Joan works in Kiyembe, the home of electrical appliances and moves from place to place looking for market for her products. We caught up with her.
What is the name of your business?
Tendo Electronicals. I own a stall in a big shop along with other tenants.
When did you open up this business?
I opened it up in 2011.
It’s well known women have a phobia for electricity. Why did you go for this kind of business?
Yes, it’s true women fear electricity, but hard times call for different measures. I got involved in this business because of the boom in the construction industry. The demand for electrical appliances forced me to be part of this business.
Where do you shop from and why?
I shop from England and Turkey because they are the best in electronic business.
What type of electrical appliances do you deal in and how much do you sell them?
I deal in electrical cables, industrial electronics, different electric switches and sockets and all types of bulbs. My prices are quite affordable. They are friendly.
What was the beginning like when you were starting up this business?
The beginning was tough but I think I was lucky to have someone to guide me in terms of what to buy, from where and so on. She was even the same person who offered me a place to display my products, all free of charge.
Would you say business is good?
Business is doing well because it has gotten me from nowhere to somewhere and it’s progressing, thank God.
Where did you get the initial capital?
Through savings. Before starting up this business, I was working at Britannia Allied industries.
What does the future look like for this business?
Bright if I may say so. I see myself opening up various branches all over the country.
You are in a location where there is a lot of competition. How do you go about that?
I don’t compromise on quality because of the nature of merchandise we deal in, to protect my clients. I also ensure timely delivery to my customers, for example, at their construction sites and even upcountry. That is how I beat competition.
The products you deal in are rather delicate. How do you ensure they don’t get damaged, especially when looking for a particular item?
I have a good storage system that is to say “First in First Out”. We call it (Fifo) in electronic language.
What challenges are you facing?
I face a lot of challenges like the tax burden being so high, in flow of so many substandard products on the market, rent is high and the construction industry is undergoing a slump yet we are many people offering the same services for the few customers available.
If anyone wants to come check out your products. Where can they find you?
You can find me at Teddyz Plaza, ground floor, shop number K25.