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Grace Wangari: From Secretary To Owning One Of The Biggest Health Facility In Nairobi

  • Mrs. Grace Wangari Muthuma is the founder and CEO of Nairobi Outpatient Gulf Hospital
  • It has branches in other parts of Kenya

The Nairobi Outpatient Gulf Hospital is one of the most prestigious medical facilities in the country’s capital. 

With branches in Nairobi, Mombasa, and Nyali, the hospital has served thousands of customers since it was started a few years ago. 

Interestingly, the CEO and founder of this prestigious hospital, Mrs. Grace Wangari Muthuma, has no medical background whatsoever. 

Just a few years ago, she was working as a company secretary with little career prospects. 

This is her journey as told by WoK:

Humble Beginnings:

Grace Wangari’s story begins in Kiambu. 

Orphaned at a young age, she grew up in abject poverty.

The only property her father left was a small piece of ancestral land that Wangari was expected to share with her seven sisters. 

After completing her KCSE in 2004 at the age of 19, she left for Saudi Arabia where her sister was working, with hopes of finding a job and money to finance her college education. 

She returned to Kenya three years later, but her savings were still not enough to sustain her academic prospects. 

Luckily, she found a job as a company secretary. 

Through hard work, sacrifice, and dedication, she established herself as an avid businesswoman and established her own travel agency, dubbed Muthuma International Agency. 

That was in 2010. 

Entrepreneurial Spirit

Initially, Muthuma International Agency connected Kenyan workers with job opportunities in the Middle East. 

Because she could now sustain herself, Grace quit her job to focus on her business. 

This also gave her the time to further her studies, pursuing a course in procurement. 

Around 2019, Grace received an unexpected call from her previous company. 

They commended her on her loyalty over the years, and as a reward, sought to award her a tender to conduct medicals for their workers who were traveling in and out of the country. 

“They said they wanted a level F laboratory, which meant it had to be cutting edge. They told me that among three candidates, I had been selected by the board because of my good relationship with the company,” said the mother of three.  

Despite the tempting opportunity, Grace did not have a background in medicine, nor had she ever aspired to join the medical field. 

Growing up, I never aspired to be a doctor or a nurse. I am rough. I think I would have become a lawyer or politician,” she recalled. 

Nevertheless, she said yes to the offer and went on to set up a high-tech laboratory, which would later grow to become the Nairobi Outpatient Gulf Hospital. 

According to her, no sane business person says no to an opportunity. 

Challenges And Triumphs

Initially, Grace partnered with several doctors in setting up the facility. 

However, they took advantage of her medical naivety, which led to issues with the Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists Dentists Union (KMPDU). 

Also, getting the required inspections and licensing was very hectic, but she pulled through in the end. 

Fast forward to today, and the hospital has expanded with branches in Mombasa (In Care Hospital) and Nyali (Cure For Life Hospital). 

The Nairobi facility is fully equipped, with their laboratory being neck and shoulders with the likes of Agha Khan and The Nairobi Hospital. 

Wangari credits her business acumen and background in Human Resource as the secrets behind her success despite lacking a medical background. 

In future, she hopes her hospital will be used as a research facility for illnesses like Tuberculosis. 

Aside from the medical sector, Grace Wangari has other investments in manufacturing and real estate. 

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