Mr. Charles Njiru

Earlier today, I met Mr. Charles Njiru a.k.a. Mkombozi, a multi-millionaire industrialist based in Mwea, Kenya. Mr. Njiru owns the largest privately owned rice processing factory in Africa, Nice Rice Millers, valued at Ksh. 300 million. He also owns a supermarket in Embu and has vast interests in the hotel, transport and agrochemicals sectors.

He was awarded state commendation in 2011 by the former president, Mwai Kibaki, for his massive contribution in uplifting the living standards of rice farmers in the expansive Mwea irrigation scheme. When I inquired about the secret behind acquiring such wealth, he shared with me the 8 secrets to becoming a multi-millionaire.

1)    Start now

According to Mr. Njiru, the best time to start working on your business idea is now! Most people remain poor due to procrastination. Letting opportunities pass as you wait for the perfect time to invest is the surest way of not becoming a multi-millionaire. He asserts, “Lack of capital should never be a barrier!” If you have a viable business idea, write a business plan. Thereafter, seek funds from financial institutions, venture capitalists, mentors, family, and friends. Any shrewd entrepreneur is bound to see the potential of your idea and give you some seed capital.

In the event that no financial help is forthcoming, start small with your little savings. Work hard to ensure you offer services and products superior to what is on the market, maintain good relations with your customers and suppliers then plough back your profits to increase stock and expand your market. Mr. Njiru began his vast business empire with Ksh. 2500 and loan of Ksh. 500 from an uncle.

2)    Engage in social enterprise

Social enterprises are firms that apply commercial strategies to maximize improvements in human and environmental well-being rather than maximizing profits for external shareholders. Write down a list of all the problems faced by people around your area and subsequently work on finding solutions to those problems. Let the main objective of your business be making your clients’ lives better so that the idea of not using your products becomes seemingly impossible for them.

In the Mwea Irrigation Scheme, farmers would wait up to 3 months before having their harvest processed by the overwhelmed government-owned factory. Being an astute entrepreneur, he promptly converted the beer factory he owned to a rice processing factory.

When operating at full capacity, the factory processes 150 tons a day, greatly cutting the time farmers used to take before waiting to polish their rice. Notwithstanding this, his plant processes a kilo of rice for Ksh 3 only. It also offers free storage for the rice, transports the farmers to their homes in company buses and even advertises the farmers’ produce all over the country absolutely free!

3)    Take calculated risks and persevere

“Business is not for the faint-hearted! “quips Mr. Njiru.  Don’t let past misfortunes discourage you from investing in future endeavors. Learn from your past mistakes and make better financial decisions. When you have a business idea, seek the advice of gurus in that industry to avoid falling into common pitfalls, learn how things work and how to maximize profits while at the same time remaining competitive.

Drawing from his own personal experience, Mr. Njiru made losses to the tune of millions in a number of businesses even after careful planning, but that never dampened his entrepreneurial spirit. Believe in your abilities and pursue your dreams even when those around you think it’s impossible. He attributes his success to taking calculated risks and perseverance.

4)    Education

Though he never got a chance to be admitted to a university, Mr. Njiru is very passionate about education resonated by his zeal to ensure all his 3 children acquire at least a masters degree. However, he faults the mentality held by many who amass impressive academic papers so that they can seek employment. He is of the opinion that people should acquire formal education and afterward supplement it with street smarts to develop life-transforming business ideas. “That’s how our country can achieve double-digit economy growth and reduce unemployment levels.”

He urges young entrepreneurs pursuing technical disciplines like engineering to also do business-related courses in order to effectively manage their start-ups. Students should also complement theory learned in class with hands-on experience to effectively compete with their counterparts in developed nations.

Mr. Charles Njiru a.k.a. Mkombozi,
Mr. Charles Njiru a.k.a. Mkombozi,

5)    Continuously  seek motivation and mentorship

He blames the exponential increase of drug abuse, unemployment, and disillusionment among the youth to the lack of motivation and mentorship.

You need to hang out with multi- millionaires to become one!” he declares

Make an effort to attend talks and seminars hosting prolific individuals and get to hear their success stories” he adds. He explains that when you are continuously motivated by those who have faced greater hurdles and managed to surmount them all to achieve greatness, you become encouraged to pursue your dreams and ultimately successful.

