During the Covid-19 pandemic that hit the country, many Kenyans faced harsh consequences, especially those in the employment sector who ended up losing jobs.
One such individual is Eva Ngugi, a sales consultant in the furniture manufacturing industry, who was left at a crossroads after losing her job in 2020, where she had worked for 13 years.
Ngugi found herself in the midst of a job hunt, unsure of her next move
While starting her own business had always been an ideal plan for the future, the circumstances forced her hand.
“Starting a business in future was the ideal plan. I did not have another choice as I was job hunting but I felt compelled to start my business,” She said during a previous Interview.
Her idea, one she had contemplated for years, was to establish Deltex General Suppliers , a furniture-making business serving offices, homes, and institutions.
Staying within the familiar furniture industry, where she possessed valuable industry knowledge, seemed like the logical choice.
With some savings and support from her father, who provided her with a small office space, Eva officially became the managing director of Deltex in January 2021.
Her journey, however, was far from smooth sailing.
As a startup, she couldn’t afford to hire a full team, which meant wearing multiple hats to minimize expenses.
“I was a jack of all trades when I launched. I couldn’t afford to hire people and I did most of the leg work to ensure that operations ran smoothly. It was the only way I could minimise expenses.”
Starting a business during a pandemic is a risk that many would shy away from. Furniture, typically considered non-essential, seemed like an even riskier endeavor.
However, Eva was undeterred. She identified an opportunity within the crisis – people working from home who needed comfortable office furniture.
This became her primary market segment, and she promptly started offering affordable at-home office furniture products to cater to their needs.
Eva leveraged the power of social media to promote her business, with Facebook as her initial anchor. Using these platforms allowed her to expand her customer base, generate leads, and grow her portfolio.
Eventually, she extended her online presence to other social media platforms and channeled her operations through her website.
Drawing from her previous role as a sales consultant, Eva reached out to her existing client database, where she had created rapport and trust.
Eva’s success can also be attributed to her financial acumen. Her background in sales and marketing equipped her with the skills to calculate markups, manage costs, and monitor monthly sales effectively, ensuring that her business remained profitable and sustainable.
Today, Deltex General Suppliers, owned by Eva Ngugi, has grown to be one of the major suppliers offering office furniture, student furniture, storage cabinets, bulk filing storage, safes, kitchen & wardrobes, carpeting, partitioning, window blinds & curtains, home & interior designing