By Betsy Ramser Jaime
Titus Kemboi Kiplangat describes himself as, a married man living in Embomos, Konoin.
With a passion for computers, he completed a Computer Engineering course in Nairobi and gained invaluable IT skills.
He says, ‘After the completion of my course, I worked as a computer laboratory technician in one of the colleges in Kenya where I gained practical and hands-on experience. But afterward, I decided to diversify my education by joining a university and pursued an Accounting course.’
Today he is able to merge his business and IT training as he operates his own cybercafe. Describing how he got started he says, ‘My business is in line with my career in information technology, having well understood the industry I decided to do it as a business to boost my livelihood. I ventured into the business because of the demand in the area. It started in the year 2011 In Bomet town out of what I had saved from my previous employment salary where I had only one computer for the administrator and a printer alongside and a workforce of only one person. The administrator could sometimes allow the client to use his desktop when there was no work which I felt was embarrassing and I saw the need to expand the business a bit to accommodate all my clients without sharing resources. ‘
Over time, he’s been able to grow and evolve the business as he says, ‘Due to the steady rise in demand, I was forced to increase the computers to enable my clients to be served better. I added two more computers and consequently hired one more personnel, and at that moment I could net in KSH 20,000 a month having paid the operating expenses.’
Through Zidisha, Titus has received seven Zidisha funded loans, between February 2015 and June 2021. As Titus got started with Zidisha, he dreamed of adding additional computers and employees to his cybercafe, both of which, are goals that he has now achieved.
Using his Zidisha funded loans, Titus has increased his number of machines, bought a photocopier and printer, purchased stationery and other business supplies, and has also hired additional employees.
As the business continued to grow, Titus applied for a loan of $399 in February 2016, writing, ‘Hi lenders! So far am very thankful for how far I have been brought. The previously serviced loan brought a lot of changes to the business. I am so positive that this newly applied will do the same or even better considering the nature of demand in the area. To curb the demand I have decided to extend the business to a financial offering business by opening an mpesa just within the same premise. The mpesa requires ksh 90,000 for float, cash, and initial cost. Currently, I have some savings and I require very little to meet the demand. I shall be very grateful upon consideration of my request.’
A few years later, even with the difficulties and struggles of Covid-19, Titus was able to see the opportunities for his business as he requested his largest loan yet of $643 and shared, ‘Covid-19 presented a lot of opportunities for cyber businesses as people are working online, attending meetings, and or doing their examinations. The resources I had have been overwhelmed by this demand and as a result, there is a need to expand the resources. The proceeds from this loan will be used to purchase four additional computers to be able to absorb the demand.’
Soon afterward, Titus took to his discussion page on June 23, 2021, and wrote, ‘The current state of the business. I have taken the hand of God through Zidisha. The support from you is immeasurable. May Zidisha live long to support our communities and economy. You have played a role in our livelihood.’
Would you like to make a difference in the life of an entrepreneur like Titus? Make sure to head on over to our Browse Projects page to see what other Zidisha business owners are accomplishing all around the world.