Tseday Worku: The Visionary Extraordinaire
Born and raised in Addis Ababa, Tseday grew up in a loving yet strict household where she was instilled with values of academic success and the importance of family. Breaking free from traditional gender roles, Tseday was encouraged to focus on her studies, unleashing her potential. She also embraced her role as the responsible older sibling to her brother from a young age.
Tseday’s educational journey led her from the halls of Nazareth School, an all-girls institution, to the distant shores of the United Kingdom, where she pursued a degree in Business Management at Coventry University. This marked the beginning of her adventure into a foreign land, far from the familiar comforts of home. Yet, a year later, she found herself relocating to Zimbabwe, a decision that would prove to be transformative. In this multicultural melting pot, she rubbed shoulders with students from over 17 African nations, an experience and a place that remains deep in her heart as a second home.
After completing her undergraduate studies, Tseday embarked on an internship at the UNDP, working in the public relations department for two impactful years. Seeking to bring about change at its core, she then transitioned to United Bank, a bold move that aligned with her passion for transformation.
Life took a twist she never expected when she married Mulugeta Assefa, a businessman who ignited her entrepreneurial spark. With his unwavering support, she launched her own trading company called Matics General Trading, which became a gateway for her to explore the world of commerce. The idealistic vision of a polished office job gave way to the realities of trading logistics, challenging her in unforeseen ways.
As Tseday embraced motherhood, she also couldn’t resist the call to pursue further education. Fueling her thirst for knowledge, she pursued a master’s degree in International Business Administration from the prestigious University of Greenwich.
It was in April 2009 that Tseday joined Segon-Marill International Movers PLC, a company founded by her husband, as an operations manager. Immersed in the ins and outs of the business, she quickly rose to the position of General Manager, overseeing a team of 50 employees. The company dealt with an array of international clients, including heads of state, diplomats, and expats. Tseday’s visionary mindset propelled her to transform Segon-Marill, spearheading innovative strategies as Chief Visionary Officer (CVO) that pushed the company to new heights. Under her leadership, the company’s workforce grew from 50 to 130 employees, and they even expanded to own multiple warehouses.
Tseday’s impact at Segon-Marill extended beyond just business growth. She wholeheartedly embraced the opportunity to make a positive impact on the environment. One notable initiative she led was “Green Stride,” a program aimed at compensating for the cutting of trees for packaging materials. For every move conducted by Segon-Marill, three trees were planted, showcasing their commitment to sustainability.
As a woman, Tseday’s proudest accomplishments lie not only in her professional achievements but also in her role as a mother. Tseday takes immense pride in raising her two children to be as driven and successful as she is. Her daughter’s enrollment at Johns Hopkins University for her undergraduate studies is a testament to her parenting prowess. Her happy family serves as an unwavering support system, a source of personal fulfillment.
Within Segon-Marill, Tseday takes great pride in the jobs she has created, providing employment opportunities to numerous individuals. Implementing efficient systems and processes that ensure smooth operations within the company has been another significant achievement she highlights. Under her guidance, Segon-Marill became the first ISO-accredited packaging and moving company in Ethiopia, setting a high standard in the industry.
Amidst the demanding nature of her work, Tseday understands the importance of self-care. She finds stability in exercise and long walks, which help her maintain energy and manage stress. Additionally, she has developed a love for Afrobeat music, stemming from her time in Zimbabwe, and often listens to it as a way to relax and unwind.
Tseday’s advice to the younger generation is a valuable reflection of her journey. She emphasizes the values of preservation, discipline, and a strong work ethic. She fears that these essential principles are fading away and believes they should be instilled from a young age. Tseday also stresses the significance of respect, not just towards colleagues and clients but also towards partners in business. Moreover, she advocates for financial literacy, recognizing its importance in navigating the complex world of finance from an early age.
Despite her busy schedule, Tseday has come to realize the importance of balancing work and family. She remains immensely grateful for the understanding that spending quality time with loved ones is just as essential as fulfilling her professional duties, halting everything to provide dedicated care and support to her mother when she fell ill, proving that family always comes first.
When asked to define a leader, Tseday paints a picture of someone with a clear vision for their life, setting goals to achieve that vision. But true leaders do more than that. They are individuals who not only recognize the potential in others but actively work to cultivate and nurture it. Empathy, according to Tseday, is a standout characteristic of great leaders. It is their ability to connect with and understand the needs and perspectives of those around them that sets them apart.
Tseday holds a deep appreciation for AWiB and the incredible work it does to foster the development of women’s potential. She credits the organization for providing a space where like-minded professional women can come together, support each other’s ideas, and build their potential. For Tseday, this has been an empowering and life-changing experience.
Tseday’s journey is a testament to her resilience, adaptability, and unwavering determination. From her humble beginnings as a driven student in Addis Ababa to her remarkable achievements as the CVO of Segon-Marill International Movers PLC, she continues to inspire those around her. With her vibrant spirit and innovative mindset, Tseday is shaping not only her own success but also the future of the business sector in Ethiopia.
AWiB extends her immense appreciation for taking time to sit for this interview.