By Prudence Minayo
Anthony Kibagendi is an experienced businessman and entreprenuer. He is the founder of Texas Rangers Security Company and Westwood Security Services Ltd where he serves as director of operations.
During a past interview on Young Rich which aired on K24, the businessman revealed that at the age of 31, he was worth somewhere between Ksh25 to ksh30 million.
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The Maseno University alumni also served as the Secretary of Youth Affairs at the office of the Deputy President.
Background & Education
Kibagendi was born on July 4, 1982. He was raised by a single mother alongside his two sisters at their home in Kisii.
He attended St. Mary’s Primary School and later proceeded to Maseno School from where he sat for his Kenya certificate of Secondary Education.
Kibagendi is one entrepreneur who chooses to see opportunities where others don’t. While other primary school-going children were busy dreaming, he was beginning his first business. He lived in a wealthy neighbourhood where kids got whatever they wanted, presenting him with the perfect window to begin his entrepreneurial journey.
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While at St. Mary’s Primary School, Kibagendi would buy a packet of sweets (120 pieces) at Ksh50, sell them for Ksh1 each, and earn Ksh120. He made a 100 per cent profit. He was keen on saving, and this helped him foot some of his needs.
His business journey continued even after he joined Maseno School. He would save some od his pocket money, buy trendy clothes and shoes in Kisumu and then proceed to sell them at his home in Kisii during the holidays.
Before joining university, Kibagendi ventured into yet another business. He would travel from Kisii to Nairobi where he bought mobile phone cases and chargers which he sold for a profit.
He later got a job at Barclays Bank as a clerk where he worked for six months, all while doing business on the side.
He had his first big break when he supplied more than 1000 wooden key holders to a bookshop. The key holders had Bible verses engraved in them. A consignment of Ksh3,000 would make him Ksh10,000.
After joining University, Kibagendi accessed the HELB loans and this enabled him expound on his business interests. He wanted to look good and wear fashionable clothes and thus ventured into the photocopying and printing business.
“Then an idea came to me about making branded university T-shirts. I was lucky to get orders from all the public universities, as well as from the Centre of Disease Control (CDC) in Kisumu,” he said.
In 2006, as he waited to graduate, he opened a Chemist in Nairobi alongside his mother. He invested the Ksh1 million he got after selling his KenGen shares while still in University. Real challenges began to knock on the door. The business ran for two years before going down.
He was required to rent a pharmaceutical certificate and was at the mercy of the owners. They would increase fees whenever their mood stroke. This made running the business extremely difficult. Coupled with the fact that he joined politics in 2007, the business had no chance. To fund the campaign, he used money from the business.
Car Hire Business
After the campaigns, he tried to get a job but people held prejudices against ex-politicians. Business became his only way of survival once again. Thus, he launched a car hire business. He would lease cars from other people at an agreeable fee. While the business grew, he had problems with getting loans from the bank. Most banks were hesitant to touch a business they didn’t comprehend.
As the fleet of cars expanded in number, he opened an auto care centre in Embakasi. Today, the centre has thrived and is popular among many taxis plying the airport route. By the time he was giving an interview to The Standard in 2014, the business had employed four trained mechanics and was fully equipped.
The car hire business specializes in four-wheelers. They hire the vehicles out to corporates and high profile individuals.
Kibagendi also ventured into property buying, selling and leasing. He is partners with his wife and one of his sisters.
According to Kibagendi, one needs a partner who has their interests at heart. For him, that was his wife and sister.
“And since I brought them on board, the business has grown tremendously,” he said.
With a Ksh30 million capital investment and over 80 employees, he ventured into the security business. He had previously started the business but it halted. By May 2013, the business employed 75 guards distributed across different parts of the country. They offer car patrol, surveillance cameras, and VIP security escorts among other services.
His vision was to see the company among the top 5 Kenyan-Owned security companies in five years.
Advice to Entrepreneurs
His advice to entrepreneurs is:
“Be each other’s billboard. When you hear there is potential for business somewhere and you know someone who supplies the needed service or goods, pitch for them. That is what established business people do in their business clubs. Plus, this can’t be emphasized enough. Start small, and do not quit your job before the business is on its feet.”
Anthony is married to Alice Kibagendi. They met at a New Year’s party in 2008 and struck a friendship. He proposed in 2009 and they got married in October 2010.
Kibagendi who is eyeing the Kitutu Chache parliamentary seat has since quit the DP Ruto led United Democratic Alliance (UDA) and joined ODM Party led by Raila Odinga.
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