“If you want to make your mark in your profession, your country and in Africa, this is the place to be!”
Africa Head of Marketing Vivo Energy
As Africa Head of Marketing Vivo Energy, Ann Gitao sees her role as keeping the consumer at the heart of the business. With over fourteen years of experience in business strategy, strategic marketing and brand communications, Ann joined Vivo Energy in 2014.
What attracted you to Vivo Energy?
I was very attracted by Vivo Energy’s commitment to doing things differently in the oil and gas industry. When you think of global and regional marketing giants, very few, if any, oil companies will make the list. They have not been traditionally marketing focused. However, Vivo Energy is an oil company that wants to shake things up and place marketing at the heart of how it does business. That immediately got my attention. I wanted to be a part of this organisation that was breaking new ground in the industry.
What does your role of Head of Marketing involve?
My primary role at the moment is to put consumers at the heart of our business and to build a strong marketing organisation within Vivo Energy that thinks strategically, executes brilliantly and drives growth for the business. At a more granular level, it means beginning each day by asking myself: ‘How can we improve our understanding of our consumers and customers and meet their needs better than our competitors can?’
How would you describe the people at Vivo Energy?
My colleagues at Vivo Energy are a great bunch of people to work with. Everyone is very focused on what they can contribute as an individual and as part of a team. There is a great sense of energy and of wanting to get things done. We are also a very culturally diverse organisation, which helps to bring in different perspectives.
How do you make sure that you remain challenged in your role?
Vivo Energy has set itself very ambitious goals, which translate into individual goals. The organisation is unusual in the sense that it thinks and behaves like a start-up, despite the fact that it is the custodian of a 100 year old brand, with significant brand value and heritage. The business is constantly on the move. No sooner have you tackled one challenge than another opportunity presents itself; there is never a dull moment in the business.
Vivo Energy’s vision is to create Africa’s most respected energy business. What does this mean to you personally?
For me it starts and ends with the consumer. Becoming Africa’s most respected energy business means fulfilling consumer expectations of the Shell brand so well and so completely, that our consumers simply can’t imagine going anywhere else. It also means living up to the expectations of our stakeholders and the communities in which we operate.