‘[Tweet “The joy of doing business is you get to be in financial freedom”], for me I have always wanted to be independent not always relying on my parents – this is the talk for Franklin Wallah C.E.O and founder of Arab City Collections Ltd. For the record getting this lad’s story has not been an easy task being that he is very busy and involved a lot with his business never leaving any moment to chance but finally it is here with us. Franklin in his early days high school was interested in drawing something that he gained more interest in that later on established the basis of his business. In Form 2, with the help of an uncle he was able to acquire a t-shirt printing/branding machine that would later see him set up in Umoja and start business.
It was not all easy since he did not want to involve his parents so after high school through Riballes Sacco he got a loan with which he involved in laptop trade here and there but this was not enough. In his high school days he used to brand t-shirts for friends during festivals and so the urge to continue kept on growing and it is then that with the help of two cousins and a friend they sought to acquire a shop in town.
He accommodated the three which meant selling his equipment and shop in Umoja to do business in town. Currently, Rajab his distant cousin sells clothes and electronics at the shop, Roba his cousin deals in designer shoes and lady hand bags while their close friend runs the photocopy business and the back of the shop he runs his branding business.
Franklin Wallah’s idea was motivated by his Uncle having introduced him to the business and learning a lot from his Uncle who has been doing the branding business since early 90s in the Nyanza region. ‘In branding there is a lot of money but you can’t just sit on the money it’s good to venture out in other businesses, ‘says Wallah. He also goes on to share that when a business is selling out and there are customers he would advise for alone entrepreneurship but in the case where there is little to run the business it is good to engage partnership.
In terms of progress Wallah confesses that since initialization the business has grown tremendously having worked with Lukenya Girls (2013), Monark School lower class (2014), Daystar Corporate Affairs, Daystar University Student Association and the Coca Cola Company. At the moment he is in a contract with Daystar to brand shirts for the University’s 37th graduation ceremony that is set for the 27th June 2015 and on the same day he will be working with Young Entrepreneurs for whom he has designed over 200 shirts to sell.
Wallah prides himself a business minded man that pushed him to open a shop in the Daystar region to keep him busy at the same time earning him money. Since he opened the business a few months after joining Daystar the shop has gained prominence among the students that has seen him go on to win the much coveted Entrepreneur of The Year Award 2014 in the Students of Excellence Awards 2014 held in Mavuno Church, Hill City.
Though he confesses most of his energy goes to the shop in town since it supports the business in Daystar. In his plans he intend s to open shop in Nakuru and also he serves as a Marketer with Coca Cola with whom he is in talks to open Coke Studio in Daystar or Kenyatta University. He also works with Jumia as a Marketer and Delivery guy with whom he has had great success delivering goods from which he earns Kshs. 500/- per delivery.
Despite all this he chose not to involve his parents since he knew they wouldn’t approve of his business, this he confesses is a challenge since for most times the parents know he is in school studying yet with the business he moves a lot. Among his other challenges also include: lack of funds to pay employees since he has currently employed five people, having not studied business he confesses that is challenge, incompetent employees which means he has to work harder to keep the business running also business with friends do not together, juggling finances for rent, city council, business license renewal and lastly balancing books with business means a lot on school since he sacrifices more of his time in the business.
At the end of the day he is happy and proud of his business since he has not fallen to his challenges finding great motivation from successful business minded people around him that push him to maintain the status quo. In his last words as we concluded the interview he seeks to encourage entreprenuers and people looking to open startups. He advises that: go to business with a heart to do it and know it is not a game so strive for success, Let people in school learn how to create business rather than lazy around, never give up despite the challenges and certainly God is the key drive so confide in him and place your business in his able hands.
Arab City Collection Ltd deals in: all types of clothing, shoes, cosmetics, all wear and beauty accessories corporate events, custom items, t-shirts, branding, electronics etc.
Avenues for his business are:
Facebook- Arab City Collections LTD.
Offices: Opposite Daystar University-Daystar Office
: 6th shop on Muindi Mbingu Street- Town Office