By Issac Blessings
Most people despise humble beginnings but what they forget is that, in this life, one can literally start from anywhere and achieve their dreams as long as they remain persistent and disciplined.
The adage, “from grass to grace” best describes the story of John Kamau who left his accounting job in Kenya and moved to the United States where he did casual jobs such as driving for Uber. Determined and relentless in his pursuit for success, Kamau now owns a multimillion shipping company in Seattle, Washington.
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Here is his full story as told by WoK.
Background & Education
John Kamau Maingi was born and raised in the Mount Kenya region of Kenya.
He attended the prestigious University of Nairobi (UoN) where he studied Bachelor of Commerce in Sales and Marketing.
After graduating from UoN, he began his career in Kenya where he worked for different lucrative companies. He started off as a Sales Manager at Standard Media Group then proceeded to Airtel Kenya where he served as a Territory manager. He was later employed as an Accountant at East African Breweries Limited (EABL).
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While speaking to Alex Chamwada on the Daring Abroad show, Kamau revealed that even though he was having a successful career in the corporate world, that did not satisfy him.
“My journey began in 2017 when I wanted something different from my life and my family and so I decided to quit my accounting job and that’s how I came to the United States,” he explained.
Relocating to the United States
In March 2017, Kamau finally relocated with his entire family to the United States without a job or even knowing where to start from. Despite having good academic qualifications and extensive experience from Kenya, he had to take manual jobs at first just to fend for his family.
“I started as an Uber driver then to transportation, I became an independent contractor for a while. Then I transitioned into medical and equipment delivery. I gained vast experience in delivery and that’s when I decided to start Gichii Shipping Company,” he explained.
Gichii Shipping Company
The company has headquarters in Seattle, Washington in the US’s Pacific NorthWest. The company picks up packages consolidated from online stores or people’s houses before shipping them to the final destination. Gichii ships goods to all countries in the world but most of its clients are from Kenya. They handle all types of commodities from laptops to phones, clothes and equipment which are then shipped either by air or sea.
Goods transported by air take between 10 to 15 days to get to Kenya while sea cargo takes up to 90 days. During the interview, Kamau revealed that he uses technology to ensure clients gain their trust.
“Our clients are able to give us orders and since we are in the hub of Amazon, we are able to get these products even in a day. We have automated our systems, we have a tracking and booking systems where people can follow the journey of their products. We have invested in Gichii.com which is the brainchild of everything we do. We want to make everybody comfortable when they are ordering, booking and tracking their packages to Kenya,” he explained.
The company currently owns a truck, a van and two warehouses – air cargo warehouse and sea cargo warehouse. It also has a subsidiary office in Nairobi, Kenya where clients can walk in to pick their goods once they arrive in the country.