- Mary Ng’endo Njuguna flew to Thailand in 2016 as the country was looking for people who would work as English tutors.
- The 27 year old saw various business gaps and swiftly turned them into thriving ventures. She operates a financial services agent that offers loans as well as provide the convenience of sending money back to Kenya through M-pesa.
The year is 2016 and then 20 years old Mary Ng’endo Njuguna decides to dare abroad.
She wasn’t moving to the U.S, U.K and neither was it Australia as is the case with many Kenyan immigrants.
Rather, her new home would be Bangkok in Thailand. Ng’endo was going to teach English in the Southeast Asian country. Thailand was in need of its citizens learning English as it is one of the world’s popular language.
Enrolling for college
While she thought the job was an automatic guarantee, it was a shocker on her that she first had to matriculate at a college for a diploma course.
She then got the chance to teach but as she settled down, she realized several business opportunities in the country.
Starting a financial services agency
While in the country, she noticed that sending money back to Kenya was not convenient and took between 4 to 6 hours via Western Union.
This meant that in case of an emergency, the recipient would have to wait longer.
“The available option was Western Union and it took too long (4-6 hours) which was not convenient in case of an emergency. I discovered I wasn’t the only one facing such an issue,” she told Nation.Africa.
She incepted a financial services agent named MNN Services that would offer quick and reliable mobile money services. The firm receives money in foreign currency then converts to Kenyan shillings and sends to the Kenyan recipients via M-pesa.
Additionally, MNN gives loans to its clients and earns back when they repay with interest.
Due to the success of the venture, MNN has become a magnet and more investors have since joined Ng’endo.
“One of my closest friends, Ashley, saw how well the business was doing and asked if she could invest. Thanks to her I have also been able to bring in other investors who invest and then get interest from the amount invested,” she adds.
Woman of many hats
Ng’endo’s business acumen is unparalleled as she is also the a Diaspora Trade Representative and advises Kenyans on the available opportunities in Thailand.
As such, she has been instrumental in promoting the bilateral trade between Kenya and Thailand.
This has seen MNN expand its portfolio to offer various Kenyan dry foods and beauty products for Kenyans in Thailand.
MNN has not been immune to challenges. To begin with, she has experienced loan defaults from various clients.
Additionally, her business almost crushed to smithereens when someone was scammed and used MNN to send the money. The authorities moved quickly and froze her account before investigations.
“Recently, I had my accounts blocked after receiving money from somebody who was scammed online. Thank God the Kenyan embassy was able to vouch for me and the police unfroze my account,” she says.