From Underwear hawker to Makindu motors owner: The inspiring story of Stephen Ngei

Stephen Ngei the owner of Makindu Motors is among the people with an inspiring from grass to grace story.

His story goes back to the 90s as a hawker who sold paraffin and second-hand underwear to make ends meet.

In a past Interview, Ngei said that he would walk to bars and joints hawking innerwear and jewelry for women in Makindu town and other areas along the Nairobi-Mombasa road.

“Revellers and barmaids were my targets and they were ready customers this made my business boom in no time,” Ngei said.

After saving for some time, he changed the business to selling second-hand bicycles. The business was targeting Government teachers who experienced transport challenges to and fro school.

“They were the only civil servants around and were able to obtain loans this making my business viable,” he narrated.

While in the bicycle business, he saved, and with just 1.2 million shillings he ventured into the motorcycle business.

Ngei began importing motorbikes from Dubai and the target market was still teachers.

“I began with importing 25 motorbikes and the second time the shipment doubled,” he said.

One challenge about importing the bikes from Dubai was some of them came with damaged parts forcing him to sell them for a cheaper price.

In 2004, he landed a deal with Chinese Skygo motorbikes and began importing unassembled motorbikes that would be assembled and sold to customers.

This reduced his losses and made his business grow in no time landing two other major deals that saw him sell manufactured motor vehicles in the country.

The company is doing well despite competition from Chinese companies selling cheap brands but that has not been a bother.

In 2013 the company won the best-exhibiting stand in the motorcycle industry during the Nakuru National Agricultural show.

His journey has however not been all roses, the businessman lost Sh181 million in a fake laptop tender at the Deputy President’s office a few years ago. The matter is still going on in court. In this case, seven people have been charged with the fake laptop tender.

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