#EntrepreneurOfTheDay – John Muinde started Danross Media Africa with Only Sh3000
NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 8 – John Muinde is the Founder and Chief Executive of Danross Media Africa, a public relations and communication firm in Nairobi Kenya.
Muinde left his Job at Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE), to start his consultancy firm.
He speaks to Money Series Africa on his journey.
- How did you start your business?
Danross Media Africa started back in 2016 as a business name with an aim of providing Strategic Communications Consultancy services focusing on the development of powerful, innovation and creative solutions in the market.
The business was registered as a limited company in 2017 in order to meet the needs of the growing clientele.
As a child, I was taught if I have to do something, then I have to do it to the best of my abilities and therefore my desire to give the business undivided attention.
- What made you start it? The motive behind it.
I grew up in the village (Mivumoni location) somewhere in Kwale County. I started the business to honor my parents especially my mom who had struggled to bring us up together with my three siblings after the demise of our father and hence the name DANROSS. I wanted to ensure my parent’s sacrifices will never be forgotten in many years to come.
Secondly, I was motivated by the desire to create employment opportunities for others through the business as well as hone my business management skills through the business as they say experience is the best teacher.
Finally, I am passionate about PR and therefore I wanted to play my part in brand building in Kenya and across the continent by making a meaningful contribution to the profession.
- How much capital did you start with?
I started the business with only Kshs 3,000 and a borrowed laptop from a friend. Since, I didn’t have enough capital; I had to ensure that the profit realized from the business was ploughed back to the business. Today, the business enjoys a steady growth and serving some of the biggest listed companies in Kenya as well as some multinational brands.
- What were the limitations/hurdles when starting?
Capital is usually the biggest challenge for most entrepreneurs. When we started, we had to use our own savings plus borrowed funds to run the business and would get a refund when we get business.
Two, since we didn’t have our own equipment we had to depend on other service providers to provide essential services like production to our clients, a model that was working against us. This meant we couldn’t compete effectively in the market since we acted as brokers in our own jobs and hence lack of control for the quality of our product in the market.
Since last year, we have invested heavily in the business especially in the production side of the business. This has enabled us to control the quality of our work, turnaround time and pricing which has given us a competitive advantage in the market.
- How long have you been in business?
I have been in business for the last two and half years. This has been the best time of my life and I regret why I didn’t start earlier. I have always loved challenges and being in business provides me with an opportunity to stay focused since I don’t like routine jobs.
- Is Kenya’s business environment conducive for entrepreneurs?
In my opinion, Kenya’s business environment remains vibrant. However, stifling taxation, run away corruption and dwindling spending power for the middle class remains the biggest stumbling block for many entrepreneurs. I have learnt from experience that the grass is not always greener on the other side and therefore as entrepreneurs and startups we must innovate to keep our businesses afloat.
Two, dwindling fortunes for many listed companies points to a fundamental problem in the economy and therefore, I believe the government can play a critical role in creating policies that favor startups in order to encourage more youths to venture into business and create employment for majority of unemployed youths.
- What are the myths you’ve heard about entrepreneurship? Debunk some?
One of the myths I have heard about entrepreneurship, is that you need to start a business once you retire from employment. I believe you need to start now while you still have the energy to ran around and take risks. If you have to wait for the next 20 or 30 years to start, the person who started today will have a 20 or 30 years’ experience in running and managing businesses.
There is also the myth about enough capital. Start with what you have, where you are. Any shilling invested at the right place will grow over time.
- Whats next for you? Where do you see yourself next future?
I intend to spend more time in the business (Danross Media Africa) until the business is able to stand on its own before I embark on our expansion strategy to the other African markets.
My dream is to build a successful world class business that can compete with the best PR firms in the world. I see myself working to build the next biggest and successful 360 degree Strategic Consultancy Firm in the continent.