information System Auditor and a PricewaterhouseCoopers Certified System Selection Consultant.



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Ruben Isaac: Director & Head of Aviation

Ruben Isaac is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Westwind Aviation and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Wilken Aviation. Ruben is the head of our Aviation Business. After completing training in South Africa, France and United States, Ruben has logged thousands of hours as Captain of various Aircraft. He has extensive experience in the Aviation industry across different geographical areas and different operationssuch as Humanitarian, Cargo and Passenger. Over the past decade, Ruben has been involved in the management of aviation businesses at senior levels. He notes:

“ The Aviation world and business in general is full of Challenges, if it was that easy there was no need for us [trained and professional] to be here to do the job”


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Mike Osiemo: Director

Michael Osiemo is a Director and Chief Technology Officer (CTO). He has over 15 years of experience as a highly organized Information technology professional and has considerable international experience having worked for IBM, AT&T and JP Morgan Chase amongst others in the US.

Michael has designed and implemented networking solutions from scratch, including IP networks, web applications, data and file servers whilst working at IBM and AT&T in the USA. He has been involved in determining and translating customer expectations into precise specifications for development teams in order to clarify project deliverables, define schedules and assign tasks.

Michael holds and MBA from Texas Wesleyan University and a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Agra in India.


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Lorna Mareri: Group Chief Finance Officer

Lorna Mareri is the Group Chief Finance Officer. She is a result oriented individual and is focused on achieving outlined objectives for the Finance department. She holds a First Class Honors degree, Bachelor of Commerce, Finance major, Accounting minor. She is a Certified Public Accountant and a Member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Kenya.

She is currently completing her Masters in Business Administration at the Strathmore Business School. She has previously worked for Aga Khan Foundation overseeing the financial reporting of USAID funded projects aimed at offering Education for Marginalized Children in Kenya and for World Relief Kenya, an international NGO.



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Mike Mutua: Head of Business Development (Aviation)

Michael Mutua is the Head of Business Development and Customer Service for our Aviation Business. Michael has a Business Management background and has been in the aviation industry for the last 14 years in Customer Care, Sales and Marketing for both International carriers such as KLM and Charter companies.


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Caroline Mburu: Finance, HR and Admin

Caroline Mburu is the Group Chief Accountant and Head of HR and Admin. She holds a Masters degree in Business Administration, Bachelors of Commerce degree, Finance major and is a Certified Public Accountant.

She has oreviously worked for Corporate Talk Group as the Finance and Administration Manager, United Bank of Africa as the Finance and e-banking manager as well as K-Rep Bank as the Alternative Channels Delivery/Operations Officer.

 

 


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Isaac Kioko: Business Development, Technology

Isaac Kioko is the Head of Business Development in our Technology Business. Isaac holds a BSc Degree in IT and is a certified Alcatel Lucent Presales and Field Expert.


 David-Macharia-Head-Engineer-Technology.jpg

David Macharia: Head Engineer, Technology

David Macharia is the Head Engineer in our Technology Business. He manages deployment of solutions and service level agreements. David is an experienced engineer with over twenty years experience in telecommunications. He has previously worked with the Kenya Defence Forces as a telecommunications engineer.


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Sam Mbogo: Head of Solar

Sam Mbogo is the Head of Solar. He is responsible for the day to day operations of the solar energy business within the group and his functions include business growth and development, expansion into the East Africa region and Africa. He is also responsible for solution based product development and co-ordination with international partners.

OUR STORY

Founded over 50 years ago, Wilken Group is the holding company for a number of wholly and partially owned companies based in the larger East Africa region.

Our key values are quality service, partnership, accountability and going the extra mile.

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OUR COMPANIES

Wilken Group focus has been to invest in the following sectors:

  • Aviation 
  • Technology
  • Energy 
  • Financial Services
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OUR THOUGHTS

In recent years investors have been piling into Lagos and Nairobi as if they were Frankfurt and Tokyo of old. Anaemic growth in the rich world has made sub-Saharan Africa an attractive destination for money and its managers. Foreign direct investment has increased by about 50% since 2005.

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ABOUT WILKEN GROUP
OUR HISTORY & HERITAGE
COMPANY PROFILE
CSR POLICY
WILKEN GROUP COMPANIES
WILKEN AVIATION
WILKEN TELECOMS
WILKEN WIRELESS
WILKEN ENERGY
WILKEN LOGISTICS
WESTWIND AVIATION
TALK TO US

Do you have questions about our website, our products or any of our services?

Wilken Group Limited
Wilken House, Wilson Airport, Nairobi Kenya
info@wilken.co.ke 
Landline: +254 20 600 6030/7;
Mobile: +254 722 851 856; +254 733 637 559
Fax: +254 20 600 2374

           

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