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The Fintech Times News Roundup
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This Week in Fintech: TFT Bi-Weekly News Roundup 10/12

This Thursday’s The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup takes a look at the latest fintech stories from around the world. TransferWise is to create 750 jobs globally, while Outfund raises £37million in investment.

Fintech appointments
Paul Loberman
Paul Loberman joins untied

untied, the UK’s personal tax app, has appointed Paul Loberman as its new chief product officer. In addition to overseeing product strategy and product delivery, Loberman also joins the untied leadership team.

Fintech PR agency SkyParlour has unveiled a slew of new appointments including two senior hires. Adriana Screpnic, former editor-in-chief of The Paypers, joins as senior content strategist, while B2B PR expert Jenna Walker joins as an account director. Two digital communications assistants also join the team.

Former Nationwide non-executive director Mitchel Lenson has joined Exizent, the platform for professionals involved with managing the bereavement process, as chairman. Exizent connects data, services and the network of people involved when someone passes away.

Meanwhile, Cayuse, the research administration cloud platform, has unveiled John Starr as its chief financial officer. He will set Cayuse’s financial direction as it accelerates its expansion plans, as well as bring new innovations to market.

Elissar Farah Antonios
Elissar Farah Antonios, head of MENA Cluster, Citi

TransferWise is to create 750 jobs globally in the next six months. The recruitment move follows a period of exponential growth for the business, with revenue growing 70 per cent in the last financial year to £302.6million.

Cloud computing firm Nutanix has appointed Rajiv Ramaswami as president and CEO. Ramaswami succeeds co-founder Dheeraj Pandey, who has retired. He plans to advance Nutanix’s leadership in the emerging hybrid cloud infrastructure category.

OakNorth has unveiled Bruce T. Richards to its advisory board. Previously, Richards spent six years at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York where he was senior vice president and head of supervision for complex financial institutions.

While, global bank Citi has appointed Elissar Farah Antonios as the first woman to head its Middle East and North Africa (MENA) operations. Antonios joined Citigroup in 2005 as head of Citi Private Bank Head in Abu Dhabi, and has been working as its head of operations in the United Arab Emirates, Levant and Iraq since 2019.

Finally, Middle East Investor Relations Association (MEIRA) has appointed two new board directors to strengthen its leadership team in promoting investor relations in the Middle East. Marwa Faisal Almaskati, director of marketing  and business development at Bahrain Bourse and Dalal AlDousari, deputy general manager of investor relations at Gulf Bank, will join the now 12-strong MEIRA board of directors.

Funding and Investments

Mobile-first insurance company Getsafe raises $30million in Series B funding led by reinsurer Swiss Re. It will use the capital to bolster its brand among millennials in Germany and the UK, as well as expand into additional European markets.

European Investment Bank has provided €15million to identity verification-as-a-service provider IDnow. The financing, provided under the Investment Plan for Europe, will support the startup’s development as well as its international expansion.

Modularbank has raised €4million in late seed funding from French investors BlackFin Capital Partners and Estonia’s VC Karma Ventures. The investment will be used to bolster its engineering and commercial teams, and further invest in its technology platform.

Meanwhile, fintech Outfund has closed a £37million late seed round of capital. The funding round was led by Fuel Ventures, alongside TMT Investments and Force Over Mass. Outfund has now committed to lending £100million to businesses in the next 12 months.

tabby raises $23million

tabby, the buy-now-pay-later provider, has raised $23million in a Series A funding round. Led by Arbor Ventures and Mubadala Capital, the funding will boost its growth plans, as well scale its product and engineering capabilities.

Pico, the software solution provider for the financial markets, has raised $135million from investors, including Intel. Pico’s Series C investment round will be used to fuel Pico’s global expansion plans.

Fintech Upvest has secured an additional €5million in funding from Earlybird to close its Series A round at €12million. Alongside Earlybird, investment comes from Notion Capital, HV Holtzbrinck Ventures and Maximilian Tayenthal.

Crowd Data Systems has secured funding to develop its treasury management systems. RLC Ventures led the round, alongside further investment from Ascension Ventures and Force Over Mass Capital.

Finally, ApTap unveils a funding round worth £500,000. ApTap will use the capital to test distribution channels and onboard new clients.

OpenFin, the operating system of finance, has secured a strategic investment from SC Ventures, the fintech investment arm of international banking group Standard Chartered. The capital investment will accelerate new product development and brings OpenFin’s total funding to date to $50million.

Mergers and Acquisitions

Cybersecurity firm Sysnet has acquired cyber defence platform Viking Cloud to ‘accelerate its market expansion plans’. The acquisition follows Sysnet’s acquisition of the MCS division of ControlScan, earlier this month.

“The combination of the three security powerhouses – Sysnet, Viking Cloud, and ControlScan – creates a technically dynamic, entity that will continue to provide security and compliance services to organisations of all sizes across the world.”


Global technology consultancy Capco has snapped up andrion AG, the Switzerland-based consultancy for fintechs and companies in the financial services sector. andrion’s leadership team and all its staff will be joining Capco as part of the acquisition.

Partnerships and Collaborations

European neobroker BUX has extended its partnership with enterprise connectivity platform Yapily to France and Austria. The extension allows French and Austrian BUX Zero users to invest in brands and companies they care about commission-free.

Worldpay and PayMyTuition expand payment options for international students
Worldpay and PayMyTuition expand payment options for international students.

Fintech BCRemit partners with Clear Junction to provide a disruptive money transfer service to the Philippines. Over the course of the next six months, it is expected that BCRemit will fully integrate with Clear Junction’s APIs and make use of virtual IBANs.

Payments firm Worldline has partnered with PayMyTuition in order to simplify payments for international students and their universities. Using Worldline’s localised payment offerings, PayMyTuition has expanded on the payment methods it offers to its 600-plus educational partners across five continents.

