Interview with Caroline Mwazi
Grow Learn Connect: How did your professional career start and transition to consulting?
Caroline Mwazi: I went into banking directly from high school and worked in the industry for 16 years, rising to the role of corporate relationship manager at Barclays Bank. The training bug bit me in 2005 when the bank started a volunteer trainer program. I joined the program to improve my presentation skills and discovered a love for training and transformation. After completing my MBA degree, I decided I liked learning and development so much that I moved to consultancy in 2007.
GLC: What motivated you to start your own business?
CM: Desire for a career change, more time, freedom, and wanting to share my knowledge and passion for business and people development in an expanded way, while making money. It’s been a beautiful journey that has seen me travel and work on exciting projects with different partners across the world.
GLC: What are your career goals?
CM: To grow my company Huru Consult into a stellar boutique consultancy that delivers essential training and consulting projects to the highest standards, regionally and internationally.
GLC: How did you start working with IFC?
CM: It all began in 2008 when I was accepted as a trainer on IFC’s Growth Oriented Women Entrepreneur (GOWE) project to deliver ILO’s Expand Your Business (EYB) training program. This was the start of a very interesting journey through which I have worked on several IFC projects and enhanced my skills as a trainer, master trainer and consultant.
GLC: What are your greatest strengths as a trainer?
CM: I’m strategic and able to apply big picture thinking and problem-solving skills to projects. I also find it easy to create innovative, learner-focused content and build rapport with participants to create mutually rewarding and memorable learning experiences.
GLC: What are your weaknesses?
CM: Managing time while training–especially when the participants and I are in the zone! I also don’t especially enjoy the administrative aspects of my work, but I have found ways to manage these weaknesses to ensure excellent delivery end-to-end. To keep me on track while training, I regularly use a time planner. I also handle administrative tasks quickly to get them out of the way and I am supported by an excellent assistant. There’s always room for improvement, but I’ve certainly come a long way!
GLC: Do you have any success stories to share about clients you trained?
CM: I worked with a retail pharmaceutical chain from 2015 to 2019, starting by coaching the director before moving on to training the leadership and staff. It was brilliant to see sales and profitability growth as the business built a strong brand, added branches, and adopted a more professional culture, which demonstrates the value of long-term strategic client engagement.
Since 2018, I have also worked with one of the largest banks in Kenya to develop and deliver business training programs. It’s rewarding to see trainers develop their confidence and facilitation skills, and some have even transitioned to leadership roles as a result of their newly acquired skills. So far, over 1,000 business clients have been reached through the training, helping to improve their businesses. The training has also raised the bank’s profile among SMEs and helped it to attract new customers, thereby expanding its reach and improving its financial performance.
GLC: What would your family and friends tell us about the Caroline they know?
CM: She is driven and ambitious and cares very much for them. She also has a full schedule and occasionally puts them on hold when working on her exciting projects!
GLC: Tell us about the book you're currently working on. What motivated you to write it?
CM: It’s a training skills book. I believe it has everything a trainer should know, and I am adding material on online learning, which has become essential for all trainers, particularly since COVID-19.
Lightning Round Interview Questions
Your favorite quote? "Small, daily, seemingly insignificant improvements, when done consistently over time lead to stunning results" by Robin Sharma.
Where do you source inspiration? Everywhere–it’s all around us!
What are your hobbies? Dancing, trying out new recipes, traveling, and writing.