How Tailor Rose to Become a Millionaire Landlord

  • A side by side photo of Nice Digital City and the owner Charles Njiru Mkombozi
    A side by side photo of Nice Digital City and the owner Charles Njiru Mkombozi
    (Courtesy)
  • A famous quote by Marilyn Monroe says: “Just because you fail once, doesn’t mean you’re going to fail at everything. Keep trying, hold on, and always believe in yourself."

    One entrepreneur, Charles Njiru Mkombozi, can relate to this quote. In early and mid 90s, nothing seemed to work in his favour. Everything he touched seemed to wither. 

    Before breaking even, Njiru had tried his hand in eight businesses but failed in all of them.

    He, however, did not give up. He pushed on and on the eighth attempt, his persistence and perseverance started paying off. The dream of becoming a renowned billionaire in Kirinyaga County was finally coming to reality.

    A file image of Nice Digital City
    A file image of Nice Digital City
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    Nice Digital City

    Here's the story of entrepreneur Charles Njiru

    In the 80's, Njiru worked as a tailor, earning a meagre salary of Ksh300 a month. He saved enough money and eventually quit his job.

    His dream was to venture into business and so, he went back to his Karaba home and started farming. There, he grew tomatoes and French beans on a 10-acre farm.

    He would soon experience his first fail due to scarcity of rainfall. Unfortunately, after all the hard work he had put in, he only had Ksh2,500 to show for it.

    Mkombozi quit the agri-business and started selling second hand clothes. Disappointed, however, he abandoned this as well in just a period of two months.

    He would then try his hand in the agrochemicals business. He bought some products which he would hawk in Mwea Town. Here, things were looking up.

    "The business took off and earned me a total of Ksh300,000 in sales in just six months. The profits would start dipping due to stiff competition and I quit after three years," Mkombozi stated.

    A file image of Nice Digital City
    A file image of Nice Digital City
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    Nice Digital City

    Despite all the disappointments he had experienced, Mkombozi did not give up. He tried his hand in the matatu business, transportation of sand and construction material, but all failed.

    “My life in business has been so hostile, but I believe that in every adversity, there is a way out,” he stated in a previous interview.

    In the last attempts, Mkombozi decided to construct a brewery but faced challenges when he failed to secure an operating license.

    It is this last fail, however, that bore a multi-million empire that has come to be loved and admired by many who use Nairobi - Embu highway.

    Mkombozi transformed his failed brewery to start a milling business.

    “Farmers were waiting for three months to have their rice milled at government-owned mills. Hence, they started flocking my maize mill looking for storage and eventually I started milling for them," he continued.

    Due to its strategic location, travelers were also stopping to buy rice in his miller. Before long, he realised that the busy highway did not have sufficient stop overs, hence, decided to build a mall.

    A file image of Nice Rice Millers Limited
    A file image of Nice Rice Millers Limited
    (Courtesy)

    The mall, which sits on eight acres of land, hosts different businesses including a hotel, three restaurants, supermarket, petrol station, kids fun park among others.

    Mkombozi runs the empire with his wife and three children.

    "The rice that is made in the restaurant is from our factory. We sell what we mill...In addition, we store rice for over 100 women and we do not charge them even a shilling," Mkombozi's son stated.

    The entrepreneur has employed around 300 employees with millions others benefiting indirectly from the establishment.

    His  business innovations have eared him a HSC medal by former President Mwai Kibaki and an OGW by President Uhuru Kenyatta.