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From Finance to Giving Back: Carrol Ngutu's Impact at LifeStraw

From Finance to Giving Back: Carrol Ngutu's Impact at LifeStraw

April 11, 24

This month, we're celebrating Carrol Ngutu, finance and administration manager at LifeStraw's Nairobi office, as she marks two decades of exceptional dedication and contribution to LifeStraw.

From memorable teamwork to her experiences in international finance, each encounter has contributed to her growth as an employee. Join us as we honor Carrol Ngutu's remarkable career with a Q&A.

LS: Over your two decades at LifeStraw, what have been the most significant milestones or accomplishments you've witnessed or been a part of within the company?

CN: I am privileged to have witnessed and been a part of the development of LifeStraw water purifiers and filters from a pipe filter to a renowned brand that is providing millions of people all over the world with access to clean and safe drinking water.

By extending the water filters and purifiers to those in need, through our household and Give Back programs, I’m grateful to have been part of the teamwork that has provided clean and safe drinking water to over 800,000 households and over 9 million school-going children.          

LS: Can you share some memorable moments or experiences that have defined your journey at LifeStraw and contributed to your professional growth?

CN: I have been privileged to work under several managers who have mentored me and granted me a chance and the space/freedom to do my work. All five of them trusted in me and held my hand to make me a better employee, manager, leader, and human being.   

My role in handling the finance and accounting for our South Africa entity was a great learning and experience. This expanded my knowledge across borders and deepened my appreciation of cultural diversity. I was also privileged with liquidating the company’s entities in Ghana and Nigeria, furthering my knowledge in international tax.

A key highlight in my career is assisting the global company set up transfer pricing agreements at a time when very little information was available. 

LS: What advice would you give to new employees joining LifeStraw, based on your extensive experience and insights gained over the past 20 years?

CN: When you join this company, be very alert! You might think you’re here for five years max. 😊! 

LifeStraw is a dynamic company and if you’re the kind of person who takes the initiative, goes the extra mile, is accountable and team-oriented, you’ll thrive and find a lot of space to grow. Using our CEO’s request of her staff, which is “be like water.” Water is formless, and people shouldn’t allow themselves to be trapped in a certain mindset. Instead, a person should be able to adapt to certain situations, keeping growing and changing.

LS: How have you seen LifeStraw's efforts in the Nairobi office translate into tangible improvements in the lives of people served by community healthcare programs like the one in Emusanda?

CN: LifeStraw and Emusanda are bound by our common values to serve and do good. Through our collaborative efforts we have worked to ensure the facility is able to offer quality services to the community seven days a week.

The facility consists of a modern maternity ward, an outpatient unit, and a comprehensive care (HIV/AIDs) unit ensuring the whole family/community needs are catered for with ease.

LS: As someone deeply familiar with LifeStraw's operations and impact, what advice would you offer to organizations striving to maximize their social impact while maintaining financial stability?

 CN: Focus on ESG sustainability, the Environment, Society, and Governance impact. The capacity to maintain and endure, focusing on the interaction between the organization’s impact on the planet, impact on people including staff, customers, and the community and how the organization is governed.

Plus, there’s always something you can do to make this world a better space!

LS: Could you share a memorable success story or moment from your time at the Emusanda Health Clinic that highlights the positive impact of the services provided?

CN: Emusanda Health Facility is dear to me, more so the maternity ward. Since its inception in 2018 I have witnessed women’s lives changed by them having access to reproductive health care. Initially many would shy away from these services, preferring traditional alternatives. 

Through the company’s involvement in the facility, the staff there have done tremendous work in sensitizing the community by conducting health/open days, household follow ups and working to build the trust in the community.

I’m humbled and extremely grateful to have been involved in the journey to empower these women which has led to the social development of their families and communities.

LS: Finally, looking back at your journey with LifeStraw, what are some key lessons or insights you've gained that you'd like to share with your colleagues and industry peers on LinkedIn?

CN: People first! You’ve got to look after the team. It’s not just a focus on salary but also on creating such a conducive environment and culture where staff are proud to work with and for you, to training and retention and giving them a cause to be excited to be a part of.

Great product! The product or service should be above board. A great product will impact the body, mind, and spirit by not only addressing the need but also delivering value, elegance, and emotion.

Structures and management. You cannot drive a profitable business without good governance, structures, and systems. Control your internal environment as this is core to any company seeking to grow.