JUMO is active in seven countries across Africa and in Asia: Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Uganda, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire and Pakistan. As our General Manager for in-market operations, Gillian Darko oversees local successes and the deployment of our banking platform with the teams in each of these territories. But she hasn’t always worked from Africa. Gillian only recently moved back to her Ghanaian home. She tells us why she joined JUMO, relocated from London to Ghana and adopted the terrific Pomeranian, Teddy.
“Last year, I made a life-changing move in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. I had spent my career in the United Kingdom, having previously worked at JPMorgan Asset Management as a VP within the Strategy and Transformation department, and as a senior consultant at PwC and ICE Futures Europe in London. On September 4, 2020, I boarded a plane to my next destination: Ghana. It was an interesting time to make such a move. In fact, just a few short days before, the borders of the country had reopened.
People considered the fact that I was leaving bold, crazy and wondrous all at once.
I was making the move to Ghana to take the position of General Manager (in-markets operations) for JUMO. The mission of JUMO really drove me to make this move. It is an amazing company that believes in providing MSMEs with financial choices which empower and lead to economic growth.
Over the last decade, I have been privileged to work at amazing institutions that promote continuous development. By heading to JUMO, a company that provides financial tools that helps so many people in so many ways, I was continuing my mission of working to improve financial inclusion. Joining JUMO was exciting to me, as I was going to have a seat at the table as we spend our days working to solve the complex problem of financial inclusion.
It has been an interesting journey, to say the least — especially as we moved to a remote first way of working during the pandemic. As much as the world has changed, remote working has allowed us to remain connected. Working from home has been fantastic, as you get to spend quality time with your family and/or your pets. Recognising that mental health during the pandemic has been challenging, having pets and family around is truly a blessing.
For me personally, I got to spend my days working alongside my adopted Pomeranian named Teddy. In fact, Teddy has become part of the JUMO family and often joins my video calls with the rest of the team. In 2018, Teddy really adopted me. It was amazing looking after this bundle of energy. We went everywhere together. We visited art galleries, farmers markets, amazing cafes and pubs around charming Muswell Hill and Ally Pally. We also took daily walks in the park.
Teddy is no different in Ghana. He loves the sunlight, large open compounds and treks to the waterfalls. I am so looking forward to when the world opens up again, so Teddy and I can head to the many beautiful parts of this continent I call home.
Ultimately, I am excited about what the future holds, not only for Africa but in the world of fintech. There is an insatiable burst of energy when you look at the fintech space and working for JUMO, I feel that energy everyday even when we are separated and working from home.”