You should also read motivational books by prosperous business people, especially ‘Beyond Expectations: from charcoal to gold’, a biography of the late Kenyan tycoon Njenga Karume.”  Apart from motivation, he advises the youth to identify people they admire and seek to be their protégés.

6)    Rise above mediocrity and average mentality

In order to grow your ideas into a viable business empire, there is need to engage in high-level thinking. View life in 3-Dimensions, exploring every possibility before making a major step. Talk to experts and learn about future trends in the sector of your interest regarding government legislation, market forces, and the ever changing technology. This will help you be adequately prepared for any eventualities.

There is also need to think big. Rise above average mentality by pursuing bigger dreams and not subscribing to limiting ideologies. He also dismissed the fallacy that in order to be a multi-millionaire one has to hold a powerful government position or embezzle taxpayers’ money. He advises the youth to desist from engaging in destructive habits and spending money on non-essentials.

7)    Do not look down upon any job

He observes that most young people hold this misconception that blue collar jobs are for the less-educated. He affirms that we the youth fail to break into the multi-millionaires club by letting hype guide us in choosing careers. Being young and with relatively fewer dependants should entice us to move away from the stable 8-5pm jobs and pursue high risk – high returns opportunities like stocks. Blue collar jobs are the new cash cows since there are fewer players in the market. “Go wherever there is a coin to be made even in the trenches and that’s how you become a multi-millionaire!”

8)    Grow your network

In the 21st century success of any business depends on 70% network and only 30% competence. Make as many friends as you can, from top government officials to your annoying neighbor and the shoe shiner on the streets. You will need them to get new clients, expedite processes and get a wind of new lucrative deals before your business rivals do.

It’s always easier to deal with a friend compared to a stranger

He also advises upcoming entrepreneurs to cultivate stronger network bonds by genuinely caring about friends welfare, go out of your their way to bail a friend out when in trouble. By doing people favors, you make them feel obligated to help you out whenever you are in need of something within their control.

I must admit, upon realizing Mr. Charles Njiru’s list, I was compelled to put in motion the business idea I’ve been harboring for some time now. Please share the 8 secrets to becoming a multi-millionaire with your friends to help them reach financial nirvana.

By Mark Maina


Add Yours
  1. 6

    I really like your piece its more incisive; i have thought of establishing an internet web based business since it only entails little capital in setting up but great interllectual capacity hope your piece will greatly go at motivating me…..

  2. 11

    What caught me is that you started writting a few months ago.. and I asked my self what have i started / done/ from a few months ago…pondering this one seriously…..

  3. 16
    Eve Kihara

    So breathtaking and you just nailed it. As young people we should endorse the Multi millionaire attitude to make it in the world of Business. I have been reading your writings for two months now i can attest you are talented. This piece is so informative. Kudos My Guy! Fro Business plans i can Help you design One………………….

  4. 25
    Jacob Kinyua Ngoroi

    Am really moved by ur inspirational.am out of with a diploma in mechanical eng and wishes to start a bs too.but am really wid nothin to make thz dream a reality…….kindly offer me a job in your company.thenx

    • 26
      Mark Maina

      unfortunately we took a break so we can work on something else. I will hit you up soonest we resume. meanwhile you can search for other gigs. don’t turn down any opportunity however little the pay is

  5. 35
    Laban Maloi

    A great piece there Mark. You never dissapoint! I too have a dream of becoming a multimillionare.. I have a registered company though currently its a start up. I am sure it will grow into a multi million venture one day through hard work.
    Mark, what does your company deal with?

    • 36

      Thanks Laban. Basically it was a construction company. I completed my first contract then it hit a major hurdle so I grounded its operations for a while. Good news is I’m now working on other ventures in import business & media.

  6. 42
    Winfred Mutugi

    I feel so so motivated ad encouraged. my 0.5 million chicken project failed after thieves jumped over the wall ad stolen over 200 kienyeji
    chickens. I didn’t have any more money to continue. this happened a month ago. am so so down financial ad I don’t know where to start. I had said I wil never keep poultry again. bt now I feel motivated. I stil have the brain. I won’t give up.

  7. 44
    D Mutua

    Good piece I hzave an idea to manufacture animal feeds and I realize l will need rice bran from you. How much will it cost per bag

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