Nasim Devji

In 2001, Nasim Devji became Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Diamond Trust Bank (DTB) Group, making her the first, and, to date, the only woman to occupy such a position in the country. Under her leadership, DTB Group has grown to become one of the fastest-growing banks.

Her journey to the top has been marked by numerous obstacles, each of which she has overcome to get where she is today. Throughout her career, she has found herself the only woman among male colleagues, a factor that has motivated her even more to maximise her potential. In the 1980s, Devji worked as a tax specialist in the oil industry in the UK. At the time, it was uncommon to find women taking management positions in this field. Despite the hurdles placed in her way because she is a woman, she remained focused on her work and excelled. Devji
furthered her studies in the UK after completing her high school education in Tanzania. She graduated with a degree in accounting and became a chartered accountant. Thereafter, she specialised in taxation to make herself more marketable. She then proceeded to study oil taxation in the oil and gas industry.

In 1996, after 25 years abroad, she came to Kenya and joined DTB Group as the regional coordinator and financial controller. To add to her qualifications and wealth of experience, she is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales, an Associate of the Institute of Taxation in the United Kingdom, and also a Fellow of the Kenya Institute of Bankers. She also serves as a director of DTB Tanzania, DTB Uganda, DTB Burundi, Jubilee Insurance Burundi and Diamond Trust Insurance Agency Limited. She is also a member of the Deposit Protection Fund Board in Kenya.

During her tenure at the helm of DTB Group, Devji has made her mark in the banking industry, and has received several awards in recognition of her leadership. In 2010, she was named Leading African Woman in Business of the year at the Africa Investor, Investment and Business Leader Awards. In 2011 and 2014, she received the ‘CEO of the Year’ award from the Capital Markets Authority, and in 2011 and 2013, she was given the Chief Executive of the Year in Banking award by Think Business Limited. Devji attributes her success to hard work and focus, and firmly believes that when one is serious about what he or she is doing, and is dedicated to it, then someone else will recognise the effort.

She urges women and young people to be willing to go through difficult experiences because without the journey then one becomes a weak leader. She is interested in mentoring women and the youth, and insists that anyone has a chance to advance their career if they are willing to work for it. She recognises that advancing in the banking industry as a woman is about proving that you can do the job, and therefore requires a lot of hard work.

Devji continues to encourage anyone with aspirations to distance themselves from distractions so as to achieve their goals.

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