From Ruiru to Spearheading Ksh2.6 Trillion US Company

  • Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them. When it comes to Thogori Karago, achieving greatness best describes her remarkable career that has seen her running a Ksh2.6 trillion company in the US.

    Born in Ruiru, Kiambu County, the bubbly Karago was hellbent on becoming a doctor, right up until she served as an intern at the Kenyatta National Hospital.

    “I worked in the casualty ward for a few days and I was so traumatised. I think medicine is one of the godliest careers and for 16 years that was my dream, but that experience [at KNH] made me realise it was the last thing I wanted to do,” she once revealed to Parents Africa magazine.

    The Kianda School alumnus found herself inclined towards the field of computer science, and soon landed a scholarship to study the same at Limkokwing University in Malaysia.

    Tech Pro Thogori Karago.

    She briefly came back to Kenya 2010 and served as an intern at XRX Technology (an IT company), but soon felt that she needed to push herself as far as humanly possible in her field.

    "I challenged myself to join one of the top computer science universities globally and Carnegie Melon in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania fit this description,” she disclosed.

    Despite the immense competition, Karago's star shone bright and she was soon being fought over by Google and LinkedIn, and she opted to work for the latter.

    Her first job was to manage one of LinkedIn’s subscription job-seeking business, which helps connect job seekers and recruiters. The business is now one of the largest at LinkedIn worth about Ksh30 billion, leading to her first promotion in under a year.

    “That moment was very defining for me. It made me realise that regardless of your background, once you study and set your mind to something, it is possible,” she explained.

    Her entrepreneurial and innovative spirit led to the launch of her first start-up Pro-finder (helps connect freelancers with opportunities), which became one of the fastest-growing start-ups in Silicon Valley.

    Thogori Karago at an interview on September 17, 2018.

    She was later promoted to head research and development in Africa, a role which she relished due to her desire to play a role in building her motherland.

    After over 4 years at the American business and employment-oriented service that operates via websites and mobile apps, Karago packed her bags and is currently running her own tech firm in San Fransisco -Spectrum Collective.

    LinkedIn's success was meteoric during her tenure, with tech giants Microsoft acquiring the firm in 2016 at a cost of Ksh2.6 trillion.

    The energetic girl from Ruiru spends her free time deejaying, singing as well as penning down a few manuscripts as she gears towards launching her own book, which she hopes will help drive more girls into the tech industry.

    Thogori was recognised by Forbes as one of the women changing culture, industry and the face of tech, making the list of top 30 under 30 in 2018.

    Sandra Lopez, Shivani Siroya, former Head of R and D - Africa at LinkedIn Thogori Karago at the 2018 Girlboss Rally at Magic Box on April 28, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.