When I Grow Up, I Want to be a Phillip Madinga

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“It is never wise to seek or wish for another’s misfortune. If malice or envy were tangible and had a shape, it would be the shape of a boomerang.” – Charley Reese. Recessed Troffer Lamp

When I Grow Up, I Want to be a Phillip Madinga

Every child has a role model. A person they emulate. Someone they want to be like when they’re old enough to shape the trajectory of their life. Or at least try anyway. Even half of whatever that said person has achieved.  Ask a classroom full of kids what/ who they’d want to be when they grow up you get responses like “a policeman”, “Uncle Luwendo”, “Superman”, “Barack Obama” or “Margaret Thatcher”. The reasons for the choices are diverse and some don’t even make sense – kids, you know. Ugh.

If I was to be asked the same question my response would be I want to be Phillip Madinga. Phillip Madinga, the man – not just the successful banking executive. And unless you’ve just crawled out from under a rock then chances are you’ve heard this name before. Phillip is a soft-spoken and successful Malawian banking executive and the current Chief Executive Officer for Standard Bank Plc Malawi. He has continuously earned his accolades for business success in the banking industry and frankly, who wouldn’t want to be him, am I right? Or at least half the person that he is.

Phillip Madinga was born on 8th December 1971 in Blantyre (Malawi), he completed his primary school education at several schools in Lilongwe (Malawi) from 1975 to 1986, his last primary school being Mchisu Local Education Authority School where after completing and passing the Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) examinations, he was selected to go to Blantyre Secondary School (Malawi). In 1990, he sat for the MSCE examinations and passed with Credit. He then went to Chancellor College (now University of Malawi) where he graduated with a Bachelor of Social Science majoring in Economics in 1994. 

On top of this, Phillip also holds a Bachelor of Business Administration (Honors) from the University of Stellenbosch Business School and a Master of Business Administration from the same Business School. Over the years Phillip has also attended and completed several professional leadership, technical, and management programs and courses.

After he graduated from Chanco things just went uphill from there.

Phillip Madinga enjoyed an early career trajectory within several financial institutions. Honing his commercial pragmatism and exposure at Investment Banking & Development Bank limited, one of the former Development Finance Institutions in Malawi, he smoothly transitioned into the Commercial Banking arena, where he has led and managed several business functions, ranging from Corporate and Investment Banking, Retail and Commercial Banking, Transactional Products & Services and Digital Banking and Customer Experience both at senior and executive management level.

As the CEO for Standard Bank Plc, his prime accountability is to provide leadership and strategic direction and execution of the Standard Bank Plc (Malawi) country strategy to optimize country business performance and maximization of revenue through growth in market share and retention of the existing client base, with the support of the Standard Bank Group. He is also currently leading the bank’s Digital Transformation journey towards the Bank becoming a much more digitally enabled and Platform-led business. Ever heard of Unayo? Well, if you haven’t, you’re about to.

Before this, Phillip served as Head of Personal & Business Banking, Standard Bank Plc. He has also worked with several other Banks, this as Chief Commercial Officer responsible for Business (both CIB & PBB) at NBS Bank Plc; as Group General Manager – Corporate & Commercial Banking for First Merchant Bank Ltd (now First Capital Bank); as  Managing Director for FDH Bank Plc as Head of Corporate Banking and Head Corporate & Investment Banking for Standard Bank Plc (Malawi);, as Head of Corporate Banking, Loita Investment Bank Ltd (now Ecobank Limited); as Deputy Head of Credit Management for Nedbank Malawi Ltd (now MyBucks) and as  Projects Monitoring & Supervision Officer for Investment & Development Bank of Malawi Ltd. 

Easy, I will let you catch your breath. 

Let’s go! In his own capacity, Phillip has been appointed to several key board roles, including as Chairman of the Board of Directors (between 2015 and 2020) for the largest hospitality business in Malawi, Sunbird Tourism Plc. During his tenure, apart from the successful refurbishments of Mount Soche Hotel, Capital Hotel, Lilongwe Hotel, Sunbird Nkopola Lodge, and Ku Chawe Inn, his signature project was the recently unveiled Sunbird Waterfront Hotel in Salima, Malawi.

Phillip is also one of the first Commissioners appointed to the newly established National Planning Commission Board in Malawi. He is also a Non-Executive Director on the Board of Illovo Sugar Plc (Malawi), where he chairs the Board Audit Committee. 

Come on, I don’t believe there are that many people who wouldn’t want to be like what I’ve described above. So (in my next life) I do want to be a Phillip Madinga when I grow up. Why? Because this man is more than just his professional accomplishments. He is the full package – all-around excellence personified. 

His success didn’t happen by accident though. So please don’t talk about ‘favor’ or the zodiac signs, and neither did his success happen by chance. Truthfully speaking, luck has VERY little to do with one’s success. You need to put in the works and be ready to seize the opportunity when it comes knocking on your door. Not only is he a hard worker but Phillip is also ethical, transparent and upholds unquestionable integrity, sound judgment, objectivity, and discretion. Many of his current and former colleagues and clients hold him in high esteem and like they say in Chichewa: ‘khalidwe ndi chuma‘ (Your attitude will determine your success in life).

I know Phillip Madinga isn’t the only Malawian with such a track record and accolades. There are so many Phillip Madingas around us so instead of trying to compete with them let’s kick our egos to the curb and try to emulate them. When you see a Phillip Madinga fight those pangs of jealousy and instead do your best to improve in whatever it is that you do.

So say it with me…….. “when I want to grow up, I want to be a Phillip Madinga.”

Kenneth Bailey is a freelance journalist with a BA in journalism from James Cook University, Australia. He has six years of experience writing for different blogs and websites on a variety of topics, including celebrities, business, gadgets and technology.

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