IT services firm HCL Technologies has expanded its partnership with asset management company Linedata. Together they will build digital workspace practices and next generation technologies. The new agreement builds on a seven-year collaboration on the CapitalStream commercial loans platform.

Mastercard and Pine Labs will expand their integrated pay later solution to additional markets next year. The expansion builds on their existing offerings in India and Malaysia. The solution will be rolled out in Thailand and the Philippines in February, followed shortly by Vietnam, Singapore and Indonesia.

Zuora and Stripe partner to accelerate the growth of the subscription economy, as well as offer advanced payment capabilities. A new product integration will enable Zuora customers, including Carbar, Intercom and Seiko Epson, to enhance their subscription experience with advanced payment capabilities.

Open banking platform Fabrick and payment solutions provider Nets have forged a partnership for creating products, services and business opportunities in the instant payments space. Fabrick and Nets have previously cooperated with Bankart on the launch of Flik, the instant payment solution for Slovenia.


ConnectdThree London startup experts – Roei Samuel, Nathan Weeks and Sam Luckett – have hooked up to launch a matchmaking service. The Connectd smart-matching platform gives startups access to investors, advisors and experts.

SC Ventures has launched SOLV, a B2B marketplace for micro, small and medium enterprises in India. The fintech investments unit of Standard Chartered says the platform is part of the bank’s vision to rewire banking to serve clients in the digital age.

Payments platform Dwolla has unveiled Drop-in Components – designed to handle the tedious tasks of a payments implementation. Dwolla says the new offering is part of its commitment to provide customers with easy ways for moving money.

Meanwhile, Payoneer has rolled out its payment orchestration platform to e-commerce merchants across Asia-Pacific. Payoneer’s agnostic platform serves as a technical layer that provides merchants with a single integration to the best payment providers, payment methods and risk solutions.

Fintech Paymerang has unveiled a new Invoice Automation Solution in order to help organisations improve their automated payment processes. It says the tool will save time in approving and posting invoices, as well as reduce errors through automated invoices.

Emirates Islamic has launched digital business banking platform businessONLINE to help businesses in the UAE manage all their banking needs. The omni-channel platform is also available as a mobile banking app.

PayPal has launched QR code payments in iZettle’s point of sale app to support UK businesses post-lockdown. The roll-out marks the first time UK merchants can accept PayPal QR Code payments in-store via a point of sale solution.

Industry news
Mastercard Partners with MatchMove and Tappy to Enable Tokenisation
Mastercard partners with MatchMove and Tappy to enable tokenisation

Dr Wajeeha Awadh has become the first Bahraini woman to be awarded a PhD in fintech. As the section head of digital banking and fintech Al Baraka Banking Group, Awadh focuses on leveraging the power of technology to better serve customers.

The Arab Monetary Fund and the MENA Fintech Association have published a report – Open Banking Vision from the Arab World. It aims to bring regulators, banks, fintechs and other third parties together around a common vision for open banking and open finance.

Mastercard has announced a three-way collaboration with MatchMove and Tappy to introduce network tokenisation for custom wearables. This partnership will enable MatchMove Mastercard cardholders to add their payment cards to a chip which can turn accessories into payment-ready wearables.

Finally, business finance marketplace Funding Options is joining forces with the Institute of Financial Accountants to give members access to SME lending market insights. Funding Options has also launched a next-generation platform designed specifically for accountants

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Let’s prepare our youth for the future of work

It is time to adjust to the new reality of how work works. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Work is changing. Are we? All indicators show that employment is undergoing a seismic shift across the world. The impact is being felt severely in Africa as millions of young people reach working age. On one hand, companies lament that they can’t fill vacancies, with a study by the Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) reporting that employers struggle to find workers with the skills they need.

On the other hand, graduates lament about a dearth of jobs. The data are sobering. In Kenya alone, approximately 1 million young people join the work force each year, with only one in five likely to find a formal job, leaving the rest unemployed, under-employed or in the informal sector.

Meanwhile, statistics show that steady work offers more than just money. Unemployment triggers mental stress with both intrapersonal and interpersonal consequences, including higher rates of suicide.

This makes the skills mismatch between the jobs available and the skills of youth a crisis. With the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) reporting that 7 million Kenyans are unemployed, and another 3.7 million under-employed, something must be done urgently. But how do we bridge the skills gap and get our young people to work?

Ingrained biases are keeping us from making progress. First is our bias for formal employment. Certainly, we should ensure all Kenyans have decent work that generates sustainable livelihoods. But there is more than one way to do that. For one, it is important to acknowledge that in Kenya, the informal sector offered employment to 14.9 million persons in 2018. Indeed, the informal sector comprises 87 percent of all jobs.

Kenya is not an isolated case. Across the world, work is increasingly ‘gigs’, where even highly educated workers provide flexible, short-term consulting to numerous clients.

And companies too are evolving towards blended workforces, a diverse set of arrangements with consultants and employees, some full time, others part-time and many working remotely. This is especially well-suited for short-term projects where specialised high-value or creative skills are needed.

The important thing, then, is for Kenya to ensure that those gigs that make up the bulk of our jobs offer viable livelihoods. That, in turn, comes from ensuring that skills on offer are practical, of high standard and relevant to local or remote customers.

Our second problematic bias is our emphasis on ‘papers’ alone, often in the form of certifications that are not always proof of competencies the market is keen to pay for. It is true that education is valuable in itself. After all, we need an enlightened, ethical population.

However, most parents make large sacrifices in time and funds to finance schooling expecting that their children will earn an income that at a minimum will allow them to be financially independent. It is disappointing when after this colossal, communal effort, graduates end up ‘tarmacking’ (job hunting) for several years.

This points to the importance of ensuring every young person reaches adulthood with a sellable skill. And work is work. Lately, a band of energetic creative young men are offering their services across Nairobi as clowns and illusionists for childrens’ parties on weekends.

