Enterprise

Milkman taps automated machine to mint good cash

kibe

Mr Paul Kibe at his premises in Umoja Estate. PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • At 25 years, Mr Kibe now owns a milk automated teller machine (ATM) at Inner Core, Umoja Estate, in Nairobi.
  • Before starting up, he was employed at one of the milk ATM kiosks in Naivasha, earning Sh10,000 monthly before moving to Nairobi in search of greener pastures.
  • As fate would have it, in 2014 he was being hired by another milk vendor in Umoja.

Paul Kibe has never been in any other business field apart from the dairy industry. It was his first employment after secondary school education.

At 25 years, Mr Kibe now owns a milk automated teller machine (ATM) at Inner Core, Umoja Estate, in Nairobi. Before starting up, he was employed at one of the milk ATM kiosks in Naivasha, earning Sh10,000 monthly before moving to Nairobi in search of greener pastures. As fate would have it, in 2014 he was being hired by another milk vendor in Umoja.

But Mr Kibe always wanted to start his own milk kiosk. He discovered that there was much-untapped potential for selling milk through use of the automated milk dispensers.

He started saving for capital once he resigned. By the time he was leaving employment in 2019, Mr Kibe had saved Sh110,000.

“The amount was not enough to start my venture. The price for the machine alone was Sh250,000. I turned to a savings and credit co-operative society (sacco) and borrowed the difference plus some amount on top which I used to pay for my business premises and the first stock of milk,” he says.

Mr Kibe’s Jerecate Milk ATM, which opened its doors last year has become a popular point for many consumers in Umoja. He says he has no regret over his decision to go into the business. In a month he makes a profit of between Sh25000 and Sh30,000.

“Milk is an essential commodity that has better returns. It’s important to understand the area of a business venture before starting because that gives you an advantage over your competitors with minimal knowledge,” he advices anyone with a passion for entrepreneurship.

A milk ATM guarantees safety of milk because there is minimal contact of the produce by handlers like in the case of milk hawkers, a fact the Mr Kibe believes has endeared his customers to his buisness.

ACCURATE RECORDS

Use of the machines also offers value for customers as they are sure about quantity for the money spent.

“A litre of milk from the kiosk retails Sh20 less compared to packaged and manufactured produce. Furthermore, no extraction such as fats is done from our milk compared to packaged produce. We give our customers the whole content from the cow,” adds Mr Kibe.

Another advantage about the machine is that it has the capacity to record milk sold daily, which can also be stored and retrieved for months.

Through that, it’s easier to monitor both transactions. The machines come with an in-built refrigerator that keeps the product safe for a week although his milk rarely lasts more than a day.

“I thank Superior Highlands Dairies for being able to supply me with milk for all this time. I have no complaints over the diary supplier because my customers have never complained about the milk quality,” he says.

FLUCTUATING SUPPLY

Mr Kibe, however, hopes that the price of ATM machines could come down so that many people would acquire them and start their own ventures to create more employment opportunities.

He plans to open another kiosk but advises anyone looking to venture into the business to understand its ups and downs which includes fluctuations of produce depending on the climate.

“We have noticed a shift by consumers who today appreciate milk obtained from ATM kiosks. The biggest problem is that prices from our suppliers sometimes fluctuate depending on the milk production and supply,”he says.

“Whenever the supply is low, we end up incurring the expenses as we can’t impose extra charges on our customers or manipulate the machines or quantity since they have been designed as per standards.”