Kenyan CEO Who Worked as Receptionist in Own Company After Losing Ksh 300K

  • Real Estate player Kennedy Murimi.
    Real Estate player Kennedy Murimi.
    File
  • 'Once bitten twice shy,' is a mantra that Kennedy Murimi, who has an interest in real estate, adapted after he was conned north of Ksh 300,000 while trying to buy land.

    In an interview with Kenyans.co.ke, on Wednesday, June 22, Murimi revealed that he is now running a company with 13 employees and valued at Ksh85 million with offices in Kamulu.

    His journey to the top, has, however, not been the easiest. His rise to the top of the real estate pyramid was born out of a tragedy he suffered at the hands of unscrupulous businesspeople.

    While in his fourth year at Kenyatta University, the then student had landed a job at a real estate company and was seeking to purchase a plot in Narok using his savings.

    A signpost showing land for sale
    A signpost showing land for sale.
    File

    The land was valued at Ksh600,000 in 2014 but he paid a down payment of Ksh300,000 with minimal background research since he trusted the seller.

    While fencing his new purchase, he was informed that his seller was a conman and that the land had been owned by a different person all along. He took the loss in stride and decided to set up his own company.

    Since he was drained of financial resources, which he says was one of the biggest challenges he experienced while setting up the company, he was forced to work as the receptionist, driver and marketer. He also had to carry out online writing jobs on the side to make ends meet. He sold his first plot after eight months.

    Looking back, Murimi notes today that he has no regrets. 

    "We have a whole block as an office in Kamulu. I am happy that I am making my customers happy. I faced financial challenges and changing dynamics of the market like inflation. The Kenyan market is not that easy to do business with the government changing its processes," he stated.

    The company now ranks among the most trusted firms in Kamulu, Joska and Malaa.

    He notes that his growth and persistence in the trade is influenced by American businessman Jeff Bezos, the third richest person worldwide.

    "I look up to Jeff Bezos because he created something that is revolutionary. It is a dream that he ha. I still have a picture where he has some computers. That picture is from 1999. I like his focus. I learn a bit of business strategy from people.

    "My advice to young people is that whatever dream that you have, don't let it go no matter the challenges, It may not work now but if you keep pushing and being persistent, it will work out," he concluded.

    A parcel of land in Kamulu, Kenya
    A parcel of land in Kamulu, Kenya
    File