Rather than rolling over on Saturday morning from a week of idling or, worse, a heavy night of drinking, these plucky patriots wake up bright and early to do what they can with what they have. It says a lot about what is possible, particularly in the service and entertainment industries, when we think outside the box. But it also says a lot about who it is our society we should celebrate.

The third bias is the idea that only technical skills matter. Whether one is employed or self-employed, certain behaviours make a huge difference in keeping a job, or a client. Soft skills – like time keeping, reliability, teachability, discipline – all matter. Grooming, writing and client service skills help too.

Technical and Vocational (TVET) training, with its emphasis on front-line, practical, time-bound courses, is one clear way to fix the skills mismatch. Countries like Germany have developed on the back of a strong TVET sector, highly respected worldwide for its apprenticeship system that has created an active and valued paraprofessional cadre providing small and large business as well as government with the labor needed.

We need to fund, fill and fete the TVET sector. Not only will it create jobs, it will provide the goods and services our society needs day to day.

It is time to adjust to the new reality of how work works. Only then will we be able to turn our youth crisis into an opportunity.

The writer is director, Africa Digital Media Institute.

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Kenya joins IMSA Search: The recruitment process is time consuming, but – if done right – is invaluable to the client

They are business oriented, focused and dedicated to deliver the best experience for the client and the candidate, as well. We speak with the new IMSA Search Network member from Kenya.

By Appointment Africa is IMSA Search Network’s newest member from Kenya, who joined in May 2019. They are a bespoke recruitment firm, specialising in the recruitment of mid to senior managers and C-Suite executives. They will represent IMSA Search operations in East Africa, supplying the network with its unique experience and market knowledge. We speak to their General Manager, Cecilia Nyawira, to understand their detailed recruitment process and how they offer value to their clients.

IMSA Search: The reported steady growth – GDP up to 6.3%, compared to 4.9% in 2017, makes Kenya one of the fastest growing African economies. This is the satellite view. But what is the perspective at ground level?

Cecilia Nyawira, General Manager in By Appointment Africa

Cecilia Nyawira: Fintech and technology are booming in Kenya, with products such as M-Pesa launched by our local MNO – Safaricom, taking the world by storm. The majority of the population are tech savvy, powered by a good and affordable internet connection throughout the country. We have the best work force in the region, standing at an average age of 19.5 years, who possess a rich blend of grit, high technical capabilities and enthusiasm for work. Despite this, the unemployment rate is regrettably high due to limited employment opportunities. However this is set to change, as Kenya is becoming the hub for international organizations setting up in East Africa. The fact that Kenyans are hospitable and enhance a vibrant social life makes it very easy to work in Kenya.

IMSA Search: It’s the energy and opportunity that brings IMSA Search Global Partners to Kenya. But why have you decided to join the association?

We were flattered when IMSA Global Search Partners, who boast over 25 member partners, came knocking at our door. The international reach for our clients and candidates as well as sharing recruitment ideas and best practices appealed to us. However, what really attracted us was that we share similar values and principles such as a focus on value addition for our clients, upholding integrity and ensuring placements are done in an ethical and professional manner.

Can you describe your approach to recruitment?

By Appointment Africa follows a five-step process whilst recruiting for any vacancy. We engage with the client, search for top talent in respect to the role, evaluate the talent pool and finally deliver the best candidate to the client, all while supporting the client and candidate before, during and after the on-boarding process.

We dig deep to understand the needs of our clients by visiting their premises, talking with the decision makers and ensuring we have a ‘walk round’ of the company. It is imperative to gain an in depth knowledge of their operations including the size and composition of their staff, turnover, culture, future plans and to really understand their problems. In essence, we become a consultant to them, rather than just a recruiter.

Vanessa Strong, founder and director of By Appointment Africa

We are certainly not CV pushers. A huge amount of man hours goes into finding not only the best technical fit, but as importantly, the best cultural matched candidates for the company. The desired outcome of a well-executed recruitment process is about pairing up a client and a candidate, ensuring that both mutually benefit.

IMSA Search: How do you ensure that the recruitment process concludes in a win-win situation?

Recruitment is an intricate art of relationship building and matching. Finding top talent that ticks the majority of the role requirements and who fit into the organisation’s culture is challenging as top candidates are generally passive. Honesty and communication with both parties is vital to the success of the recruitment.

IMSA Search: It seems that this way of conducting recruitment search is very time-consuming. Is this the most difficult aspect of the process?

It is time-consuming, but very exciting! No two roles, although similar in title, are ever the same. Organisations and industries vary. However, once we have all the details to ensure a really well targeted search, the market mapping begins. We focus on building relationships with our candidates and referrals are key.

Candidate interviews are lengthy, focusing on their past experiences as well as their career aspirations. They need to undergo several tests as well which we deem an essential tool to dig deeper at physical interview stage.

Is it difficult?

The initial in depth engagement with the client is compulsory. Making the client appreciate that this exercise is not a waste of their time, amongst the many other seemingly important aspects of running their business, is what sometimes proves to be a challenge. They want the best out of the recruitment, therefore they must invest the time it takes to make the process a success.

Essentially, the more detail we have, the more targeted our search is. If we don’t have this information, there is a high risk of searching in the wrong direction, which can waste a great deal of time – and money.

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Mr. T. Goder, Mauritius IMSA Board Member, visiting BAA offices’ 


We are delighted to announce that By Appointment Africa has been selected as a member of IMSA Search Global Partners, an international search firm, founded in Switzerland more than 25 years ago, as listed as one of the top 30 global executive search companies worldwide by Hunt Scalon Media, after a through review of all the leading global recruitment providers.

IMSA Search Global Partners, located in 24 countries (Kenya being the latest addition) with 51 offices have contributed to this extraordinary recognition by providing premier client services, utilising information and knowledge sharing across their culturally diverse and geographically broad platform.

IMSA reached out to several recruitment firms in Kenya last year as they strongly felt that as an emerging market, Kenya should be part of the global group. But there can only be one member per country. IMSA’s Board Member for Mauritius visited By Appointment Africa and spent a day with us to really understand our business model and best practices.

