Goretti Kabuto, whose friends call her Gogo, is Amadeus East Africa’s Sales Manager for Rwanda and Burundi. Her job entails commercial and sales activities as well as providing general Help Desk services to customers, especially those in the Rwandan market.
How long have you been with the ACO?
I joined the Rwanda and Burundi branch of Amadeus East Africa in February 2013.
Why did you decide to join Amadeus? What do you like about the company?
I had always wanted to further my career in the travel industry and knew that I could only achieve that by working with an international organisation. I knew that Amadeus was one of the leading GDSs, so when the opportunity arose, I grabbed it, with the aim of growing professionally while contributing to “Shaping the Future of Travel”.
What would you like to achieve at Amadeus and what would you like to see Amadeus East Africa achieving going forward?
My main objective is to grow my career in the travel industry and I am gaining more experience every day that I work with Amadeus. I am looking forward to the day when Amadeus has the greatest market share in East Africa and I am optimistic that it will happen very soon given the vision, team and strategies in place.
What lessons have you learnt at Amadeus?
I have learnt that a regional approach to business has many leverage points that can bring even more growth to Amadeus. In addition I’ve learnt that customer satisfaction has a lot to do with attention to details that are important to the client. I therefore keenly observe existing and potential clients.
Tell us about your background? Where were you born? What is your education? What were you doing workwise before joining Amadeus?
I am a Rwandan who was born and raised in Uganda where I also had most of my education. I then went to Kenya to study Travel Operations at the Kenya Utalii College. In 1995, shortly after the end of the genocide in Rwanda, like many other Rwandans I returned to work and be a part of nation rebuilding. It was a time when everyone brought in what they had at hand – money, food, shelter, skills – you name it … to make it a habitable place. I joined the travel and tourism sector and was a part of opening and operating a travel agency that served the public and private sectors and international organisations. During this period I was part of the local travel agents association where I participated in the organisation of several international travel exhibitions similar to ITB Berlin, WTM London and INDABA to represent the country.
I left the company in 2007 to start my own advertising, publishing and home interiors business, right before Amadeus found me. I am married to Jean Bosco and we have three children – Asate, Ngabo and Atete.
When you were a young child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was young girl in secondary school my dreams were many. I even considered becoming a lawyer. However, later on living with my older sister who worked at an airline inspired me to work in the travel industry as an air hostess or a travel consultant.
What are you passionate about?
Having an extended family with many young people who have different needs, I get great satisfaction in seeing my friends and relatives reach their full potential. I take the time to problem-solve and help them come up with business ideas and other ways to improve their lives. I am also passionate about finding ways to make my clients happy. The travel industry is very dynamic and I enjoy winning over a new client and keeping existing ones engaged.
When you’re not at the office, what is your favourite thing to do?
When I am not at work I give more time to my family. I enjoy getting to know my children more, they are evolving every day. You will also find me spending quality time with my friends. We like to inspire one another, share experiences and have a good time.
Name the top three items on your bucket list?
- Enjoy a family cruise with my children to a destination of their choice
- Give a loved one a complete make-over
- Take a trip to Kerala in India to visit an Ayurveda centre.
Where is your favorite holiday destination in East Africa and why?
Uganda. I find the people and culture very hospitable.
What book are you reading at the moment?
Right now? A lot of children’s books!
Name three people who you admire and why?
I will start with my mother, the late Melanie Uzamukunda. She had a unique ability to connect with and genuinely respect both the humblest and the most respected people. She generally loved people and knew how to nurture all kinds of relationships. I also admire Dr Terry Neese, founder of the US-based Institute of Economic Empowerment of Women. She is an accomplished business woman who runs an institute that empowers women entrepreneurs running small businesses in Rwanda and Afghanistan. Her commitment to giving back and sharing her business acumen with Rwandan business women is remarkable. I also admire a friend of mine, Doreen Ruharo who is incredibly smart and generous. She is able to read people and swiftly meet their needs.