How I Made It: Caroline Gikunda's Success in Construction Industry

  • Kenyan Entrepreneur Caroline Gikunda
    Kenyan Entrepreneur Caroline Gikunda.
    File
  • Caroline Gikunda has established herself among the most successful entrepreneurs in the country, running a number of well-paying businesses.

    Despite having a background in science, Gikunda has capitalised on her self-taught entrepreneurial skills to open companies that are offering solutions in different parts of the country.

    She is the proprietor of Alpha Charlie, a transport and construction materials supplies company based in the coastal town of Malindi, but with a branch in Meru, her native home.

    Alpha Charlie, is revolutionising the transport sector in Meru and Malindi while at the same time paying her handsomely.

    File photo of former KBC Presenter and producer Caroline Gikunda
    File photo of former KBC Presenter and producer Caroline Gikunda
    File

    Gikunda is also the owner and director of Drivers at Alpha Charlie, a holiday home that offers accommodation, conferencing, and meetings services, located in Malindi.

    The serial entrepreneur also has interest in the online world, having founded a dating application, CaroLove. It is a premium application where users are vetted and charged a fee before being allowed to become members.

    She attributes her success in business to table banking and saving in chamas

    "There are table banking groups. I have initiated several such groups and they have built up the members. This is where you identify the birds of your feather and pool resources together," she stated in a past interview. 

    On her success in the transport business, Gikunda stated that she has learnt how to treat her clients and this has been one of her greatest rewards.

    "Today, I am aware that if a client is having a difficult time paying for a tonne of sand, they will certainly not be able to pay for tens of tonnes of the same product. I have also learnt that everyone cannot be my client. This has helped me set my standards, treat my customers equally and give them the space to make their choice of supplier," she stated.

    Gikunda takes pride in shaping the transport sector, especially in Malindi where she mobilised other truck owners to register a Sacco known as Transmara (Transporters of Malindi Sacco).

    She says she joined the University of Nairobi to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and Chemistry.

    She would try a number of jobs and business ideas, before her breakthrough in the construction industry - which she admits, was not a walk in the park.

    Drivers, a rental home that offers accommodation, conferencing and meetings services and located in Malindi.
    Drivers, a rental home that offers accommodation, conferencing, and meetings services and located in Malindi.
    File