Tracy Kyei is the Marketing Manager at Samsung Electronics West Africa. She is the second female to occupy such a role from the consumer electronics giant in West Africa after her predecessor held the status for a month. Tracy remains the powerhouse behind many successful product launches of the brand and a great advocate for women in technology. Tracy has also contributed tremendously to the empowerment of young women seeking to enter the tech space in Ghana; through mentorship and other initiatives like the “Unlocking Women in Technology Project” by Ispace and Mobile Web Ghana.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
T: My name is Tracy Kyei. I work with Samsung Marketing. I am self-motivated, hardworking, I strive for excellence, I believe and love God, I love a good laugh, sometimes I can be the clown but above all I would like to make an impact in the IT and mobile industry with regards to marketing.
You are the longest serving female marketing manager of Samsung West Africa, to whom or what do you most attribute this success?
T: First to God, for leading me to cease the opportunities that have come my way and secondly hard work. I believe these are the main contributors to where I am today. Being able to collaborate and work with different people from different backgrounds and sometimes-different industries has also definitely played a part. I believe, to attain certain achievements and be in certain places, you need to be willing to open up your self to learn new things and be willing to undergo a continuous process of self-development and improvement. Not forgetting take advantage of the opportunities that come your way even when you think they are beyond your scope.
How has the journey been like so far?
T: I would say it’s been a very trying but amazing journey; because I’ve learnt so many different things from so many different people and I have made some mistakes. In the beginning I had to learn fast and on the job. I remember when I first joined the company, in less than two months I was asked to organize a forum and for almost three weeks, I didn’t know what to do. I was just totally confused at the time but being given that opportunity it helped me to learn so much and explore a new role in such little time. I have also been able to do a lot more outside my main job, for example I hosted a forum for the company in Monaco, which was a great personal achievement for me as I always wanted to host an international event which was always far fetched for me and that was a good experience for me as well. So, all in all, it’s been a good ride and a wonderful journey. I am glad I joined the company, it gave a new desire for marketing and bear in mind I studied banking, finance & accounting.
What has been your most satisfying moment and your biggest challenge as well working with Samsung?
T: Well anytime we are able to execute a new product launch successfully to me is satisfying but one instance that was quite memorable was when I was nominated and selected to host the Samsung Africa Forum 2016 in France. To me it was amazing because it was actually the first time anybody from West Africa had been chosen to host such an event. And also in 2015 and 2016, I was nominated as the CIMG marketing woman of the year. These are some of the fulfilling moments for me on the job.
Most challenging was being able to fuse the demands of the role with personal life. I had a struggle initially but I think everything that I’ve done has taught me more about myself, taught me how to manage these different parts of my life and put things in the right perspective. So yes, I had the challenge but thank God; I was able to push beyond that.
Do you think there are enough women in the tech industry especially in West Africa?
T: I would say no; but I think for women in a lot of places, it’s sort of growing. Now you see a lot more women in technology and different industries as well. For instance, in Ghana, we have people like Regina Agyare and Ethel Cofie who are encouraging and empowering women to enter this industry, they are supporting and helping them groom themselves into the professions that they want to be in. And you know, when you take a look at people like Lucy Quist, I believe it makes the role or technology more attractive to a lot more women and its very promising for young women today.
Personally, I like to encourage young women who want to get into the tech space to go for it because like everything else, its achievable with focus and hard work. I love using this example; let’s say I want to learn to fly a plane, all I need to do is go to a school that teaches that and in a matter of time I would be flying one. On that account, no, we don’t have enough but I believe a lot more women are getting involved with technology.
What drives you in life as a young woman looking to make an impact?
T: I would say the future; the future because with hard work you can excel in every endeavor, ergo, for me, I’m always looking forward to the future, the next big opportunity. For example, we hear about Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, Jack Ma of Alibaba and the likes and what is evident in their stories is that hard work led to these successes. Not to say that you won’t fail, I believe failure is a part of success. Even as a child, I used to tell my sister that I was always going to work for a multinational company and be in a certain position and I remember at the time my sister would just laugh it off because she believed I was just dreaming.
I have spoken a lot about hard work because I believe even where you lack skills, hard work would and can push you to achieve as much. Thus, what drives me is the future; knowing that the future can be bright and I can achieve a lot more if I push myself.
How well do you think App development challenges can help birth innovative products and basically help boost the tech industry here in Ghana?
T: I think the companies that are hosting these challenges are presenting young Ghanaians the platform and opportunity to express themselves and show what they have to offer. I know a number of companies that have actually adopted some of these apps and use them as an integral part of their businesses. My company for instance have used some of these apps on our devices so all in all it’s a great opportunity that’s been presented to these app developers and we are encouraging people as well to be more creative and to think outside the box. So, it’s a great opportunity for app developers and beneficial to the organizing bodies or companies as well.
What message do you have for young women who aspire to be like you?
T: I would say they should go for it. Thankfully now there are a lot more companies that are trying to encourage women into technology. Samsung for instance just setup a female engineering academy which is aimed at getting more women involved in the field. I also made mention of the likes of Regina Agyare who has a platform that is encouraging and empowering women as well in the tech space. So, I believe there are a lot more opportunities out there, thus, they should feel free to dive into whatever field of technology they want to get into and also look out for all of these NGO’s that are empowering women not just in the tech space but in all these fields we used to think were for the men. In short, feel free and go out there and explore because it’s very possible.
Where can people find out more about you?
I’m active on social media. You can follow me on twitter @Misstkyei and on Facebook, Tracy Kyei.