By Prudence Minayo
Most Kenyan children hardly follow in their parents career or business footsteps. This is not the case with a Makueni family who after observing and helping out in their father’s hardware, went and established their own successful outlets. All six siblings did different courses at the University, some even worked with big companies, before calling it a day and setting up their own hardware stores.
Rather than compete, each focused on selling different supplies needed for construction. For example, when one sells tiles the other sells electrical supplies. Between the six of them, they are able to provide clients with whatever they need. If it’s lacking in one store, they call and get it from the next. What’s even more interesting, they all got into the business coincidentally.
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This is the interesting story of Daniel Mutua’s family as told by WoK.
Daniel Mutua, the patriarch of the family, got into the hardware business at the age of 26. Prior to starting it, he had opened a butchery which didn’t do as well as he expected.
“The lesson I learned over the years is that an enterprise that fails to carry its weight should be dropped for another one,” the 71-year-old told Businessdaily.
Today, he has spread his interests to agribusiness and real estate.
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Jedidiah Mutindi is the proprietor of Flyover Tiles and Ceramics. She says her store sells things which go into the finishing of a house, such as tiles, paint and toiletry. The other shops deal in materials for structural components of a building while another one specializes in the supply of wiring and electrical materials.
Jedidah graduated from Moi University with a degree in Sociology. She secured a job at a local non governmental organization (NGO) called Sand Dam Foundation as a program officer. The NGO promotes agriculture that is safe for the climate, sand conservation and builds sand dams to restore rivers in arid areas.
To promote her business, she takes advantage of Facebook and has managed to build a store that is even bigger than her father’s. However, she does not downplay her father’s role in her success.
Joseph Munyao used to drive trucks during the construction of the Standard Gauge Railway. Supplying materials using the truck was nothing new as they used to do the same while supplying goods for their father’s clients. When the railway project came to an end, they ended their contract with China Roads and Bridges Construction Company. Afterwards, capital from this contract enabled them to set up their own hardware stores. Joseph is an alumni of Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology where he studied Website Design.
Janet Mwende said it was through working in the father’s hardware that helped her establish her own. She said apart from selling materials, they also offer consultancy services to their clients.
Patrick Mwalyo is the owner of Pamwamu Hardware in Mtito Andei. Before getting into full time entrepreneurship, he worked at an NGO called Technoserve. He had risen through the ranks and by the time of his resignation was the manager of the Coastal area. He said entrepreneurship meant freedom and the returns are simply irresistible.
Five out of the six siblings run the hardware as their main business. It is only Peter Mutua, a Nairobi based engineer, who runs his as a side job.
The writer of this piece retrieved information from Businessdaily.