In 2015, Tuskys cobbled together a tight team of professionals to streamline its operations at the height of management upheaval and restructuring that pushed out some top managers.
Tuskys Supermarkets, led by then newly hired CEO Dan Githua, hired eight senior staff to drive the turnaround process. The management said the new managers, who were known internally as the Dream Team, would inject new blood into the retailer and help minimize family wrangles that had marred Tuskys for ages over its management.
Two years later, the dream team is no more, with all the managers having left to pursue different interests. But their dream will continue to live as Tuskys has been placed on a firm growth path.
The last of the team members to leave Tuskys corporate suites is Joanne Wanjala, who was in charge of Corporate Communications and PR. Ms Wanjala was the pioneer Corporate Communications manager at Tuskys.
Those who follow Tuskys affairs say she helped shape a positive narrative around Tuskys brand and made information sharing by the retail chain to its key stakeholders more efficient. Initially, Tuskys was media-shy and operated a closed-up model, with managers rarely availing information to journalists.
These days, Tuskys is among the most covered retailers in the media and its CEO engages journalists even at a very personal level. Ms Wanjala, a journalist by training, may be headed back to Standard newspaper, where she worked before moving to Tuskys.
The 2015 Young and Professional Dream Team was the creation of Mr Githua, the first non-family member CEO who took over the company in May 2015.
Other Dream Team managers who left earlier include the General Manager for Supply Chain Kenneth Karoki, who is now the GM for Operations at Uchumi Supermarkets, Business Development Manager Zack Mukewa who now heads Seven to Seven Supermarkets, as well as the then Chief Operations Officer Rtd Major Peter Leparachao, who recently founded Massmart Kenya Supermarket.
Other new comers who exited are Marketing Manager Spencer Okach, HR Manager Dorcus Ngaruiya, Customer Experience Manager Collins Agai,Corporate Sales Manager Stephen Ndeto, and Loss Prevention Manager Hillary Wachira. Sources at Tuskys say long serving Security and Control Manager Arthur Church, a South African, also left citing frustrations at work.
The team played a big role is steering Tuskys from its management turbulence that nearly brought it down as family members who own it fought for control.
With retail giant Nakumatt facing financial difficulties that could lead to massive branch closures – and Uchumi battling its own woes – Tuskys is angling to take the lead in the retail segment in Kenya, as disenfranchised shoppers seek refuge at its vibrant stores across the country.