In 2015, Andrew Muriungi made a life-changing decision that left his family and peers in disbelief.
At the time, he held a prestigious position as an advertising manager at a leading media house and was earning a salary that most could only dream of.
With a promising career ahead, his future seemed secure.
However, something within him was restless, and he decided to take a leap of faith into the world of entrepreneurship.
Here is his story as told by Kenyan Report.
Muriungi’s career trajectory had been remarkable.
He had started as a junior business executive and, within just seven years, had climbed to the pinnacle of the media industry. He joined the ranks of media honchos in managerial positions. His career was flourishing, and the financial rewards were substantial.
But success in his career didn’t mean he was immune to the challenges of everyday life.
In 2014, Muriungi decided to build his family’s dream house in Kitengela, Kajiado County. It was a significant project, and he soon discovered the complexities and frustrations that often accompany construction projects.
Dealing with unscrupulous suppliers and trying to manage the construction project from a distance quickly became a daunting task.
“I remember suppliers from different hardware stores would inflate the prices so much that before I was done purchasing the materials, my costs had gone up by more than Sh200,000, just from buying roofing sheets alone. Muriungi recalled
Frustration and a strong desire for a reliable and affordable solution pushed Muriungi to consider alternatives.
This experience marked the genesis of Rhino Mabati.
The Birth of Rhino Mabati
Muriungi decided to take control of his destiny by venturing into manufacturing.
His vision was to provide construction materials that were not only of the highest quality but also customizable to meet individual preferences. Rhino Mabati Factory Limited was born.
Armed with savings, family support, and a bank loan, Muriungi raised Sh5 million, and he was ready to take on a new adventure.
He invested this capital in importing specialized machinery from China, which included a corrugated iron sheet making machine and a nail production line.
“The Chinese firm installed the machine as well as trained me and my staff about our automated machine,” he says, adding it took three months for the pre-ordered machinery to be assembled and another three months to ship it in.
It took a total of six months for the machinery to be ordered, assembled, and shipped to Kenya. The commitment to learning and adapting to this new industry was paramount for Muriungi’s success.
Putting Customers First
Muriungi’s approach to Rhino Mabati was clear – he would cater to customers’ specific needs and provide them with the freedom to customize their construction materials.
This approach addressed a major issue in the construction industry. Many buyers had limited choices due to sellers prioritizing profits over customer satisfaction.
Understanding the frustration of buyers who had to settle for materials that did not meet their preferences or needs, Muriungi set out to change the narrative. He emphasized quality and a customer-centric approach.
“I make what people want and the color they want,” says Muriungi.
“Corrugated iron-sheet sellers are keen to make a sale for a product that gives them the highest profit margin regardless of quality. Woe unto you if you are building a house and are working since you will have no choice but to take what your fundi tells you.”
Muriungi’s dedication to providing high-quality, customizable construction materials soon paid off.
His business thrived, and Rhino Mabati Factory Limited became a trusted name in the market. The company rapidly gained a reputation for providing durable, reliable, and aesthetically pleasing construction materials.
The year-old investment that began with a capital of Sh5 million quickly expanded.
As of 2022, the business was valued at Sh30 million.
As Muriungi continues to pursue excellence in his business, he also looks to the future.
He has ambitious plans for the growth of Rhino Mabati.
He envisions expanding the company’s presence across East Africa within the next five years.