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I quit accounting career for a garage business : The Standard

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Almost every town or cities within Kenya has a garage which caters for the automobile sector. The rise of the garage business has been boosted by the fact that most millennials can now afford vehicles easily due to the affordability and financial options available across the board.

This new trend has created a booming business venture for most Kenyans, Mark Okumu, the founder and Managing Director of Haji Motors Limited is a living testimony. He has been in the garage business for the last 16 years having quitted his well-paying job as an accountant to venture into the auto repair business.
“ Ever since I was a young man I had this love for garage and I would hang around the mechanics just to get to understand the business,even though I trained as an accountant I felt that something was missing.So one day after having saved a few coins I decided to quit the accounting career and venture fully into the auto-repair business. I started out on my backyard and for the last 16 years I can say that I was never wrong to venture into this business, “comments Mr Okumu.
Today Haji Motors boost of an ultra-modern garage that is capable of handling all luxury vehicles having grown from repairing just two vehicles per week to over 50 vehicles per week.

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Mr Okumu adds that; “One thing one should know is that this kind of business requires a lot of commitment and loyalty plays a critical role especially if you are starting off. The good service you offer to the customers is what will market your brand to other people. Over the years we have grown from two employees to over 30 full-time staff and we have expanded into a fully-fledged garage capable of handling over 50 vehicles per day.”.
One of the drivers within the auto-repair industry in Kenya is the availability genuine spare parts.
 “The demand for both better services and quality spare parts like tyres within the country has enabled us grow our business. Our tyre brand –Goodyear is one of the most sort out tyre brands in Kenya, this has been complemented by our ultra-modern garage that offers 100 percent caring of our premium and luxury vehicles. We offer all kinds of services that is offered anywhere in the world.”
In order to keep up with the automobile technological advancement, Haji Motors offers monthly training to its staff.
“The automobile industry is ever changing and today vehicles that we have are not the same we had 10 years ago and that’s why based on our clients, our staff must always attend a monthly training as way of ensuring that they are at par with international standards which are required in this sector, “comments Mr Okumu.

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Recently the company was awarded among the top 10 SMEs in the just concluded 11th edition of the annual Top 100 Mid-sized Companies Survey competition.
According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) the volume of imported vehicles between 2005 and 2017 grew at over 300 per cent from 33,000 to over 120,000 units.
“As a country we only have three assembly plants, and they all produce vehicles with wholly imported parts that require no domestic manufacturing input. As Haji Motors we plan to venture into assembling plants so as to create jobs for our TVET graduates who have the required skills. At the moment our Good Tyre business is doing well in the market within and also East Africa region,” adds Mr Okumu.
He praises the government for identifying the auto sector as a key driver of the country’s industrialisation.
“I believe that the government has interest of its citizens at heart and by realizing the automobile industry as key contributor to the GDP and this will also offer local based automobile repair sector will play a critical role. By investing on special economic zones such as assembly centres will offer not only employment but also boost the automobile sector in Kenya, “concludes Mr Okumu.

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Haji Motors Limited is a member of Kenya Motor Repairers Association(KEMRA) a lobby group that champions for the rights of all motor repairers within the country.

Kenya National Bureau of StatisticsKenya Motor Repairers Association



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