Solomon Kimeu saw a business opportunity nine years ago that he could resist.
Kenya was witnessing a high number of terrorist attacks that ended the lives of innocent humans, among them Kenyans.
The rise of extremist groups in the country forced companies and individuals to rethink their securities. Firms such as Safaricom, Vila Rosa Kempinski, Yaya Centre, and Naivas, among others, took their security seriously by hiring security guards and sniffer dogs to protect their premises.
To tap this lucrative market, Kimeu who is in his 30’s started ‘On the Mark Security Limited’, a private security company that offers security protection services for very important persons (VIPs) as well as explosives and narcotics detections.
The K9 unit offers highly trained detection dogs and is handled by handlers who are highly trained as per international standards.
Also, the firm trains private guards, through a customer service training course.
Furthermore, it offers guard services, security consultancy, threat and risk assessment, emergency services, management planning, event security, event Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) surveillance and security training.
“As a company, we do not take anything for granted and that is why we are offering specialized training to conform with the laid down set standards,”
Mr Kimeu said.
Mr Kimeu added that their security guards are highly trained to handle anything from terrorism to gunmen attacks.
“The speed at which terrorism is happening in Kenya and the whole World is petrifying. These terrorists have devised new techniques to attack and prevent being captured. We need to learn their modus operandi,”
Mr Kimeu stressed.
The K9 unit trains a variety of dog breeds, among them German Shepard, German Shorthaired Pointer, Basset Hound and Labrador Retriever.
According to Mr Kimeu, the dogs have specialized training in locating bombs and narcotics and tracking criminals or suspects.
“These dogs have been deployed far and wide, including volatile regions of Mali and Afghanistan to help special forces,”
He said his company boasts of serving various dignitaries, among them the former President of the United States of America (USA) Barack Obama and Kenya’s First Lady Margaret Kenyatta.
“The who’s who, whom I have all protected, have helped boost the confidence in my firm. I cherish that and there is nothing greater than that,”
Mr Kimeu stated.
Mr Kimeu added that the cost of running the business is too prohibitive, as it requires specialized training from within and without.
“I fly experts from around the globe and also I pay them exorbitant charges. Also, the cost of rearing these dogs until they are big is not a joke as they require MORE specialized management than other canines,”
He said that the price of one dog ranges from KES. 1.5 million to upwards of KES. 5 million, depending on breed, role and other factors.
“If it was not from my heart then this business would have crumbled a long time ago as there are insurmountable challenges. Determination is what has kept me grinding,”
Mr Kimeu noted.
He said that Kenyans should learn to accept that terrorism is real and a potential threat to society and that it was upon you and me to annihilate it.
He added that terrorism cannot be vanquished single-handedly but through a concerted effort.
Furthermore, Mr Kimeu said the business is viable in Kenya, as many firms are now beefing up their securities.
“Before an upsurge of terrorism, companies disregarded the threats that terrorists posed but now they are starting to feel the pinch. As a result of the rush, security companies are reaping big,”
He urged every Kenyan to embrace counter-terrorism measures, which he said start on an individual level