Sossion's Brother Who Turned Ksh 50K Investment into Multi-Billion Company

  • Simon Sossion is the managing director of Spotlight Publishers (EA) Ltd and brother to nominated MP and Kenya National Union of Teachers Secretary General, Wilson Sossion as reported by Business Daily.

    The Kenyatta University graduate has always distanced his success in the publishing industry from his brother's role in the education sector.

    “He has his own duties and I have my own ambitions. His influence in the education sector has played no impact on the success of my publishing firm,” Simon was quoted by Business Daily.

    Author Ken Walibora with Spotlight Publisher (EA) Managing Director Simon Sossion.

    Spotlight Publishers is one of the largest in Kenya and the East Africa region.

    In an interview with the daily, he narrated the challenges that face the publishing industry and how his Ksh 50,000 savings transformed into the reputable company he heads today.

    The elder Sossion revealed that his journey a leap of faith. He was first employed as a teacher at Kipsigis Girls High School, Bomet County and later at Longhorn Publishers where he served for 12 years.

    In 2008, he quit the famed book company where he was a publishing manager to resurrect the then-ailing Target Publishers.

    “It was the best decision I ever made. It was more of starting from small to big unaware of how tomorrow would be. It taught me the need to start a business when you are energetic. Sometimes they don’t survive because of high expectations and the need to be proved right," he stated.

    "It was a combination of many factors, risk-taking, and resilience, having left a well-paying job at a local publishing firm. I had a very small workforce that included me and the messenger," he told the daily.

    At the time, Simon stated that he intended to satisfy what he felt lacked in the local textbook market before spotting potential in the regional market as well. 

    “The initial plan was working on revision material which was and still is a niche market in primary and secondary schools. We saw a gap and improved quality. You always remain on top when you do things differently," the former teacher intimated.

    Starting off with his savings, the company dwelled in a small office at Utalii House in Nairobi, one Kiswahili book, and a single author and in the course of time he acquired 12 more.

    Spotlight Publisher (EA) Managing Director Simon Sossion.

    Today, the company has over 500 titles cutting across revision and curriculum books, upon the introduction of the Competence-Based Curriculum system.

    Some of them include Torch Encyclopedia, Spotlight Quick Revision, and KCPE Mirror. He credited his success in the field to working with individuals who understood the publishing industry and allowing their creativity to flourish.

    “Publishing is my passion. I have been in the book industry for 25 years. There have been highs and lows but you have to work on both your strengths and weaknesses and encourage fresh ideas. It has not been easy but you have to be very persistent and patient," Sossion stated.

    He noted that one of the company's big breaks was a call he got from the Government of Uganda asking him to supply English textbooks to primary schools in the country.

    In his arsenal, Simon today boasts a long list of authors attached to his publication; Ken Walibora- Kidagaa Kimemwozea author, Said Ahmed Mohammed- Utengano, Wallah Bin Wallah- Kiswahili Mufti.

    His lecturer at Kenyatta University and renowned Saturday Nation columnist, Austin Bukenya, also authors for the publication, as does Professor Evan Mwangi a columnist with Saturday and Sunday Nation.

    The company today brags in excess of 100 authors.

    Spotlight Publishers now boasts a regional market for its publications, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda being the biggest.

    Nominated MP and Kenya National Union of Teachers secretary general Wilson Sossion.