“Like many others in ST Engineering who are based at various locations, being based in Nairobi allows me to better understand the unique needs of our regional customers.”
- Nick Muttai, Senior Sales Engineer
Meet Nick Muttai, Senior Sales Engineer at ST Engineering iDirect, based in Nairobi, Kenya. Nick has been with the company for six years, dedicating his time to developing network designs for ST Engineering iDirect’s vast portfolio of satellite communications (satcom) solutions.
Q: Tell us about your journey with ST Engineering thus far
Since the Group’s acquisition of Newtec in 2019, I have gone on to study the technologies and solutions in the Newtec range, such as the Newtec Dialog platform, to explore combining them with iDirect technologies. This helps in the development of superior products and solutions that will help to position us as a highly differentiated and innovative global satcom business leader that drives the industry’s transformation.
As a sales engineer, I host many customer engagements and am usually the company’s first point of contact with customers. The first impression is most important in customers’ minds, and I have to work extra hard and diligently to make the most of them. Despite having gone through business pitches countless times, I am always fine-tuning how we do our pitches.
Q: What are some of the most exciting projects you have worked on?
I am glad that the efforts my team and I have put into the pitches have paid off when we won the two projects. These projects hold a special place in my heart:
Project with STL Ghana: I spearheaded a project to provide STL Ghana with a platform to enhance their ICT services and solutions for corporate and government clients, and small businesses in Ghana. It was a massive win as the customer chose us over two established competitors, after much persuasion that ST Engineering is the satcom provider of choice. STL Ghana now operates the iDirect Evolution platform with over 1,000 modems in Ghana and is in the final stages of upgrading the iDirect modem.
Project with Safaricom, Kenya: In the same vein, Safaricom, Kenya, the largest mobile network operator in East and Central Africa, switched to using the iDirect Evolution platform for their cellular backhaul needs and to launch their VSAT enterprise business offerings. We cooperated with Intelsat as a partner, and pursued this project, beating another competitor who was the incumbent.
Q: What is it like based in Nairobi?
Like many other sales engineers in ST Engineering who are based at various locations, it allows us to understand the unique needs of our regional customers better, and facilitates us in reaching out to them whenever they need help.
The other iDirect team members support and provide us with the necessary resources, and we collaborate often to strategise on business leads. We all have our own area of expertise and everyone is very helpful in sharing our knowledge of the vast iDirect product portfolio.
Q: What is something interesting about yourself?
Outside work, I am always ready to embark on mountaineering adventures. I recently scaled Mount Kilimanjaro, a dormant volcano in Tanzania, which is the highest mountain in Africa and the highest single free-standing mountain in the world, towering at 5,895 metres above sea level! This challenge took my mountaineering comrades and me a total of 4 days on wheels and on foot.
As we inched up the steep slopes covered in snow, the freezing rain felt like “a thousand razor blades slicing through your skin.” We were one of the few who eventually made it to the summit, overcoming the arduous trek through sheer willpower and mental strength.