When you talk about advertising in Kenya, Samatha Kipury’s name is bound to appear in that discussion. She started her own company with just one client, and now manages an impressive portfolio of about 28 local and international corporates.
At just 25 years old, Samantha Siyieyio Kipury quit her job at one of the country’s then biggest advertising agencies to start out on her own. At the time, her only client was Nokia, a mobile electronics company.
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When she was a child, Samantha’s mother had to leave the country to study abroad after securing a scholarship in Canada. For the first four years of her life, she was raised by her father. She has in the past stated in an interview that that formed part of her personality, because she considers herself to have a bit more of a masculine energy.
Quitting her job
At 25 years old, Samantha quit her well-paying job to start her entrepreneurship journey. Her reasons for quitting were, as she described, “Feeling of wanting more, and knowing that you can do more. In the big organization where I was working, for me to make a big difference, it would’ve taken me 20-30 years. But I felt like if I tried it out on my own, then I could do it.”
With only one client at hand and little information on successfully running a company, Samantha enrolled for a Master of Business Administration (MBA) to learn the ropes on business management.
For half a year, she was the only employee at her company. During this period, she did everything by herself including making presentations, pitching, money management, taxes among others.
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The company gradually picked up and she began hiring more staff. Eventually, she merged the company with a couple others to form Dentsu Kenya, in which she and her two partners; Joel Rao and Chris Madison, now all have an equal ownership stake. The rest of the stake is held by their parent company based in South Africa.
The company has managed to run a series of campaigns with some of the biggest corporates in Kenya. These include the rebranding of Barclays Bank to Absa Kenya, Safaricom’s ‘Bonga For Good’, Guinness’ ‘Made of Black’; the NIC-CBA merger into NCBA Bank; the ‘Malaria No More’ global initiative; and the viral Netflix ‘Free The Whole Storo’ Ad.
Samantha Kipury currently serves as Dentsu Kenya Group Head of Media. At 36 years old, she is now getting into another chapter of her life, starting a family.
Some of her feats include being named in the ‘Top 40 Under 40 List’ in 2018.
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