BAA was then put to the vote to the other 23 global members and we were voted in.

So what does this mean for us (and you?) We now have a global reach, access to knowledge sharing of best practices and the latest AI and sourcing tools. IMSA members meet twice a year to discuss the industry and new techniques and practices. BAA will be attending their first IMSA meeting in October this year which will be held in Switzerland to meet all the Board Members, learn and share.

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Data Protection Policy

Our promise to you:

Is to hold your data securely;

Share only where you agree;

Use your data to tailor the information we provide you, put you in control by allowing you to update, delete and access your data;

This policy covers how we, By Appointment Africa collects, uses, discloses, transfers and stores your data. Our website www.byappointmentafricacom is the official website for our company.

Please read the following information carefully. We will take all reasonable steps necessary to ensure your data is treated securely and in accordance with this privacy policy. Kindly inform us in writing, in advance of forming a contractual relationship with you, if you do not agree with any particular aspects of this privacy policy

The personal information we collect and when and why we use it

The sort of personal data we collect will be information such as name, address, email address, telephone number, date of birth, and Curriculum Vitae. In addition, we may also be required to obtain your passport details or Identification details, copies of your educational certificates and reference letters in order to conduct reference checks should you be considered for candidacy for a position.

How we use this personal information. We use your personal information to:

  • fulfil our services with you and our client to complete the recruitment process.
  • update you on your progress on your position application
  • personalise the service and offers you receive and communicate and interact with you at each step of the recruitment process
  • communicate with you and our clients to improve the products and services we offer or help us to create new ones
  • conduct customer satisfaction surveys so that we can obtain a better understanding of how we can continue to improve the products and services we offer or help us to create new ones. During these surveys we may collect personal information from you relating to your thoughts/comments about your experience with us
  • market our products and services to you
  • manage our business such as for systems testing, IT maintenance or development training, benchmarking and performance measurement
  • use in connection with your online account as you may authorise or consent to additionally from time to time

We do not generally collect special categories of personal information from you, but where we do, we seek to handle it with extra care. We also share this information with third parties (who help manage our business and deliver services such as those parties who provide wheelchairs at airports) and other companies (who we may need to contact for reference checks or referrals), and we transfer it globally. Where you provide us with special categories of personal information you agree that you have voluntarily provided such information, and you consent (and you warrant that your referee so consents) for us to use that information for the purposes for which it was collected.

If you have any queries about any of our products or services, compliments or complaints, we will need to collect information from you, including your contact details, in order for us to respond to your query or provide you with assistance. We will collect this information when you, send us an email, call our customer service centre, visit our office or contact us via another form of communication such as through social media or an online chat tool.

Personal information we collect and use for legal, compliance, regulatory and crime detection and prevention purposes

We process your personal information so that we can meet our legal, compliance and regulatory obligations, for legal purposes, such as to respond to a valid legal claim, summons or regulatory order, and to protect our property, rights and interests as well as the property, rights and interest of other persons.

We also process your personal information for crime prevention and detection purposes, including the prevention of fraud for online payments, for identity verification, for credit checking and credit scoring purposes and accounting or audit purposes.

Personal information we collect and use from third parties.

We collect personal information from third parties who you have authorised to provide your personal information to us (for example, another person who has acted as a referral, your previous employer, your referee,  our promotion partners, social media and other digital website). We also collect personal information from individuals who may refer you as a friend to our products or services. We ask these individuals to confirm that you are happy to hear from us.

Personal information we collect and use when you are making a payment

We collect different personal information depending on your payment method (such as credit card, bank transfer, cash). For example, for credit card payments we may collect the credit card holder name, address, card number, expiry date and CVC code.

Legal basis for using your personal information

We will only collect, process use, share and store your personal information where we are satisfied that we have an appropriate legal basis to do this. This may be because:

  • We need to use your personal information to perform a contract or take steps to enter into a contract with you. For example, to manage your recruitment process with us, to take payment for your services, or to register for career counselling.
  • We need to use your personal information for our legitimate interest as a commercial organisation. For example, we may record calls to our customer service centre so that we can review how we handle calls. We may also capture your interactions with our website via tools on our website in order to identify errors or issues and ensure your customer experience meets expectations. In all such cases, we will look after your information at all times in a way that is proportionate and that respects your privacy rights.
  • We need to use your personal information to comply with a relevant legal or regulatory obligation that we have.
  • we have your consent to using your personal information for a particular activity. For example, where you consent to us sharing with you special offers which we think may be of interest.

Sharing your personal information with others

We share your personal information in the manner and for the purposes described below: to improve the products and services we offer or help us to create new ones and for marketing, profiling and analytics as detailed below; and for the purposes described in this Privacy Notice.

with third parties who help us manage our business and deliver our products and services. These third parties have agreed to confidentiality obligations and use any personal information we share with them or which they collect on our behalf solely for the purposes of providing the contracted service to us. These third parties include service providers who help manage our IT and back office systems, detect fraudulent transactions and security incidents, provide customer service center support, manage communications and tailor marketing and advertising; verify payments such as banks and payment card companies; provide internet services; host our facilities and conduct research that assists us with understanding consumer interests.

  • with third party advertising and social media website to provide advertising
  • bank and payment providers to authorise and complete payments;
  • with governments, government organisations and agencies, border control agencies, regulators, law enforcement and others as permitted or required by law to generally comply with all applicable laws, regulations and rules, and requests of law enforcement, regulatory and other governmental agencies;

Personal information we collect and use for marketing purposes, profiling and analytics

  • How we use personal information to keep you up to date with our products and services

We may use personal information to let you know about our products and services that we think may be of interest to you. This may be based on your preferences, derived from Cookies, inferred from your interactions with us including on our social media accounts or market research. We may also let you know about our corporate services which we believe may be relevant to you in a professional capacity.

