Alex Tutu Muiruri, 32

Regional Managing Director sub-Saharan Africa

Dentsu
My Story

Tutu lives by a mantra, Ubuntu. “We are because of others,” he says. The United States International University–Africa (USIU) Tourism graduate pays homage to his mother for bringing out his creativity and showing him the utopian way of thinking, the Tutu way of thinking.

As one of the several talking heads leading Dentsu in sub-Saharan Africa, he is a busy man. Dentsu is currently the largest advertising agency in Japan and the fifth-largest advertising agency network in the world in terms of revenues.

His biggest achievement, he says, is changing the outdoor media landscape by doing first-in-kind media executions; creating analytics.

Dentsu has won local and international awards, and just recently, the Loeries Awards in South Africa for their campaign against malaria dubbed ‘Malaria No More.’ “We are just about to launch our new programmatic space that helps all platforms and end-users to amplify their media at a very low cost, an outlier in the industry.”

"My idea of failure is thinking of something and not doing it. By doing something, you do not fail. Failure is the opposite. My teacher used to tell me that the average person is the one who makes it in life."

The Chinese have a saying; in life, you need three things. The eyes, the head, and the heart. For Tutu, he goes with the heart. The eyes are the numbers, the bottom line, the head is the direction that company is going, but the heart is where it is at. “My heart however failed me because I put too much faith in something, but it went awry. Luckily, I have time to fix it.”

The business, he says, has taught him that there are different seasons of life. Right now, he is in the season of optimism. He is seeing what others are not, he is identifying opportunities and he is spreading hope.

What lessons he has learned about failure?

“My idea of failure is thinking of something and not doing it. By doing something, you do not fail. Failure is the opposite. My teacher used to tell me that the average person is the one who makes it in life.”

Eddy Ashioya