The exit of Kama Bhattacharya from iHub will come as a surprise or shock to the employees and stakeholders in the startup/tech industry of one of Nairobi’s leading innovation hub because he was quoted to have said ‘I am not leaving’
Bhattacharya said in chat: “I am not leaving. First of all, I was signed up as an interim CEO initially with the thought that I just wanted to fix certain things that I saw from the outside that needed fixing. But you know, now I am not leaving the iHub. I want to be very clear as far as I am concerned and as long as the iHub needs me, I will be part of the leadership team of the iHub and I will make my contributions to the iHub.”
He added: “I will help solidify the strategy and mentor people and not just always be available. I want to take iHub where I want it to be in the next two or three years. I want to grow, internationalise and globalise the iHub. So all of these things are in my mind. Most importantly, I want to see the team I have built succeed”, he concluded.
Bhattacharya, who was formerly Vice President of IBM Research Africa was appointed interim CEO of iHub in August 2016 and was expected to connect, build and invent the hub.
However, after 8 months in charge, Bhattacharya is leaving iHub to join Safaricom which is starting the Safaricom Innovation Hub. Bhattacharya will be the new CEO of Safaricom Innovation Hub.
During Bhattacharya’s tenure, iHub announced the move from Bishop Magua Building on Ngong road to Senteu Plaza.
In addition, all the iHub subsidiaries came under one umbrella. This merger saw the end of iHub Research, m:lab, iHub Consulting and iHub UX Lab.
Founded in 2010, the membership and companies incubated has significantly increased. They now have over 16,000 members and 28 companies. iHub is currently owned by Invested Development represented by Miguel Granier.
The unexpected exit of Bhattacharya will obviously affect the enormous progress iHub made under the ex CEO’s leadership and iHub will hope that they secure the service of another experienced CEO as soon as possible.
We say congratulations to Kamal Bhattacharya and wish him success in his new position.