We also work with social media and other digital websites to provide you with advertisements within those websites. We provide them with your name and contact details (such as your email address or phone numbers). If these social media and digital websites match profile information provided by us with your profile information held by them then they will serve you our advertisements. The social media websites will not identify you or share other personal information in your social media account to us.

We will only send you direct marketing, whether about us, carefully selected third parties or partners, products or services, in accordance with your marketing preferences. We may contact you by email, SMS/text, social media, or through other communication channels that we think you may find helpful. If at any time you would like us to stop sending you marketing material please contact us in writing or choose the relevant “unsubscribe” option available in any of our media platforms including our website .

  • How you can manage your marketing preferences

To protect your privacy and to ensure you have control over how we manage marketing with you :

  • we will take steps to limit direct marketing to a reasonable level;
  • only send you communications which we believe may be of interest or relevance to you and at all times in line with your permissions, which, as

appropriate, may include:

o telling you about developments in the products and services available through us and those of our carefully selected partners (provided that we will communicate these to you in conjunction with our own marketing);

  • you can click the “unsubscribe” link that you will find at the bottom of our emails which you receive from us, or you can unsubscribe by contacting us in writing or changing your account settings which will remove you from the relevant marketing list;
  • if you do not want to be served with our advertisements within social media or other digital website, please inform us in writing.

If you unsubscribe or if we unsubscribe you completely from our marketing communications we may be unable to notify you of tailored offers to meet your needs. If you do unsubscribe from marketing communications you will still receive operational and service messages from us.

  • When and how we undertake analytics and profiling


We aggregate personal information and remove any identifying elements in order to analyse patterns and improve our marketing and promotional efforts, to analyse website use, to improve our content and products and services, to customize our website’ content, layout, products and services, and to support our business operations and we may appoint third parties to do this on our behalf. We gather certain usage information like the number and frequency of visitors to our website. This information includes which webpage you just came from, which webpage you next go to, what browser you are using, your device ID and your IP address. This collective data helps us to determine how much our customers use parts of our website, and do research on our users’ demographics, interests, and behaviour to better understand and serve you. One of the ways we do this is by installing and using Cookies on your browser or device.

If you use buttons on our website linked to social media or similar sites (for example, “Like” and/or “Share” buttons), content from our Website may be sent back to those sites and, depending on your privacy settings, may be privately or publicly visible (for example, to friends, followers or generally to anyone who has access to your profile page).


We use personal information such as your date of birth, gender, country of residence, transactions (for example, payments made with us and services engaged), information derived from Cookies and your preferences and behaviours for profiling. Some of the legitimate purposes we profile personal information include:

  • to obtain a better understanding of what you would like to see from us and how we can continue to improve our services for you;
  • to personalise the service and offers you receive from us, including with invitations to special events;
  • to provide you with tailored content online and optimise your experience of our Website;
  • to provide you with tailored advertisements on other website you visit and social media and digital website;
  • to share marketing material we believe may be of interest to you, including from our third party partners;
  • to help us operate our services more efficiently;
  • to authenticate log-ins on our Website and detect and prevent fraud.

We will take steps to ensure that prior to profiling your personal information for a legitimate interest that our legitimate interest is not overridden by your own interests or fundamental rights and freedoms.

Transferring personal information globally

We provide recruitment services within Africa, which means your personal information may be transferred and stored in other regions which may be outside your country of residence. Some of these countries are subject to different standards of data protection than your country of residence.

We will take appropriate steps to ensure that transfers of personal information are in accordance with applicable law, and we only transfer personal information to another country where:

  • we are satisfied that adequate levels of protection are in place to protect your information; and
  • the transfers are fully managed to protect your privacy rights and interests and are limited to countries which are recognized as providing an adequate level of legal protection or where we can be satisfied that alternative arrangement are in place to protect your privacy rights.

To this end:

  • where we transfer your personal information outside our company or to third parties (who help us to provide our products and services), we obtain contractual commitments from them to protect your personal information; or
  • where we receive requests for information from law enforcement or regulators, we carefully review and validate these requests before any personal information is disclosed.

In the event your personal information is transferred to a foreign jurisdiction, it may be subject to the laws of that jurisdiction and we may be required to disclose it to the courts, law enforcement or governmental authorities in those jurisdictions.

You have a right to contact us for more information about the safeguards we have put in place to ensure the adequate protection of your personal information when this is transferred as mentioned above.

  • How we protect and store your personal information

Protection of your personal information

We have implemented and maintain appropriate technical and organisational security measures, policies and procedures designed to protect the personal information that you share with us and safeguard the privacy of such information. For example, the measures we take include:

  • placing confidentiality requirements on our staff members and service providers;
  • destroying or permanently anonymising personal information if it is no longer needed for the purposes for which it was collected; and
  • following security procedures in the storage and disclosure of your personal information to prevent unauthorised access to it; and
  • using secure communication channels on our website such as SSL (“secure sockets layer”) for transmitting data that is sent to us. SSL are industry standard encryption protocols used to protect online transaction channels.

Storage of your personal information

We keep your personal information for as long as is reasonably necessary for the purposes for which it was collected. For example, to provide you with any relevant products or services, as explained in this Privacy Notice. We will ensure that it is disposed of in a secure manner within a reasonable time and in any event as prescribed by any law applicable at the time.

In some circumstances we may store your personal information for longer periods of time, for example, where we are required to do so in accordance with legal, regulatory, tax, or accounting requirements. In specific circumstances we may store your personal information for longer periods of time so that we have an accurate record of your dealings with us in the event of any complaints or if we reasonably believe there is a prospect of litigation relating to your personal information or dealings.


A “cookie” is a small computer file which is downloaded to your device. It collects information as to how you navigate our Website and the internet and helps us provide better website services to you.

