Nairobi Youth Transforms Car Wash Services With Unique Tech

  • A man cleans a car at a temporary roadside car wash center
    A man cleans a car at a temporary roadside car wash center
  • Joblessness and unemployment amongst the youths especially those living in urban centres has become so common that being innovative is the only way that one can survive.

    Somoni Miruka a financial engineering graduate found himself in a similar situation of joblessness over one year ago. 

    Before graduating from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), he thought that his career would follow the path that would be dictated by his skills.

    Somoni Miruka
    Somoni Miruka founder of Board Mobile Carwash
    Business Daily

    Few months after graduating, he was employed as an intern in the State's energy sector regulator. However, his internship was cut short due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

    It was at that point when Miruka decided to take a risk and venture into the car washing business in Nairobi, something he had never dreamt of doing. He named the business Board Mobile Carwash which started by operating around Nairobi’s Donholm estate.

    Miruka's business is one of a kind as he moves around in a cart that carries approximately 150 litres of water and has a high-pressure washing machine. He washes client's cars at their homes or current location, unlike his competitors whose customers have to drive to the site.  

    According to him, he wanted to provide a unique service that would stand out in a business venture that is already being offered by many people around Nairobi.

    “We saw the areas where customers were calling for more attention and decided we would give a special focus on those areas,” he says.

    Miruka's first capital of Ksh70,0000 was from his personal savings which he used to buy the cart, other tools required for the business and hiring two people. 

    The business picked almost immediately as many Nairobians resorted to using personal cars after the Health Ministry reduced the carrying capacity of public service vehicles. 

    He is planning to introduce other services like car body shampoo and car wax, which entails body, fabric and tyre wax.

    “We also plans to introduce a moisture absorbing tablet which also acts as car perfume to boost customer experience,” says Miruka.

    On average, he makes a profit of Ksh37,000 a month.

    He is planning to expand to Ruaka, Juja, Imara Daima and Syokimau estates in Nairobi as the demand for his service continues to rise.

    The car wash business, though a lucrative investment has in the past faced challenges of illegal licensing and misuse of water. 

    In January 2021, Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) boss announced that it had plans to reduce the number of car wash businesses that are operating illegally. 

    NMS Director General Mohammed Badi said that the operating licenses had been issued illegally by Nairobi MCAs as an appreciation for being voted for.

    "Car wash businesses are too many even in posh areas like Muthaiga, Lavington and Karen, which should not be the case. Most of these were licensed by MCAs. It is something political, a kind of payment to boys who probably voted for them," Badi said. 

    Car wash
    File image of a car at a car wash