How a high school drop-out overcame odds to build a multi-million shilling empire

Meshack Kimutai was only 16 years old when he decided to try his hand at business

He had dropped out of secondary school in Form Two due to lack of fees.

With the help of some street boys, Kimutai started a car wash business in Eldoret where he would earn Sh100 for every vehicle washed.

"We would wash at least 30 matatus daily until around August, the same year, when I acquired a pressure car washing machine.”

The business became profitable and with time he was able to pay the Sh40,000 he had borrowed to buy the car washing machine.

After saving up enough money, Kimutai returned to school in 2007 where he went back to Form Two.

Greener pastures

“I passed really well. I got a C plus in my final exams, I am not ashamed to say ,” says the third born in a family of seven.

Fresh from high school, Kimutai boarded the next bus to Mombasa in search of greener pastures.

“I would sleep in night clubs, sipping one bottle of soda the entire night. I thought Mombasa had bigger opportunities but they did not seem forthcoming,” he said.

Kimutai, however, did not despair and after several attempts of trying to secure a job, he eventually got employed as a tallying officer at a logistics company.

Earning Sh1,000 from a six-hour shift, he again saved up and acquired a Sh42,000 laptop which he used registered his company, Seal Travels, at a cost of Sh60,000.

Travel advisories

He however encountered a few challenges in the initial stages owing to rampant cartels in the tours and travel industry and the travel advisories issued by the international communities because of terror attacks that rocked the coastal region.

After weathering the storm, Seal Travels now sits as a recognised international accommodations booking system.

The business' success led to the birth of another multi million shilling firm, Mesh Group Ltd.

The company deals in real estate, construction and general supplies. It runs an estate in Eldoret valued at over Sh40 million.

On his future plans, Kimutai said he intends to establish a business empire and is already running expos in various parts of the country.

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