Cookies may collect personal information about you. Cookies help us remember information about your visit to our website, and other settings and searches. Cookies enable us to understand who has seen which webpages and how frequently, and to determine which are the most popular areas of our website. They can also help us to operate our website more efficiently and make your next visit easier and customise your view of the website to reflect your preferences and activities. They also help us tailor our marketing and advertisements to you on our website, other website you visit, social media website and your other devices.

Legal rights available to help manage your privacy

You have certain rights in relation to your personal information:

In order to exercise your rights, we may ask you for additional information to confirm your identity and for security purposes, in particular before disclosing personal information to you.

You can exercise your rights by emailing us at or by sending us a communication to PO Box 1605-00502, Nairobi. Subject to legal and other permissible considerations, we will make every reasonable effort to honour your request within 30 days or inform you if we require further information in order to fulfil your request.

We may not always be able to fully address your request, for example, if it would impact the duty of confidentiality we owe to others, or if we are legally entitled to deal with the request in a different way.

Right to access personal information

You have a right to request that we provide you with a copy of your personal information that we hold and you have the right to be informed of: the source of your personal information; the purposes, legal basis and methods of processing; the data controller’s identity; and the businesses or categories of businesses to whom your personal information may be transferred.

Right to rectify or erase personal information

You have a right to request that we rectify inaccurate personal information. We may seek to verify the accuracy of the personal information before rectifying it.

You can also request that we erase your personal information in limited circumstances where:

  • it is no longer needed for the purposes for which it was collected; or
  • you have withdrawn your consent (where the data processing was based on consent); or
  • following a successful right to object; or
  • it has been processed unlawfully; or
  • the personal information must be erased for compliance with a legal obligation under European Union or Member State law to which the we are subject.

We are not required to comply with your request to erase personal information if the processing of your personal information is necessary:

  • for compliance with a legal obligation; or
  • for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.

Right to object to the processing (including direct marketing) of your personal information

You can object to any processing of your personal information which has our legitimate interests as its legal basis, if you believe your fundamental rights and freedoms outweigh our legitimate interests.

You can request that we stop contacting you for marketing purposes.

You can request that we not transfer your personal information to unaffiliated third parties for the purposes of direct marketing or any other purposes.

If you have joined our mailing list, you can manage your marketing preferences automatically by clicking the “unsubscribe” link that you will find at the bottom of our emails which you receive from us or by writing to us directly to omit you from our mailing list

Right to obtain a copy of personal information safeguards used for transfers outside your jurisdiction

You can ask to obtain a copy of, or reference to, the safeguards under which your personal information is transferred outside of the European Union.

We may redact data transfer agreements to protect commercial terms. Right to restrict the processing of your personal information.

You can ask us to restrict your personal information, but only where:

  • its accuracy is contested, to allow us to verify its accuracy; or
  • the processing is unlawful, but you do not want it erased; or
  • it is no longer needed for the purposes for which it was collected, but we still need it to establish, exercise or defend legal claims; or
  • you have exercised the right to object, and verification of overriding grounds is pending.

We can continue to use your personal information following a request for restriction, where:

  • we have your consent; or
  • to establish, exercise or defend legal claims; or
  • to protect the rights of another natural or legal person.

You have a right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioners Office if you have concerns about how we are processing your personal information.

If you have any concerns regarding data that we hold, please contact the Data Controller at By Appointment Africa, P. O. Box 1605-00502,  Nairobi and/or




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Direct Pay Online attains high level certification

News posted in the Business Daily, a Nation Media publication, on 5th September 2017.

Direct Pay Online Group (DPO) has received Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) level 1 certification for operations in 12 African countries.

The high security and privacy certification for payments industry comes after comprehensive audits in the group’s global headquarters and its African head office based in Nairobi, which runs all other markets in 11 countries.

PCI DSS applies to entities that store, process or transmit cardholder or sensitive authentication data.

The certification is administered by the PCI DSS council, which was founded by Visa Inc, MasterCard Worldwide, American Express, Discover Financial Services and JCB International.

“As Direct Pay Online, our goal is to keep up with the highest level of security, privacy and standards in any market we go into…This compliance certificate demonstrates that our systems are at par with international security standards,” said DPO group chief executive Eran Feinstein on Monday in a statement.

DPO offers payment services to over 25,000 online merchants including over 50 airlines, hotels, restaurants, travel agents, tour operators, schools, insurance and other players in the e-commerce sector.

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What’s the Worst Interview Question to Ask?

You’ve probably experienced plenty of job interviews in your time, and whilst you may have prepped yourself as much as possible, there is always that one question you hated being asked. In fact, you hated it that much that now that the shoe is on the other foot you probably avoid asking that question yourself when you are recruiting.

Our panel of 10 recruiting experts share their thoughts on what they think is the worst interview question to ask

Leela Srinivasan

Any question that begins with, “How would you…?” is subjective and not based in reality. If you ask a candidate a hypothetical question, their answer is necessarily made up, and you risk hiring the person who knows what the answer should be rather than the person with the experience to do the job. Much better is starting with ‘Tell me about a time when…’, then probing deeper to understand how the candidate handled the situation and their role in driving impact. In other words, behavioural interviewing for the win :).

Leela Srinivasan, Chief Marketing Officer at Lever.

Amy Volas

Do you have kids? Are you pregnant? Are you in a relationship?  What do you think about today’s political climate?  If you were on an island and had to escape and you didn’t have tools, food or water, what would you do and how long would it take you?

Amy Volas is Chieftain of Avenue Talent Partners.

Lars Schmidt

“Where do you want to be in 5 years?” It’s irrelevant to the current interview, and an obvious stock question.

C’mon, you’re better than that. Show some creativity!

Lars Schmidt is the Founder of Amplify.

Chad MacRae

What’s your biggest weakness? People just make things up. It’s important to be self-aware, there are other ways to ask that question. Otherwise, you’ll get canned responses. Instead, you might ask: What skill do you feel like you’re still missing?

Chad MacRae is the Founder of Recruiting Social.

