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Julius Abiero: From Two Guards To Making Over Ksh1 Billion In Revenues Annually

Riley Falcon Security Limited is one of the largest security firms in Kenya. They have been in the industry since 1987-and for those 30 odd years, the company still prides itself with delivering customer solutions that are synonymous with quality and value.

This company and how it was founded is the inspiration that entrepreneurs can learn from. From humble beginnings to a major player in an industry dominated by foreign security firms.

Here is the story of Riley Falcon as told by WoK

How It Started

The firm was a small timer having started with only two guards but the vision bearer had an even bigger dream. The firm was first launched in 1998 in Milimani estate, Kisumu in a rental house that cost Sh6,000 monthly. 

The founder, Julius Abiero, launched this business at a time when Kenya was conducting a controversial election. 

Julius Abiero: From Two Guards To Making Over Kes1 Billion In Revenues Annually
Julius Abiero is the founder and current chairman of Riley Falcon Image/Courtesy

More than three decades later, the firm has gained fame as one of the best security companies in the country. It has over 4000 security guards and branches in different parts of the country including Kisumu, Eldoret, Nairobi and Embu. The security company also has a turn over of Ksh1.4 billion annually. 

The Rise of Riley Falcon

The project that catapulted them to astronomical growth was the Sondu Miriu Hydroelectric power station project. This contract necessitated the company to hire another 200, thus doubling its work force overnight. It also opened a lot of corporate security services doors for them. 

In 2019, it became one of the only two companies to become members of club 101 during the annual Top 100 competition organized by Nation Media Group’s Business Daily newspaper at KPMG.

Club 101 is an exclusive group with companies that have crossed the Sh1 billion annual revenue mark.

The role of innovation in the success of Falcon Security Limited cannot be downplayed. The leadership of the company sits down to discuss innovation in the company from time to time and how it can be used to achieve performance, stay ahead and remain relevant. 

“In the next five years we will definitely see more issues around cybercrime as e-commerce grows. We are not just going to protect physical business anymore but also protect data,” said the firm’s managing director, Tobias Otieno, in an earlier interview. 

Tobias Otieno joined the company in 1995 as a controller having just completed his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology and History from Kenyatta University. 

Customers

According to the managing director, the key to retaining customers is personalized service, always looking at what the clients need. Some of their well known clients include:

  • Agha Khan hospital
  • United Miller’s Limited 
  • Mayfair Group
  • Kisumu Motor Works Ltd
  • KCB group
  • Acacia hotel
  • The Swan Center Mall
  • Co-operative bank
  • Safaricom 

A big part of their growth has been necessitated by needs and the evolving world. Back then, needs were simple and security only involved hiring guards. However, in the current era, crime has evolved and other methods of protection have had to be adopted, such as CCTVs, patrol dogs, automated gates, alarms, access control, intruder alarms and private investigators.

The company hopes to achieve even more significant growth in the next decade. It seeks to raise it’s workforce to between 10,000 and 15,000  with revenue growth remaining the key focus.