Chris Karanja joins Safaricom, moving to telecoms after 8 years in aviation industry

After over 8 years in the aviation industry, a journey which began in late 2009 at national carrier Kenya Airways (KQ) where he served for over 3 years as the Corporate Communications Manager, Chris Karanja has finally bid farewell to the industry that accommodated him career-wise and moved to telecoms.

Karanja, who was in early 2013 seconded by KQ to Skyteam to act as the alliance’s PR Manager in their Netherlands office, has joined Safaricom’s PR division after moving from Skyteam a few months ago.

At the telco, Karanja has taken up the position of Senior Manager for PR and Communications and is now part of the team working under and reporting to Wachira Kang’aru, who replaced Maryanne Kui Kinyanjui as the Head of Corporate Communications after her departure to Wikimedia Foundation to take up the role of VP of Communications.

(TOP: Chris Karanja during his days at Skyteam. Photo: Jambonewspot).

Karanja, who started his PR career at Gina Din Group in early 2004 as a Media Executive before moving to Scangroup as Account Director in charge of PR, describes himself as being “passionate about global communications with a view of having a positive impact on both my organization and its community.”

“I have over 13 years’ experience in Communications field with a particular focus on Europe, Middle East Africa and China. I have demonstrated my ability to build good media relations, increase brand awareness and provide a foundation for strong and sustainable revenue growth in the different companies I have worked with. A typical day for me will involve, 1) Global news media review, 2) WeChat exchanges with colleagues in China on a brand building activity, 3) email exchanges with Middle East agency planning a customer appreciation event, 4) calls with journalists in Europe managing a specific issue/or reputational management and 5) evening calls with Latin America bloggers on social media plans for Latin America”, he states on his professional profile on LinkedIn.

Before joining KQ, he had a short stint in the energy sector, working at National Oil Corporation of Kenya (NOC) as the Corporate Communications Executive from mid 2008 to late 2009.

He should have an easy time settling down into his new role being that Safaricom’s PR account is currently held by Ogilvy PR, an affiliate of Scangroup which he’s familiar with having served there previously. Apart from PR, Scangroup other affiliates – Scanad and Squad Digital – still handle Safaricom’s advertising and digital communications functions.


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