Most successful businesses in Kenya: This feature on Davy Mwaniki and his entrepreneurship journey was first published in the Nation Media Group’s Daily Nation by Francis Mureithi:
When Davy Mwaniki set up a small chemist shop at the heart of Nakuru town, he had one mission, to keep his wife busy when she was off duty at the Rift Valley Provincial General Hospital where she worked as a pharmacist.
However, his idea has turned out to be a springboard of a venture that would later change the landscape of a thriving sub sector in the cosmopolitan town.
“I analysed the hours my wife was spending at home while off duty and realised that it was a lot of time,” said Mr Mwaniki, adding in 2000 when the idea was mooted, there were only seven chemists in Nakuru’s central business district.
But there was a small problem, raising the seed capital. “I was forced to sell two plots and a family car. I raised Sh1.5 million capital,” he said.
Today, Mr Mwaniki, 47, has no regrets as his outfit has grown, drawing customers from Narok, Baringo and Kericho counties besides Nakuru.
Within a span of 15 years, the family business has stamped its authority in the increasing competitive sector and it is a member of the prestigious Top 100 mid-sized companies in Kenya.
“I was surprised when last year my outfit was among the great Top 100 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Kenya,” said Mr Mwaniki.
When he launched the company he was making Sh300,000 per month but today, his outfit, which is valued at Sh70 million rakes in between Sh900,000 and Sh1.2 million net income per month.
“My goal is to march this company into the billionaires club in the next five years. I am optimistic I will be counted among the greats in the near future,” said Mr Mwaniki who was once employed as a clerk by the City Council of Nairobi earning Sh7,000 salary per month.
He attributes his success to his wife Joyce Mumbi, who is a co-director. “I may have come up with the idea of starting the company, but my wife is the pillar of this business.
BAIL ME OUT
When I am faced with tricky and technical business challenges she is always there to bail me out,” he says.
Besides a caring and supportive wife, he says he has learnt that for one to succeed, honesty is vital.