Patricia Ithau is passionate about creating opportunities that improve people’s lives. Her love for identifying enduring consumer and commercial insights to support the development of brands and grow businesses’ was actualized in a career spanning 25 years. In the last 8 years of her career in the consumer goods industry, her focus was on scaling new frontiers as the Managing Director of Uganda Breweries Ltd, then Managing Director of EABL International and her last role as the inaugural Managing Director of L’Oreal East Africa Ltd, a subsidiary of the Global multinational. This was indeed a crowning glory having in a little over 3 years, grown it into a business with $25million revenues, employing over 270 people, manufacturing 40 million units per annum, distribution in 6 countries, and closing one of the first of its kind acquisitions of a local business, in this market.
Patricia pivoted her passion for transforming lives to drive the transformation of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) which is the largest job creation sector in emerging economies. She makes that a reality as the Regional Director for the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies – Seed, an initiative out of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, that supports transformation and scaling of SMEs in the East and Southern Africa region. The program which she launched in May 2016, has in the last 5 years supported the sustainability, revenue growth, regional expansion and job creation of over 200 small to mid-size companies.
She is currently the Chairperson of the Board of Absa Securities Ltd., Vivo Activewear Ltd. and sits on the Board of Jambojet Ltd., all of which lean on her expertise on growing enterprise and the SME sector in particular. She builds on the positive impact of development funding, as a board member of Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA), the multi donor initiative and largest aid for trade organizations, with the overall goal of reducing poverty in the East African region through reduction of trade barriers and increased trade competitiveness of the region; and brings to life her enduring desire to connect corporate business with social sustainability investment, as a Trustee on the Board of the Vodafone Foundation, UK.
This Thursday, Patricia will share nuggets on how to navigate the Gig economy which is on the rise and poised to become the future of work.