Raphael Kithinji is a financial analyst by profession who quit his job to venture into the thriving dog breeding business.
Since making the move, the entrepreneur has made a name for himself in the dog breeding industry, generating him a significant revenue.
Kithinji loved dogs since he was young and early connection sparked a lifelong passion for dogs.
Here is his story as told by WoK.
At age of three, Kithinji owned a dog which after its death, he vowed to breed and keep dogs as a tribute to it.
In 2012, he quit his job as a financially analyst with the government to venture into the dog breeding business.
Kithinji kept dogs until 2015 when he started selling them when one of his friends offered to pay Ksh 20,000 for a single puppy.
To his surprise, he ended up selling all puppies that he had at Ksh 20,000 each.
Later that year, some ranch owners visited his farm looking for pedigree dogs, and brought three German Shepard puppies.
He was selling each at Ksh 25,000.
“Without provocation, they offered him Ksh 35,000 per puppy and told me that if the dogs were registered and had pedigree records, they would have bought them at Ksh 80,000 each,” Kithinji said.
He noted that the incident turned around his dog breeding venture.
Kithinji went ahead to scout for pedigree dogs which had the required documents, and bought five from Nakuru, Nairobi and Machakos at Ksh 80,000 each.
In the build up to the COVID-19 pandemic in Kenya, he noted that he needed to diversify and imported two Doberman and two Pinscher, all six months old puppies from the US.
The four dogs cost him Ksh 2 million; Ksh 500,000 each.
Now, the dogs gave him litters some of which he has sold and retained others for breeding.
“For starters, it does not come with seasonal fluctuations and then again if you are really passionate about it, you can start with no monetary capital and thirdly, no formal training is needed, which means you can start as soon as yesterday,” he said.
Kithinji owns 50 pedigree dogs consisting of among other breeds German Shepard, Rottweilers, Pinscher, Maltese, Chihuahua, and Japanese Spitz.
On the other hand, he has sold 100 German Shepard puppies, 40 Boerboels and 40 puppies of different breeds.
In an interview with The Standard, he noted that he has made Ksh 16 million from selling the dogs.
“I’m looking forward to the day that my business will attract international clients,” Kithinji said.