TechInAfrica – Yvonne Nkatha and Wangui Kagera are two Kenyan Entrepreneurs who develop a business in the fresh water supply. The idea behind the business came from their personal experience of not having fresh drinking water in their homes. They named their startup Gambino Bottling, with the additional help from the other three business partners.
Nkatha told a background story about her past experience where the bottled drinking water was limited and only for the elite. They had to boil the water and cooled it down before consuming it. This unhappy experience led them to do some research on how to produce clean water without having to boil it.
In 2008, they began their study on water purification. It was when they started the business. At first, it wasn’t that promising.
“We did not actually know about the market and how our business could work. We just did not want to boil water for drinking and we wanted an affordable option. We started small but over the years we have been growing,” Nkatha says. “No one had planned it to be a full venture. It was just a business that would be run by someone else,” said Kagera.
Nkatha’s background was laws while Kagera was business administration and finance. The path they chose was far from business ownership. At first, they just wanted to give it a chance for several years, but then when the time passed, they realized that they loved what they were doing. They wanted to take it seriously to the next level.
Even though it was a new venture to them, they were excited about it. At the very beginning, their first customers were happened to be their family members and friends. They dealt with the production, marketing, and delivery themselves. Currently, their market is around Nairobi and hopefully, they will be able to expand their market to other locations across the country.
Gambino Bottling is not the only company in the fresh water supply business, there are many other similar companies in the business. To better compete, they started to offer more diversity and differentiation in their products and services. Later, the company introduced purification on-site services which eliminate plastic bottles.
Both entrepreneurs agreed that running a business is hard work as you have face challenges. But they are optimistic about the future of Gambino Bottling.
“Entrepreneurship is hard, but I don’t think that anything good comes easy. If you feel a burning desire to do something, go for it. At the end of the day, you try and fail and it is a learning experience,” said Nkatha.
“People need to read more; I wish we read more. At some point as entrepreneurs, we are busy in the day-to-day running of the business but it is equally important to sit back, read and grow,” Kagera added.