When the then 37-year old Charles Nderitu joined Securex in 2003, he did not for a moment imagine sitting in a managerial position at the firm.
Yet that is the position on which he is currently perched. His career journey is certainly the stuff fairy tales are made.
Mr Nderitu graduated from the National Youth Service (NYS) with a basic training before a studying FOR a diploma course in transport management at Kabete Technical Training Institute.
So what catapulted him to being a guard to the hallowed managerial realm? He says his dedication, industry, resilience and always trying to put the best foot forward are the pillars of his success.
“I joined the NYS in November 1985. I was then employed by (the now defunct) Nyayo Bus as a conductor. I later took a diploma course to learn about management,” says Mr Nderitu.
He later landed a job at Securex as a guard and so began his long and improbable journey to the apex of the security company.
Last week he was appointed the company’s new head of Guarding Unit, a top managerial position. The appointment comes with the onerous responsibility of overseeing more than 5,000 guards in East Africa. Previously he was supervising about 700 guards. This is by no means a small achievement.
In a statement on Mr Nderitu’s promotion, the company described him in glowing terms:
“Charles really epitomises the core values of Securex. He will do whatever it takes to succeed and achieve his own personal goals and that of Securex,” said Securex Agencies Chief Operating Officer Daniel Lemmer. “Having started as a guard 13 years ago and now being responsible for thousands of guards speaks volumes of his dedication, hard work and determination. I am very proud that he is part of our Securex family.”
In the new assignment the company says Mr Nderitu brings on board a rich, diverse range of experience in the private security industry.
To bask in his current glory did not come on a silver platter for Mr Nderitu. He worked and walked his way every step of the way. He rose from being a guard, to a supervisor then to a deployment officer. From there he clinched the post of assistant zone manager, then to a zone manager before rising to where he is now.
He said Securex was quick to notice his dedication to service. “Within a short period they saw my capability. After six months I was allocated an assignment in Juja and my performance was impressive.”
His current work involves assigning work, ensuring that the targets are met and the clients are satisfied with the services. Securex is a Kenyan security firm that has built ties with major clients such as Garden City, M.P. Shah Hospital, Crown plaza, Unilever and Crown Paints. It has branches in Uganda, Tanzania and Eritrea.
Mr Nderitu has watched the company grow steadily.
“When I joined, we had relatively few guards, but we have had steady growth even in turbulent times which just goes to show you how far we have come as a company,” he says. “When I looked across at our rivals, many were either stagnating or 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.”
The appointment comes at a critical stage of Securex Agencies’ greater strategic expansion plan, highlighted by a highly anticipated move to 9 Riverside Drive complex which is expected to happen in March.