Ever since he started out in his career, he’s been interacting and experimenting with mobile devices, first at Safaricom, then at Samsung before moving to Chinese technology giant, Huawei. This means that before any mobile phone model is unveiled to the market, he’d have held and tinkered with it, discovering all its strong (and even weak) points. Here now, read on as Derrick Alenga, the Training Manager at Huawei Technologies Kenya (top), shares with us snippets of his life and career journey, working with mobile devices and building the Huawei brand…
QUESTION: Who is Derrick Alenga? Start by giving us a background about yourself
Derrick Alenga (DA): Derrick is a father, a first born in a family of three, a focused and result-oriented individual who means business when it’s business and fun person to be with.
Q: As the Training Manager, what does your day to day job at Huawei entail?
DA: My job entails ensuring the company culture, product knowledge and sales in Huawei is met through training, coaching and development.
Q: While setting out on your professional career, did you know most of your work would involve interacting with and experimenting with various brands of mobile devices?
(BELOW: Derrick with colleagues during the launch of various Huawei smartphone models).
DA: I would say yes because back then, I started out from being a Brand Ambassador for Safaricom, pushing devices mostly through dealers and there promotion and that’s how I ended up here today through hard work and learning through the curve.
Q: Looking at your professional profile, you’ve interacted with and sold mobile devices from 2013, first at Samsung and now at Huawei. From this experience, what can you say is the most exciting part of your job and why?
DA: Ha…ha, the most exciting part is when we are about to launch any new device. The preparations bit is a bit intense and the ability to be able to come up with a concept both for the field force and the general public is exciting. The reason being that all the deadlines and submissions should be done on time and also, you need to have like a good and better understanding of what you are about to present.
Q: As a follow-up to the previous question, what can you say has been the most challenging part of your job and why?
DA: I can say after I have done the training, may be to a group pf people and given my best, then after a while you meet them and may be they ask about the previous training, and no one remembers. That is surely my challenge.
Q: During the years you’ve been at Huawei, which model can you say has been the most successful of all time in terms of sales and popularity?
DA: To me I can say the Huawei Y9 2019.
Q: What, in your view, determines the popularity and market success of a popular device model – is it price, aesthetics or specs and functionality?
DA: I can say this is driven through having a good device, the best functionality and specs, price and finally, popularity through the marketing structures and strategies that are put in place. None of the above supersedes the other. There’s also the aspect of brand strength.
Q: As a brand, which characteristics would you highlight as being key to Huawei’s success and popularity over the years?
DA: Huawei distinguishes itself as a brand with high quality, premium value and unique technology.
Q: If you’re not experimenting with and selling mobile devices at Huawei, what would you be doing now as your alternative job (or career)?
DA: Maybe I could be in the media reading news as that has always been my (other) dream.
Q: Who do you look up to for inspiration in your career and personal life and why?
DA: My inspiration comes from Abraham Lincoln who once said: “Whatever you are, be a good one”.
Q: What advice would you give to someone wishing (and with hopes) to become a Training Manager in future, what should focus on if they’d like to be doing what you’re currently doing?
DA: Always have a dream that you are working on because with the current responsibility that I have, you need to plan and implement to ensure you get results. What matters is the results by the end of the day. So be a go-getter and result-oriented person.
Q: Any final thoughts and comments?
DA: Success is a decision that you are responsible for.