How much could you achieve in 13 years? How about going from being one of 700 guards to being in charge of over 5,000 guards in East Africa? That is the story of Mr. Charles Nderitu, whose 13 years of the proverbial blood, sweat and tears resulted in a meteoric rise from guard to supervisor, to Deployment Officer, to Assistant Zone Manager, to Zone Manager, and finally to the Head of Manned Guarding at Securex Agencies LTD.
“I just pretended to be a guard from the start as I understood the organization and learnt what it stands for. I always knew that I wasn’t going to remain there for long,” quipped Mr. Nderitu. His tale of diligence, patience and ambition begun with recruitment and training at the Securex Training School in 2003.
“My first deployment was on 22nd September, 2003 when I was posted at the Juja weighbridge working as a night-guard. In those days there was no guard working during the day at the weighbridge, and I worked with very little supervision. This was also during the heights of the Late John Michuki-era, and it was quite a difficult assignment bearing in mind the new, strict laws that the Minister was trying to implement,” he reminisces with a hearty smile.
It did not take long for his stellar work to get noticed, and he was re-deployed to Hazina Towers barely five months later. Two months passed, and his upward climb at Securex began. He was enrolled for a motorbike riding course, and subsequently promoted to the role of supervisor in Industrial Area. Charles was proudly the first supervisor to monitor guards on assignment using a motorbike at night, despite the heightened risk that came with it. In September 2005 the company created the post of a Deployment Officer, and Mr. Nderitu was successful in landing the job on his second attempt. He worked closely with the Operations Controllers (there were only two at the time), and often found himself playing both roles despite this not being among his list of assigned duties. It was also during this time that he displayed another of the qualities which likely endeared him to the top management at the firm:
“In 2011 we were contracted to provide security for the International Organization for Migration. Two days before the official commencement of the contract, on a Saturday at around 3 pm, I received a phone call asking me whether I could quickly mobilize and deploy three guards to begin duty at their Eldoret branch by the following Monday. I had to quickly get in touch with our field officers to ask them to forward contact details of three guards who would be comfortable with being re-assigned to Eldoret. I met the three at our headquarters the following day at 3 pm, and after sorting out a few administrative issues, left for Eldoret with my men at 9 pm. Luckily I had a good friend in Eldoret who agreed to accommodate us when we arrived in the wee hours of Monday morning, and by 8 am we met the client and were ready for duty. I also managed to convince my friend to house my three men until they were able to find alternative means of accommodation. We have to do whatever it takes to keep our clients happy and satisfied.”
It would come as no surprise then that he was made an Assistant Zone Manager in the same year. His ambition drove his hard work, and in October 2013 he took his next step upwards when he got promoted to Zone Manager for Zone A. Zone A was (and still is) the largest Zone in terms of number of guards posted there; and Charles was now in charge of over 1,300 guards, 10 years after he joined the company as a guard himself. The crowning jewel of his unprecedented rise came in December 2015 when he was appointed as the new Head of Manned Guarding for Securex Agencies (K) LTD.
Doubtless proud of his latest promotion, he has not forgotten where it all begun 13 years ago. He continues to mentor his guards, asking them to draw inspiration from his own incredible life-story. He has also been instrumental in the induction of management trainees as well as new employees, and considering his experience there was really none more fitting for this role than he. Charles was blessed to find employment with a company that matches his ambition and drive, and this, he says, is what made him passionate about the job.
“During my 13 years of service at Securex, I have watched the company grow in leaps and bounds. When I looked across at our rivals, many were either stagnating or indeed, lagging behind. I noticed the positive direction the company was taking from very early on, and that is why I chose to stay and grow here.”
Finally, we asked Mr. Nderitu how he managed to juggle between his family and his career, especially given his steep career progression over the years. The father of four was quick to note the role that his family and his superiors played in supporting his dreams.
“That is a very difficult question,” he starts with a laugh. “In fact, my last-born child was born on 23rd December, 2003 while I was on night duty at the Juja weighbridge. All was well when I left home that night, but when I got home the next morning my wife wasn’t home. I was told to go look for her in the hospital; and I rushed there only to find she had already delivered our baby and I now had to hustle for taxi fare to get us back home! All in all, it has not been easy but with support from my family and advice from my superiors I have managed to get to where I am today.”
The Securex family wishes to congratulate Charles Nderitu, not only for his promotion but for upholding the company’s core values while at it. Hongera!