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Business. A very foreign concept to me.  Business Studies. I dropped it the first chance I could because I couldn’t get the difference between credits and debits or how debentures could help me or the world to be a better place. The second I dropped Business Studies is the second I picked up ignorance. At the mention of shares, stock mark… blah blah blah… I was not listening. I even had such a hard time learning how to pronounce the word ‘Entrepreneurship’. Ha-ha you also got it wrong.

Anyway, my ignorance has only made me dumb and broke but mostly dumb or is it broke? My ignorance has made me miss out on learning how to make, invest and sustain my money and God knows how I really want to be a millionaire. A millionaire in sterling pounds abeg. So I dropped ignorance and picked up financial literacy because I don’t think manna and quails will be dropping any time soon from heaven to provide for me. I got to do something.

Here’s a story of how Mwangi wa Kariuki did something.

Anoni: Tell us about yourself.

Mwangi: I am Mwangi wa Kariuki, the Co-Founder and CEO at Kicks and heels (K.H) which is the first footwear specific e-commerce platform in the region. I am 21 years old and a 3rd year student at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Information Technology.

Anoni: What do you think made you who you are today?

Mwangi: I was born and raised in Kamiti Prison into a family of 6, with 4 siblings, I being the first born. Growing up I have always had an interest in solving world problems. I once bought a 200 page exercise book and wrote a new idea on how to solve a specific problem in the world on each page. That is what wired my brain to be an innovator.

My first experience with a computer was in class 6 when we used to collect the internal parts from the prison waste and try to come up with a working model, most of which were futile, but that interest and sense of wonder has always lived in me. Those 2 obsessions are what made me who I am today.

Anoni: What inspires you? 

Mwangi: Looking back at my life, my response to that question has changed dramatically over time, when I was a kid I wanted to be a pilot so that I could travel the world, when I got to high school that changed to being a doctor so that I could save lives, but later in life, what really inspires me is the fact that we have so many problems we face as humanity, and we hold the solutions to all the problems within ourselves.

Anoni: Tell us about your business.

Mwangi: At Kicks and Heels, we provide a vast collection of shoes, close to 3500 pairs in all sizes and give them the privilege to order any and we deliver it to any corner of the country within a span of 48  hours, if any shoe needs to be shipped from abroad we sort that within 7 days. What really gives me satisfaction is not the sales that we make but the feedback we get after delivering a shoe, as I like to say it’s always our first delivery, the attention to detail, the constant engagement with our customer, the clean packaging and the seamless delivery. The customers’ needs come first.

Anoni: What was the capital for Kicks and Heels?

Mwangi: when we started I invested 1.2 million from the proceeds from my other company. This was used to come up with the platform and get us going through the first 5 months of business.

Anoni: How much is the business worth?

Mwangi: It is worth ksh2 million.

Anoni: How many employees do you have?

Mwangi: I have 5 members in my team, 2 developers, 1 accountant and an operations officer. 

Anoni: What is your business model?

Mwangi: Our model of working is also revolutionary, instead of having a central office where our employees come and work, we have partnered up with WICARE, a Nairobi based startup that provides low cost and professional services to businesses with an aim of transforming them digitally by leveraging a global network of programmers and designers, they are the frontier in the future of work. The only people who report for work are the operations manager and his team who ensure the right shoe goes to the right place. This model saves us 70% of the money we would be using to run the company while improving efficiency by 45%.

Anoni: How many shoes have you sold thus far? 

Mwangi: We have been operational for 4 months now and sold over 400 pairs of shoes till date. Our shoes range from ksh500 and above. We are working on a model to enable local shoe sellers to sell and display their products on our platform and give them a wider scope of market and satisfy the customers in the process. This will go a long way to ensuring our business is 100% sustainable and easy to scale.

Anoni: What are some challenges you have encountered in your business?

Mwangi: Despite the good track record, we are faced with quite a number of setbacks. The cost to ship a product in and out of the country is quite high and requires a lot of patience, but we are working on a solution to cure that problem in house. Another is getting the right people to join the team is quite a process since we have to train someone from scratch. The government needs to come up with methods to enable the youth in the country to get the right training in business and technology aside from the conventional schooling.

Anoni: Is kicks and heels your full time job? 

Mwangi: Yes it is my full time job, I double as the chairman of the parent company, Jenga Group, where we invent and innovate around commerce and customer satisfaction. This keeps my team and I in check and constantly dedicated to make sure we make the life of a customer a living heaven. We believe that a satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all time; you can take that to the bank.

Anoni: What advice do you have for the youth?

Mwangi: My advice to the youth, have a ton of crazy world changing ideas, they may not be anything at the start, but with grit and determination, you will get there, and never forget this, be more involved in the world that way we can be part of the solutions to the world’s problems. 

Anoni: Where do you see yourself in the coming years?

Mwangi: I see Kicks and Heels branching out to other products and creating a great conversation on matters online commerce. I see us serving 70% of the world population through one of our tailored solutions; it is always a good thing to dream big, it has never failed me.

Anoni: What are some of your achievements thus far?

Mwangi: It is getting to put smiles on peoples’ faces; this is an achievement bigger than any award we can ever get. We have built our company on the clear path that a customer must enjoy and it is our imperative to ensure that the people we serve enjoy and have the incentive to buy from us again.

Anoni: What difference are you at Kicks and Heels making in society?

Mwangi: We are the change we want to see in the world, instead of complaining about something you do not like be the change you want to see in the world. For instance our model of delivery is 60% sustainable using environment friendly methods to transport the products, this goes a long way to combat carbon emission and make the world go green. In our parent company we are coming up with ways to combat unemployment by creating a workforce of remote service providers, it’s time we change the narrative and stop blaming the higher power and solve our problems one at a time.

Anoni: What is the future for Kicks and Heels?

Mwangi: We aspire to be one big solution for all your shopping needs while leveraging on technology. We want to create a future where you can print a shoe for a date from your home or get your evening dinner delivered to you by an e-bicycle.

Wow! This is inspiring, right? Si kila saa Sirikali saidia. Kicks and heels made me think that it’s not that we do not want to be entrepreneurs, it’s not that we do not have ideas because I mean, the brilliance in this generation is mind blowing; it’s that we lack information or a guide on how to actualize our ideas with whatever resources we have. We are not sure what it means to be an entrepreneur and how we can be entrepreneurs. We constantly fill up our minds with misconceptions and excuses that we didn’t do business studies so we automatically can’t do business or be entrepreneurs. Well, it really is the time to unlearn and learn. You can read and reread your high school business studies notes or the business studies text book ‘Inventor’ ha-ha but there’s only so much that that can help you with.

If you ask us here at Anoni, we are convinced that you have to equip yourself in order to lay a good foundation to jumpstart your entrepreneurship journey or attain financial autonomy. What better way than with CENTONOMY! Centonomy Campus Edition is a financial literacy program that makes money and money related matters make sense. Heck, don’t we all want money to make sense?

You heard from us first. Joining Centonomy is one of the best adulting decisions Anoni has made in a while. Believe me when I say in a while (wink wink). Register for session 32 that starts on 3rd July, 2021, won’t you? And maybe you can get yourself a yacht in Dubai, younahmean? And also shoes from Kicks and Heels.


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  1. Such an amazing article.Loved every bit of it.And yes! Centonomy is the place to start.

  2. That first paragraph was so me. Heri wewe ata! I didn’t even do business. Ha! But will definitely check out the Centomy classes.

  3. I’m defininately inspired and educated on matters I didn’t perceive as important.