How Kenyan Who Went to UK as Student Built Multi-Million Shipping Company

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    One of the vehicles used by international shipping company, KenExports Limited
    KenExports Limited
  • Every year, thousands of Kenyans leave the country for the diaspora to further their education with the hope of unlocking their future.

    Whether they join the institutions on scholarship or on their own bill, the end goal is to complete their studies and find a job in the diaspora that will enable them live comfortably.

    Despite the hype about living and working in the diaspora, those that have tasted the waters will admit that may not be as easy as one would think. A greater debate that emigrants face is whether to set up business on foreign soil or back at home.

    Morris Njuguna withered through these murky waters and is now the proud owner of an international shipping company.

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    KenExports Executive Director, Morris Njuguna (L) and Alex Chamwada pose for a photo at the companies wherehouse in Lutton in the UK.
    KenExports Limited

    Speaking to Alex Chamwada of Chams Media, the Executive Director of Ken Exports revealed that he went to the United Kingdom (UK) as a postgraduate student in 2003.

    He had just completed his degree in Economics and Social Studies from the University of Nairobi and was set to join the Sheffield Hallam University for a Mater's degree. Njuguna stated that he opted to have two jobs to pay his tuition fees and fend for himself.

    He managed to secure project-based jobs after graduating but the Financial Crisis in 2008 left him without any stable income. Njuguna revealed that at one point, he considered returning to Kenya but that decision he had someone else to consider, in fact two more. 

    "I was married in 2005 and in 2006  I was expecting my first born. I couldn't go back home, I had to start life here," he remarked.

    Njuguna then used his savings to lease a garage in London, where he began his business from.

    Here, he would move door to door collecting items from Kenyans who wished to send goods back home. Alongside his wife, they conducted the business and soon their clientele expanded.

    They then moved to Lutton and set up a shop. Their amazing service made them the preferred shipping company for Kenyans shipping goods back home.

    Today, Ken Export ships containers every Friday to Kenya through national courier, Kenya Airways. He also provides services for those who shop for goods in other European countries through England.

    Njuguna takes care of the entire process, from purchase, inspection, shipping and clearing. He revealed that efficiency in business is key. He however added that the business comes with its challenges including Brexit.

    "It has affected business because those who import goods outside the UK would now have to pay tax, which was not initially in place," he stated.

    He has however encouraged Kenyans not to cower from starting business abroad.

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    A trailer pulling up at the KenExports Limited wherehouse in Luton, UK.
    KenExports Limited