Established in 1990 and headquartered in Mombasa, Polucon Services, a testing, inspection and verification company, is the poster child of what successful Kenyan companies look like.
In 2022, the company was ranked among the Top 100 fast-growing mid-sized companies by KPMG and Business Daily. Since Inception the company’s turnover has grown from between Ksh50 million to Ksh1 billion.
What’s even better, Polucon Services which today is present in seven African countries and has 100 employees was built from scratch without bank loans.
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“We have tripled our turnover with profitability all without bank loans,” Dominic said in an interview with local publication Business Daily, adding, “you can create funds as you grow. We have learnt organic growth from mama mboga, who educates her children successfully by being resilient.”
Dominic Mureithi is the founder of Polucon service. Here is his story as told by WoK.
How Polucon Services was set up
Mr. Mureithi is a food chemist by profession. He studied in Germany and worked in Europe as a laboratory analyst, rising to the level of a laboratory manager at a multinational company.
While in Germany Mureithi harboured ambitions of setting an homegrown company to support trade within and outside of Africa as the food testing industry was dominated by foreigners.
“I realised that in Europe, they create their own jobs, especially for the scientists because scientists control many things in the world, be it agriculture, manufacturing, production, and development. The world is made by science,” he said.
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Armed with only the expertise he had learned in the west, Mureithi came home to open his company Polucon services.
No money, No problem
Unlike in the west where scientists are held in high regard, the situation was completely different back at home. No bank would advance them money to buy testing equipments but Mureithi was unfazed. He decided Polucon will grow organically.
The food chemist also went about cutting any unnecessary expenses to save every shilling. Instead of buying a new bed for his small apartment, he bought a desk, chair, computer, and fax machine. He also made sure he had a post office box and telephone while at it.
“We founded the company in 1990 but had to raise funds until 1997 when we began operations. In those days, no bank could lend us money because they did not understand our business and we didn’t have collateral,” he says.
Creating job opportunities for young scientists like him was his fuel and so he set about creating the best company to give foreign companies a run for their money.
“We are involved in checking the quality and safety of drinking water, and food safety analysis,” he says.
The Secret of Polucon Services success
Mr. Mureithi says planning is key especially when one is changing from formal employment to entrepreneurship.
“You must plan clearly for when it rains. I’m here but where do I want to go?” he poses.
On top of that the CEO and Chairman of Polucon Group says an entrepreneur must be trustworthy and whose integrity must be above Caesar’s wife.
“People don’t appreciate how trust, integrity, and being ethical are important – these helped us a great deal,” he says, adding “clients want to feel you are more like a trusted friend than just a business person.”
Being resilient and financially prudent are also life skills that will come handy to any entrepreneur.
“You can create funds as you grow. We have learnt organic growth from mama mboga, who educates her children successfully by being resilient.”
To stay competitive and at par with top companies in the world, In 2005, Polucon went for ISO 9001, an International quality management system and got certified in 2006 followed by Specific Accreditation for competency under the ISO/IEC 17025 and ISO/IEC 17020.
The move proved a masterstroke
“Certification and accreditation brought us to the world business playing ground.” Mureithi says.
Today Polucon Services (K) Limited is present in seven countries in East and Central Africa i.e Kenya(HQ) Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Burundi, Somalia, South Sudan and globally through our network of partners.
Without a doubt Polucon Services has slowly emerged as the leading African Inspection, Verification, Testing, Certification and Pest Control company serving exporters and importers, farmers, processors, packers, manufacturers, and local industries.
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