Happiness is a word that can best characterize Pst. Joseph Ndungu who is married and is the proud father of 10 children. He makes canvas bags for school children alongside traveling bags and he also makes seat covers for motorbikes. His reasoning and motivation behind developing canvas bags is that children are being born daily and there is a high demand for canvas bags once they become enrolled in school. His business strategy behind motorbike seat cover creation is that motorbikes are being bought on a constant basis and they are prone to damage due to depreciation in value and plainly due to the environment itself. I managed to interview Mr. Ndungu via email and asked him some questions about the current state of his prosperous business:
1. How is the competition looking in the business of making seat covers for bikes and canvas bags for school children? You mentioned there was low competition, but how is it looking now and how is it affecting your business currently?
I am in Nakuru county about 35km away from Nakuru town. Rongai is the divisional headquarter surrounded by big lands.
I have been in this town since 1990 when I started involving myself in the business area.
When I was looking for the business that I would start I considered some things because I was ministering a church by that time and I could not leave and so I decided to start the unique work that was not in the town. I started binding books mostly Bibles. To expand my business, I thought of making school bags for there was no one dealing with it. I went and bought a bag plus materials and I made a canvas bag. It looked good than the one I bought. I started making school bags from that day onwards.
When the Boda-boda came I looked at the motorbikes and I decided to expand my business again through making seat covers, which is paying me more than other things. I do serve people from 20 square km away.
2. What inspired you to make canvas bags in the first place? Please share any personal anecdotes if you can, it would be greatly appreciated!
I introduced canvas schoolbags and I have been selling them and I do give a guarantee of 2 years just to give surety that what I am making is of high quality. I have been selling in retail and my bags have gone as far as Mombasa and Kitale.
Up to now there is no competition in this business.
3. Where do you see yourself and your business in the next few years? Any plans for expansion?
I am planning to expand my business even to reach other countries. I visited Uganda and I can get market there. Also I am planning to visit Southern Sudan to find out whether I can also get a market there.
4. Further comments?
Through Zidisha, I have achieved a lot because I have managed to purchase my materials, which are very expensive. If only I can be given larger amount like Kshs 100,000 I would be in a position to reach my goals.
What I get as profit, I decide to share it with an orphan whom I have supported him in his education. It’s my prayer that one day I will be in a position of lending to others than being a borrower.
Thanks to Zidisha family for what they are doing.
Apart from the above activities in my business, I do involve in making Fishing Flies as Mr. Achintya Rai quoted in my profile after vising my workshop, which I do sell them in U.S.A and U.K. countries. I do humbly request if in Zidisha family there is someone who do the business to kindly email me.