Of the things Bitutu enjoys most about her career, working without having to ‘‘follow any script” is her favourite.
Bitutu, a senior food research scientist at the Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute (KIRDI), says she has found ways that work for her. She studied food science at the University of Nairobi and holds a Master’s degree in the same field from the same institution.
What occupies her about midlife? ‘‘I am rethinking my priorities, which have changed a lot in the last decade. I need to be more deliberate about the choices I make,’’ she says.
"I am rethinking my priorities, which have changed a lot in the last decade. I need to be more deliberate about the choices I make."
Her speciality is new product development, which allows her to be creative. She adds that there is something fun about her work that is mostly scientific. ‘‘From the packaging and labelling, it has to be playful and relatable to the client’s needs and vision,’’ she says.
With everything ‘‘held constant’’ she says she is happy about her circumstances in life and enthusiastic every day about food science. ‘‘I would still pick it if I had to choose again. I want to continue to thrive in my space.”
Having been in management for three years now, she says she is building her skills to prepare for bigger roles.
Among her biggest lessons about management is that it is hugely demanding. “You are prepared for some roles. For most of the rest, you have to figure it out yourself. You have to innovate all the time and think on your feet,” she says.
Bitutu hopes to support more SMEs coming into the manufacturing space. ‘‘I would like to be involved in the development of policy to empower such businesses,” she says.