Top 40 under 40, 2nd year running

Yesterday I was recognised as one of Kenya’s Top 40 Under 40 men for the 2nd year running, by the Business Daily. I’ve pasted the unedited version of the profile (minus the typos!) below.

Thank you to those who nominated me – I don’t actually know who you are! I am humbled and inspired by the confidence you have in nominating me for a 2nd year. There are beautiful souls that surround me and allow me to be me – thank you to my colleagues at Tarpo, those who I know through the Global Management Challenge Kenya and the inspiring Rhino Charge Organising Committee. This one’s for you all! #Top40under40ke

When he was growing as a boy, Asim Shah never knew that the computer games he was playing were sharpening his critical thinking skills for the managerial jobs he holds even before reaching 40. Asim played simulation games on his father’s Apple Macintosh from the age of seven years. Because of the intricate skills required in solving complex activities in the games, he learnt how to multitask and analyse situations for immediate solutions. Asim, who holds a masters degrees from the University of Warwick, UK, moved to playing complex airport and football management games at 14. Simulation games depict real life activities to foster training, analysis, prediction, among other attention-engaging tricks, which he says have been critical in management of Tarpo Industries and Greener Pastures. “Simulations force one to look at many variables at the same time. They help in breaking down dynamic situations into little activities that have a start and finish. I learnt so much from that simulation game and most of that influences my decision making and planning sub-consciously,” he said. Asim is the youngest among the members of the Rhino Charge Organising Committee since 2014. Rhino Charge is an off-road motorsport that presents logistical challenges. Tarpo is a tents and events logistics company working in East Africa. With other teammates, he is able to plan, anticipate and troubleshoot challenges ahead of events. Shah studied at Peponi Preparatory School before joining Hillcrest Secondary School, Nairobi. He first worked at NEXT, one of UK’s leading fashion shops before graduating with a First Class Honours in Manufacturing Engineering and Management. In 2008, he joined Tarpo, a family owned tent firm, in charge of implementing ISO9001. He was in charge of operations from 2010 to 2013 when he took over as the CEO. In 2013, he started his talent acquisition and management company, Greener Pastures, to help fresh graduates grip industrial skills for Tarpo and other firms. It hosts the Global Management Challenge (GMC) in Kenya, an international business simulation competition. The engineer works for 12-14 hours and spends free time researching on apps, technology and spiritual philosophies. He rarely watches TV! He hopes Kenyan universities would one day include GMC in the curriculum to boost critical thinking. As Asim ponders over his PhD topic, his biggest fulfilment is when students acknowledge his help or when they coach him on other aspects. On the news of being among the Top 40 Under 40 for the second time, he felt “strange” to be nominated to the ‘club’ after the 2015 edition. His work of making a difference to Kenya’s youth was being recognised.

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