Stacy Zapar

I think everyone’s tired of “your greatest weakness” by now. Most answers are pretty canned and uninformative anyway. There are different ways to ask that question and get more meaningful responses. Perhaps ask about an area of opportunity in a past review and what steps they took to improve and how it all turned out. ​Much better than hearing “I’m a perfectionist” again and again.

Stacy is the Founder of Tenfold & The Talent Agency.

John Feldmann

Interview questions are like a stock investment portfolio – diversification is key. Asking too many of any one type of question most likely will not provide the adequate information required to identify a successful employee. Generic “tell me about yourself” questions, behavioral “tell me about a time when…” questions, Google-type brain-teaser questions – which are the worst? Limiting the interview process to only one type of question instead of incorporating them all – that would be the worst.

John Feldmann is a writer for Insperity Recruiting Services.

Erin Wilson

Rather than pick specific questions I would say the worst interview questions come from ad hoc interviewing practices. It’s amazing how many companies just wing it. The go through the trouble of lining up 5-6 people or in other words $500-600 of time spent interviewing one person on site. Would you ever spend that kind of money without putting one second of thought into it? I expect to see hiring teams partner with their talent teams to co-design thoughtful processes down to the question showcased by models and an overall interview architecture.

Erin Wilson is Founder and Tech Engineer at

Maren Hogan

“Tell me about yourself.” Not only is this an awkwardly, broad question, many people ask this question. You want to ask those curveball questions that generate interesting responses. Especially with our ability to source social media, asking candidates to describe themselves during the interview is an empty question. Ask impactful questions like: what do you do best? Who inspires you and why? What are your expectations? What motivates you to come to work every day? These speak volumes.

Maren Hogan is CEO and Founder of Red Branch Media.

Craig Fisher

“What is your current or most recent salary?”.  Why?  In the U.S. women earn, on average, 79% of what their male counterparts earn.  One of the few ways to break that cycle is to stop requiring salary history to dictate what a job will pay an applicant.  Ask salary expectations if you must.  But a job should pay an equitable wage, period.

Craig Fisher is Head of Employer Brand, CA Technologies, and Allegis Global Solutions.

Will Staney

The worst question to ask someone is “What is your biggest weakness?” You’re never going to get an honest answer during an interview. It’s almost setting the interviewee up to lie on your first meeting, setting a precedence that you very well don’t want to set early on. Let the candidate reveal their character early on or by asking other questions and not with silly questions like this one.

Will is the Founder & Principal Consultant at Proactive Talent Strategies.

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A Rant About Recruiter Rumours

Agency recruiters are susceptible to pretty harsh reviews sometimes.

This week I attended a Q & A session with social media expert and million-dollar business builder, Gary Vaynerchuk. He talked about success factors; work ethic, believing in yourself, persisting, having patience and well, you get the point. One thing that really stuck out to me was his take on misconceptions, and dealing with things that are out of your control. That includes dealing with falsities that he has little power over. He talked about his competitors stealing his ideas and advice, repackaging it and selling it back to his fans, who buy it. Frustrating stuff. Does he care? Not really; he seemed super confident that truths would come out eventually.

It got me thinking about the bad reputation and rumours that hard-working, honest and passionate recruiters have to deal with. I guess every industry has it’s generalisations and stereotypes. Real Estate Agents? Slimy. Journalists? Nosy. Actors? Self-obsessed. Teachers? Bossy. You get it.

In all of these cases, it’s largely a matter of a some bad eggs ruining the public’s perception of everybody else in their line of work. Agency recruiters aren’t exempt from being generalised, and tend to cop it pretty badly. For a bunch of professionals who, at the end of the day are trying to help people realise their dreams and find work, some get a pretty bad reputation. I know there are some absolute slime balls out there, but it’s just a fact of life that these types of people will pop up in every corner of the globe, irrespective of industry.  I believe there are several misconceptions about people working in agency recruitment. So, let’s set a few things straight.

 Every Tom, Dick & Harry could not do the job

Not just anyone can be a successful recruitment consultant on agency side. It is true that a lot of people do just ‘fall’ into recruitment. A lot of people come from completely contrasting careers to give it a go. Sure, you can study HR or Business Management at university, but there isn’t a Bachelor’s Degree in Recruitment on offer. Why? Because there is no rigid set of requirements to what it takes to be a great recruiter. The recipe for success in recruitment is made up of a mix of organisation, people skills and determination. Recruitment tends to operate on an open-door policy; if you want to give it a go, the option will be out there for you. But that doesn’t mean you’ll stick at it and be great, there’s a lot more to it than a lot of people think, and some people just aren’t cut out for the challenge.

In regards to why there is an open door policy, it’s not just to let every man and his dog in for number’s sake.  More than 100,000 people work in the recruitment industry in the UK alone, but there is  still a genuine talent shortage in recruitment, and competitiveness among firms. One of the biggest struggles agencies face is hiring and retaining top talent. Considering the variety of backgrounds great recruiterscould come from, it makes sense for managers to give eager people a go, and a chance to succeed. Whether they’ll actually make it or not is another matter altogether.

Recruiters are not serial liars

I feel like there’s always talk about recruiters just telling people what they want to hear. I’v heard people hold the viewpoint, “Oh, they will just say whatever it takes to make the placement, whether its unethical, immoral and goes against the best interests of client and/or candidate”. I just don’t agree. Agency recruiters operate on a consultative basis where their reputation is everything and referrals are the make-or-breakers of their career, on both the candidate and client side. Lies eventually come out and bad recruitment decisions attributed to the recruiter involved will only damage their career. Recruiters have to think of their long term strategy, and lying isn’t conducive to longevity in the industry.

What I do believe, however, is that recruiters are excellent sales people. They have to be because at the end of the day, recruitment is a career in sales, where people are not only the purchasers, but the product too. Any sales person has to be persuasive and clever-talking, knowing what to say at the right times. Anyone working in a business setting knows they have to carefully craft what comes out of their mouth in order to get people on board with their company, vision, product or idea. Being persuasive is called ‘doing your job’ and being successful.

