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Entrepreneur who turned Sh0.5m loan into thriving property firm

Bob Kinyua, proprietor of Marabou Lounges Company Ltd. PHOTO | MWANGI MUIRURI
Bob Kinyua, proprietor of Marabou Lounges Company Ltd. PHOTO | MWANGI MUIRURI 

Bob Kinyua invested in his first piece of land in 2010 at the age of 32 using money borrowed from Youth Enterprise Fund’s Mathira Constituency kitty in Nyeri County.

“I bought a half acre piece of land for Sh200,000 on the outskirts of Chaka Town out of the Sh500,000 interest-free loan that I had qualified for,” he said.

He invested the rest of the cash in an electronics shop in Mombasa town. By 2014, his net savings from his Mombasa business had risen to Sh10 million, while the parcel of land had appreciated to Sh5 million. “With a capital base of Sh15 million, I knew my road to riches had taken shape and it was high time I implemented my dream of becoming a property mogul,” he said.

Mr Kinyua settled for building middle class entertainment joints, which he leased out.

“I started by building a Sh5 million building in Karatina which I leased to an investor for Sh20,000 monthly rent. The deal was that I get advance rent payment for five years, which saw me pocket Sh1.2 million upfront,” he said.

He used the proceeds to set up Marabou Bar and Restaurant in Uhuru Highway Shopping Mall, Nairobi, which earns him more that Sh1 million per month.

“The idea was to cushion myself from running out of cash flow which would have forced me to borrow. With the profit, I have been able to buy 100 acres of land in Nakuru, Mombasa, Murang’a, Nyeri and Nairobi counties at Sh30 million,” he said.

Today Mr Kinyua runs a land buying and selling company named Red Oak Company Ltd as well as Marabou Lounges Company Ltd.

A 2001 Sales and Marketing graduate of the University of Nairobi, Mr Kinyua said that his employment plan was never to look for a job in the first place.

He said that he wanted to be a billionaire and could not see how employment would enable him make enough for investment. By 2013, his savings had grown to Sh100 million while his gross worth was Sh400 million.

‘‘It was the year that I realised I was spending too much on my lifestyle and that being single, I had no responsibilities that justified my yearn for riches.

“I realised that I had no option but to get married so as to insulate my spending sprees with marital responsibilities.

‘‘I got married in 2013 and my life stabilised. Family life, I realised, was a necessary pillar in a man’s social and financial life stability,” he said.

What are his future plans? Mr Kinyua has it all mapped out. He sought advice from financial and investment consultants who helped him draw up a growth strategy.

“The best form of investment is in the property sector. Buy land, sell it for a profit, build entertainment joints. The advice I was seeking was on how to safely cut property deals and management of my assets,” he said.

His immediate headache, he said, is how to be a billionaire by 2030.

“It is a challenge that I am up to the task. I have my eyes trained on that goal. I am nearly there with buildings in Eldoret, Nyeri, Kisumu, Nakuru and Meru and by 2030 I aspire to have a presence in some other 10 towns.”

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