Eric Mwangi is the founder of Maridady Motors, a car dealership selling high quality new and used cars.
Mwangi started the business with the help of his wife who had access to a bank loan since she worked in the government.
Through that support, Maridady motors has grown to be one of the most trusted car dealerships in Kenya.
Here is Mwangi’s story as narrated by WoK.
Mwangi developed an interest in selling cars immediately after clearing high school.
The businessman was close with a teacher who other than teaching, he was engaged in importing and selling vehicles.
After completion of his secondary education, Mwangi started working with his former teacher as a marketer.
“He used to give me work to advertise vehicles on newspapers since those days we were not exposed to the internet like now,” he said.
A few months into the business, the teacher got a phone for Mwangi which he would use to communicate with potential clients.
Mwangi would engage in the car selling business while taking Business Computing and Public Relations (PR) courses at a local college.
While working at his local church, Mwangi was employed by the church SACCO and through the SACCO, he saved some money which qualified him for a loan.
He saved Ksh 100,000 and qualified to secure a Ksh 200,000 loan which he used to import his first car, together with a friend who injected a similar amount into the same.
Mwangi shared the car with his friend for personal use before they later sold it.
“We were able to sell that car and that’s when I realized that it is possible to import a car and be able to sell it,” he said.
Wife from heaven
Mwangi and his wife, Dr Loice Mwangi have been married for over 13 years and blessed with three children; two daughters and a son.
Mwangi met his wife while doing high school seminars where he would counsel and inspire students to excel in their exams.
“I asked my cousin to look for someone who could talk to to girls because I’m a man I could talk to boys but I didn’t know where to get a lady who would inspire girls. She told me she’ll introduce me to Loice who was doing medical at the University of Nairobi, she gave me her number
“I called her but she didn’t pick. I went for my morning run after which I found she had calls back; I talked to her and she said she would love to be part of our team,” Mwangi recalled.
Mwangi invited Loice for the seminar after which they interacted and became friends before they started dating.
Years into their relationship, Mwangi thought of business and his wife helped him by securing a loan for him to start a business.
“She had an official job from the government and it was easy for her to access formal credit. She did not refuse to access that formal credit and make it available for me to start a business
“She took a loan for me to start a business; something that I’m forever thankful for. Even the day I finished paying that loan, she said, ‘not most people would do this’,” he said.
Maridady Motors is located along Kiambu Road, Nairobi.
Other than selling cars, they also have a driving school and a SACCO where they help people save for cars and finance people to buy cars.
“God has challenged me to understand that it’s not my company, its for the people. It’s how you grow your business to have impact and be transformative
“The way I look at the business, is to make sure that the business is serving everyone he way it is supposed to be serving them,” Mwangi said.
While starting, Mwangi operated from a small office before moving to his first showroom which held about 15 vehicles.
“I didn’t have the 15 cars, so I started the yard and invited other people to bring in their cars to fill the space and I started selling. That is exactly how we started,” Mwangi added.
Over the years, Maridady motors has grown to be one of the most sought after car dealerships in Kenya.