By George Gichuki
Soft spoken, articulate and down to earth, Dr. Gamaliel Hassan was appointed as the chief executive officer of the giant Stima Sacco on 17th September 2020. Highly educated, widely travelled and knowledgeable, he clearly merited the top position. Nevertheless, it did not come on a silver platter. He has worked extra hard over the years in order to attain it.
The humble and amiable gentleman was born and brought up at the populous Kibra peri-urban in Nairobi. “I believe that my humble roots have shaped my destiny to a very large extent,” he confesses. Nothing exemplifies this better than the fact that in search of knowledge, he makes it a priority to speak with the low cadre staff members in the organization whenever he gets an opportunity. “I gain a lot of knowledge from interacting with the security guards, cleaners and the office assistant who serves me tea when I report to my office in the morning,” he says. A strong believer that knowledge is power, Hassan is also an avid reader.
Life has its fair share of challenges for mankind. Be it as it may, only those who are focused enough and with a positive mindset are able to surmount such challenges. In order to have the right frame of mind which is critical considering the heavy load on his shoulders as the team leader of Stima Sacco, Hassan exercises a lot every day. “By exercising, I am able to eject from my body all the negative things that life has thrown at me,” he says. To that end, he has put up a small gymnasium in his house. In addition, he loves playing chess in order to keep his mind alert. Being spiritual is also dear to him. “Occasionally, when the going gets tough, I turn to God for spiritual guidance,” he confesses.
He terms this as having a triangle of mind, body and soul. It is a fine balancing act. He says that it gives him an important personal equilibrium as he undertakes his demanding work. Completing this equation is his dear family – both nuclear and extended. “Most people forget about their roots when they succeed in life,” Hassan observes adding that he believes that those who are good parents in their homes also make good parents in their workplaces. On a light note, he opens up that he is comfortable with any meal which his wife chooses to prepare for him on any particular day or time; he is neither fussy nor selective.
Hassan holds a doctor of philosophy degree (Ph. D) from Jomo Kenyatta University College of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) as well as a Masters in Business administration (MBA) from Kenyatta University – both in strategic management. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from the University of Nairobi. In addition, he is a Certified Public Accountant of Kenya – CPA (K) – and a Certified Public Secretary – CPS (K). He studied for the two professional courses at Strathmore University. In the field of financial co-operatives, he is both a credit union development educator (CUDE) and an African Development Educator (ADE). Moreover, Hassan is a Certified Islamic Finance Executive (CIFE) and an Advanced Certified Islamic Finance Executive (ACIFE).
With such a strong academic and professional foundation, well blended with a pleasant personality, Hassan is well cut out for the top job at Stima Sacco. His vision is to grow Stima Sacco until it becomes the premier financial services provider in Kenya. “I want to ensure that Stima Sacco becomes efficient in service delivery as well as more innovative and caring so that we can grow together with our members,” he says.
Having being in existence for the last forty six years, Stima Sacco according to Hassan has had its fair share of success. Nevertheless, the organization cannot rely on that success in the next forty six years if it has to attain more growth. “My legacy at Stima Sacco will be defined by the foundation that I will establish in order to grow the leading organization to the next level and this will mainly be by embracing technology and being more innovative,” Hassan concludes.