Everyone in the industry is not making it rain

It would be great if this was the case, but it’s just not true. A lot of recruiters make great money, there’s no doubt about that. It’s certainly a lucrative industry and there’s no denying that either. The UK turnover in 2015 was £31.5billion. Apparently the average annual sales for a consultant is around £96k. When you team statistics like that with testimonials of high billers dressing to perfection, going out for expensive dinners, driving super speedy cars and holidaying at the world’s best locations, it’s easy to assume everyone is well off in recruitment.

The thing is, recruitment is full of extremely high highs and really low lows. Some people have nailed the consistency, but a lot of consultants will make it rain for months, then simply won’t bill for two consecutive quarters. And then there are consultants who do what they can, but work on much smaller margins and are subject to less generous commission schemes. Yes, you can make a lot of money in recruitment, but everyone doing it isn’t high-rolling all of the time.

It is not only about the money

First of all, let’s wind this one back a little bit. I agree that this is a HUGE reason why people are in recruitment. What I don’t understand is why it’s so wrong. I’m pretty sure cleaners don’t clean for fun – it’s for the money. A lot of bankers would probably prefer to babysit puppies all day, but instead they choose to slave over reports and other strenuous tasks. Work, at some point, has to be about money. People need to eat and get their hair done. Yes, work should be about enjoying what you do, making a positive impact on the world and all of that other lovely, wonderful stuff. But work is called work for a reason. You work. You get paid. It has to be about money. So why is it so wrong for recruiters to be in it for the money?

Secondly, a lot of recruiters love the work they do more than you could ever know. They live and breathe it. They love the networking, the human interaction, the satisfaction of helping people, the challenge that comes with filling a client brief, the consultative role they play, the numbers, the sales, the chase. They love what they do and they are passionate, loyal and lively people. This is why it’s terribly inaccurate to slap a ‘money hungry and that’s all’ stamp over recruiters’ foreheads. That is such an insult to all of the genuinely dedicated and determined recruitment experts out there!


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6 Simple Rules to Keep Your Resume Effective

Have you ever wondered why you didn’t get a call back after submitting your resume for your perfect job?  Sending out more job applications to more companies doesn’t always equate to more call backs and interviews.  The chances are your resume was a fast track into the trashcan because you weren’t following these simple rules for effective resumes.

Keep it short and easy to read:

For most individuals a 2 page resume has enough space. Senior professionals may run to a third page but a recruiter is looking for easy to read information. A nice simple typeface, clear use of bullets, paragraphs, punctuation and only bold and italics where necessary.

If you have space a few horizontal lines to break up areas of content can be helpful. Don’t waste space including references or even state reference available on request – a recruiter will ask for reference at the appropriate time and that could be several lines of unnecessary content.

Experience and successes are the foundation content:

All good resumes should have details of work experience listed – start with the latest or current job and work backward.

State when you worked there, the job title and no more than one line of job description followed by three to five bulleted key achievements. For example:

April 2006 – May 2012, Area Sales Manager, ACME Products Inc. – leading a team of 24 sales representatives across 7 states in the North West.

  • Increased area sales from $240,000 in 2006 to $2.1million in 2012
  • Improved customer satisfaction levels from 85% in 2006 to 97% in 2012
  • Developed 8 new recruits to meet all sales targets with 6 months of hire
  • Managed pilot of new household product lines in 2010, providing customer feedback and product knowledge to HQ development team

 Make qualifications and education count:

  • Include academic achievement in the form of degrees.  Also a professional credential such as Project Management Professional (PMP) should be included.
  • Other relevant college courses and job specific courses but nothing that has no purpose for this job application.
  • As a rule of thumb, state academic achievement, followed by professional credentials and then additional relevant certifications and courses.
  • For each state when, where and what it is and any relevant grades or levels of pass.
  • Additionally, it is best to only add completed education programs to your resume and avoid simply adding the name of the school attended followed by “some college/courses complete.”
  • Even if it is only a two year degree, as long as you finished what you started it shows you have merit and determination to see things through.
  • Another aspect to consider is continued interest learning. There are a lot of free MOOC college courses online that offer letters of completion. If the course is relevant to your job it may be beneficial to list that as an accomplishment as well.

Include professional volunteer achievements:

If you have given your time for free to a cause or professional organization DO include it. Your time leading volunteers or providing a free consulting service can shine out on your resume as well as showing a bit of humanity and humility for a potential employer to know they are hiring a person not a robot.

Keep it honest

It’s easy to fall into the trap of embellishing resume content. It won’t work. A good recruiter will spot an untruth very easily – no matter how well you think it’s concealed. Saying you are an excellent customer service agent is great, but don’t say you were the best in your company for 5 years straight – unless there’s evidence to prove it. In the age of the internet so many things are easy to verify.

Keep it flexible:

  • Make sure your resume can be updated easily. Each job you apply for should have its own unique resume – it may be 99% the standard content but have a unique objective or personal statement that talks directly to the company or role.
  • Often a personal statement or objective isn’t needed when a good cover letter will meet this needThis component is critical to getting your resume in the door.  Technology makes it very easy to send your resume out to dozens of companies all with the click of the button, but you still need to address your audience directly and grab their attention.

Hiring managers and recruiters spend 10 seconds or less scanning your resume for the relevant information they are searching for.

To win their further attention a good resume should easy to read and relevant to the job description.  Much of what is covered here to some may be simple common sense but to career seekers overlooking a few of these key points it can be detrimental to finding your next job.  It may be helpful to have a family member, colleague, or the recruiter you may be working with to read your resume and offer some feedback. Now review your current standard resume and check how much of these techniques you are using and if not make the changes before you apply for your next job – successfully of course!

Author: Bob Bozorgi is the COO of Executive Trackers, LLC, a sales, marketing, and executive search firm based out of the San Francisco Bay Area.

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