Rose Muturi regional manager Tala
Ms Rose Muturi, regional manager for East Africa at Tala, believes in walking the talk. Photo / Business Today

Rose Muturi doesn’t have a working stereo in her car. She is a morning person and always happy to let her juniors make key decisions. But while in the corner office, she has her eyes firmly on the key operations at Tala.

Ms Muturi is the mobile lending firm’s regional manager for East Africa, a position she has held for one-and-a-half years.

She is a credit scoring expert and thus finds the credit space familiar territory. Ms Muturi’s demeanor and every word she utters serves as a stark reminder of her success, which was crowned by being named in the Top 40 under 40 women in 2015.

In an interview, Ms Muturi told Business Today that building the team at Tala East Africa has not been a walk in the park. She says the desire to leave behind a successful firm driven by a strong team remains her biggest motivation.

Being at the helm of a fintech – industry lingo for finance technology – is not easy, especially with vicious rivals lurking in the market. But since Tala disrupted the financial services market in 2014, the organisation’s growth has been steady.

And Ms Muturi has been tasked with steering it into the next phase of growth.

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“I don’t plan my day because the thing about being an operations person in a fintech is that something will always crop up, ranging from regulation issues and a possible c****s,” she says, “So I prefer to handle everything as it comes.”

Ms Muturi holds weekly one-on-one meetings with departmental heads where progress and challenges are discussed. “I don’t handle everything. I only ask to be filled in on the most important details,” said Ms Muturi.

In this industry tension is always high and regulators ever on the watch out for any unusual stuff.

On March 28, Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor Dr Patrick Njoroge likened digital loans apps to ‘shylocks’ and called for their regulation. But Ms Muturi believes that fintechs operating locally have made significant progress towards self-regulation as they wait for authorities to draft guidelines.

The efforts include formation of an association of all local fintechs to handle all emerging issues.

[ SEE: Tala – from scrappy start-up to a digital loans darling ]

Away from work, the regional director loves to travel, is an ardent book reader and a mentor to younger people. “Travelling opens your mind, it challenges your stereotypes and you start thinking differently about things,” says Ms Muturi.

During the interview, she raved over her passion for books revealing her bias for biographies and historical books. No Excuses by Brian Tracy and History of the Hanged by David Anderson are her all-time favourites.

As a mentor, she regularly meets people to talk about pertinent issues in society such as child c****r. Whether at work, home or during her leisure time Ms Muturi believes in walking the talk.

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