The axiom from grass to grace can best describe the entrepreneurial journey of supermarket entrepreneur, Moses Nditika.
In an April 14, 2014 interview with K24 Digital, the Tumaini Supermarket chain managing director revealed that he, at one point in his life, served as an attendant for 20 years.
Nditika stated that out of his service at the supermarket, he developed the experience, patience and learned all that was required to open and operate a small business. He finally developed the courage to face his then-employer, making a request that he thought would be impossible to grant.
"I started as a shop attendant, up to the status of a senior manager in the same organisation. It gave me the time and experience of how a small business can be run," Nditika stated then.
"I asked him if he can allow me to start on my own on a small note. My boss then helped me start that first branch in Pipeline Estate," Nditika narrated.
Nditika, along with his brother and a third partner, used the Ksh5 million savings they had to set up. He revealed that an additional loan of Ksh5 million from a sacco helped them get on their feet.
He pronounced that starting a supermarket business was not as easy as one would perceive, as it required huge capital, a lot of dedication and one had to be very observant.
Having started out in 2006, the supermarket had grown to 6 branches by 2014, averaging a monthly turnover of about Ksh200 million. In 2019, the retailer put up two more stores at a Ksh200 million combined cost.
Tumaini Supermarket branches grew to 12 countrywide, with eight of them in Nairobi as reported by Business Daily on April 23, 2019.
Nditika has managed to steer the company through what has been considered a rough patch for the country's retail sector as evidenced by the exit of Uchumi and Nakumatt and Choppies.
On 5 December 2018, a controlling stake of the outlet was acquired by a Mauritius-based equity firm Adenia partners. Tumaini Supermarkets revealed that the investor would inject more capital into the retailer that would be used to expand throughout the country.
“We are delighted to bring on-board Adenia Partners whose expertise will accelerate Tumaini’s expansion plans as well as offer our customers an enhanced product offering and customer experience at both our new and existing stores," Nditika stated after the acquisition.
“We were attracted to Tumaini as an investment because the company’s stores offer an affordable product offering at convenient locations that complement customers’ busy lifestyles.
"We look forward to partnering with a strong management team that will leverage Adenia’s expertise in strategic and operational improvements, in addition to the implementation of financial controls in order to achieve Tumaini’s ambitious development plan,” Martha Osier a principal at Adenia started at the time of the acquisition.
Adenai also acquired a controlling stake in Quick Mart Supermarkets, and orchestrated a merger between the retailer and Tumaini, to give it a stronger footing in Kenya's 'harsh' retail arena.
Nditika is still managing director at the Tumaini Supermarkets.
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