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Don’t ask managing director of Spire Bank, Tim Gitonga, about his job if you do not have lots of time to spare for the response.
His words are infused with passion; his hands spring into motion in expressive gesticulation and his eyes light up underneath pasty eyeglasses when he launches into his expansive vision for the banking sector – one of Kenya’s economic spine.
Still busy settling into his corner office on Waiyaki way, barely a year since he took up that position, Tim, a 44-year old golf devotee, has his fingers in so many pies as he opens up on some of his side businesses.
“Passion and desire to see this company curl into a bigger corporate entity get me out of bed every single day,” he remarks about an industry he says, “I almost did not get into.”
In fact, he has his late father, a disciplinarian by virtue to thank for the choices he’s made in life.
“For some strange reason, while in high school I was informed that our forms for university application were never submitted and so I was picked for an agriculture course which was against my childhood dream of becoming a mechanical engineer. But I considered the degree as ‘technology’ which opened my eyes,” says Gitonga.
Destiny had other plans when Tim completed his bachelors’ degree at the University of Nairobi and his inner gut persuaded him to seek employment at NIC bank – from which he started out as a clerical officer at the age of 23 before mounting through numerous levels within the bank to a branch manager and later head of SME unit.
Following the success growth of the unit he abetted, now the father of two boys, called it a day at NIC in February, 2013 on a high – and joined Housing Finance Corporation as a business operations director a month later.
History will remember him as the brain-child behind the rebranding of Kenya’s mortgage finance institution, Housing Finance Corporation to HF Group in 2015, whose main name change was to reflect new facilities including banking services.
Fast forward, Tim has found new excitement. He’s been smitten by a promising investment that is loosely branded as ‘a black-hole resort,’ – a place for vacation that doesn’t have technology in the guest rooms including TV, Internet, phones or cell phone service – and has set sights on this side gig he’s grown to love madly, deeply!
“I see this type of investment as a salvation to individuals with hectic schedules and demanding job patterns, as a place to come and unwind with almost no distraction.
The gadgets are locked away in the resort safe and instead clients focused on themselves and those around them, like family,” he says of his holiday resort venture. He says most people find it remarkably easy place to ease off anxiety and work-related stress.
He has also ventured into crop and pig farming which he hopes will help supplement his engagements and boost returns and has further laid out plans to set up another business project which will see it produce biodegradable and compostable products made from organic and natural materials.