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Hard work paid off for PMS chief executive

Joanne Mwangi has more than 20 years’ experience in marketing. At only 28, she was hired by Colgate Palmolive as its brand manager after a brief stint with the East African Standard.

Two years later, she left her job to start Professional Marketing Services (PMS) Group.

Ms Mwangi used savings from her previous job to rent an office.

Hard work has helped her grow the once small marketing agency into a reputable firm with four subsidiaries. The group now offers advertising, event management, trade merchandise, consumer promotions, strategy development and public relations.

She credits success of the firm to hard work, resilience and teamwork. She also has mentors who have helped her to be the best. Among them is Vimal Shah, the Bidco Oil CEO. Ms Mwangi says the Bidco boss still offers her lessons in management.

From securing British American Tobacco (BAT) as one of her initial clients 15 years ago, the brand queen’s establishment now serves a long list of companies including Coca Cola, Bidco, P&G, East Africa Breweries, Dettol, DSTV, International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Kenya Meat Commission (KMC).

Her innovative spirit has seen her bag numerous awards. In 2009, she beat women entrepreneurs from 75 countries to win the Organisation of Women in International Trade Women of the Year Award. In 2010, she was named lady entrepreneur of the year and PMS declared the best of the top medium sized companies in Kenya.

The mother of three is also the first woman to be awarded a Marketing Society of Kenya (MSK) Warrior Award.