Former Safaricom chief executive Michael Joseph has been appointed by the Kenyan Agriculture insurance startup Pula as board chairman effective September 19.
Founded by Rose Goslinga and Thomas Njeru in 2015,Pula is an agricultural insurance and technology company that designs and delivers innovative agricultural insurance and digital products to help smallholder farmers endure yield risks, improve their farming practices, and bolster their incomes over time.
According to Thomas Njeru, Pula co-founder and CEO,“Michael will bring a wealth of skills and industry knowledge to Pula. Throughout his career, he has been committed to seeing small businesses in Africa succeed on the global stage.”
Prior to joining Pula,Joseph was the founding CEO of Safaricom, where he helped the telco to grow from a subscriber base of about 18,000 in 2000 to over 17 million at the time of his retirement in 2010.
He is also credited with the launch of M-Pesa,Safaricoms mobile money platform and taking the telco public in June 2008 via an initial public offering that raised Sh50 billion for the government.
“His experience and strong knowledge of scaling companies in African markets aligns with Pula’s ambitions. This puts him in an ideal position to lead Pula’s growth in insuring smallholder farmers in new markets.”
“I am looking forward to guiding Pula as it continues its growth, and hope to push the company to do even better,” said Mr Joseph on his appointment.”
Mr Joseph holds multiple executive and non-executive roles within the larger Vodafone Group including at Safaricom where he is still serving on the board. He is also the chairman of national carrier Kenya Airways.
He is also the director of mobile money at Vodafone Group Services and Vodafone’s strategic adviser appointed to the board of its subsidiaries, including Vodacom Tanzania.