Francis Okomo-Okello
Kenya
Francis Okomo-Okello
  • Chair, Barclays Bank of Kenya and TPS Eastern Africa Limited-Serena Group (Financial Services; Hotels)
Born near Lake Victoria near Kisumu, Kenya, 1949. LLB, University of Dar Es Salaam (1971).
“[W]hether you are a bank or you are a hospitality organization or a media organization, you are part of an ecosystem and there are certain responsibilities that you would have as a responsible corporate citizen.”

Summary

Francis Okomo-Okello, the chairman of the Nairobi-based luxury hotel group Serena as well as the Kenyan affiliate of the British bank Barclays, discusses the opportunities and challenges faced by business leaders in Kenya on the basis of his experience at Serena, which he joined in 1975. He shows that the response of Serena to political risk in Kenya was regional diversification, creating an East Africa-wide luxury tourist group. Okomo-Okello talks passionately on the evolving standards and corporate norms of Serena, and the commitment to local engagement and environmentalism. He focusses more broadly on issues of sustainable development, globalization, ethical business practices, and the need for banks to engage in responsible lending.

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Francis Okomo-Okello, the chairman of the Nairobi-based luxury hotel group Serena as well as the Kenyan affiliate of the British bank Barclays, discusses the opportunities and challenges faced by business leaders in Kenya on the basis of his experience at Serena, which he joined in 1975. He shows that the response of Serena to political risk in Kenya was regional diversification, creating an East Africa-wide luxury tourist group. Okomo-Okello talks passionately on the evolving standards and corporate norms of Serena, and the commitment to local engagement and environmentalism. He focusses more broadly on issues of sustainable development, globalization, ethical business practices, and the need for banks to engage in responsible lending.
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Additional Resources

Additional Resources

  • “Leadership Matters for Africa,” 3rd Africa 2.0 Symposium, Lagos, Nigeria, YouTube, June 14, 2012
  • Francis Okomo-Okello, “The Role of Bankers in Promoting Compliance with Environmental Law,” Kenya National Judicial Colloquium on Environmental Law and Access to Environmental Justice, January 2006
  • Francis Okomo-Okello, “Business Management and Leadership: Taking Africa Forward,” Strathmore Business School, April 16, 2008
  • “Kenya: Mass Market Banks Now Rule the Industry,” The Star (Nairobi), June 4, 2013
  • TPS Eastern Africa Limited-Serena Group Annual Report, 2014
  • Video file of this interview available at Baker Library Historical Collections, histcollref+hbs.edu. Harvard ID holders can access the full-length video above.

Interview Citation Format

"Interview withFrancis Okomo-Okello, interviewed by Henry McGee, February 28, 2014, Creating Emerging Markets Project, Baker Library Historical Collections, Harvard Business School, http://www.hbs.edu/creating-emerging-markets/."