Meet duo that makes cash from cleaning
Cleaning is a task many would rather skip. But not so for two young entrepreneurs who saw a business opportunity and are now smiling all the way to the bank.
Meet 25-year-old Lee Mosoti and 24 year-old Kabau Muruatetu, the directors of Mr Happy Cleaners, a city-based cleaning company started early this year.
“The idea was born one Sunday afternoon in October last year. Before then, a good friend of mine had told me about a mutual friend who was also in the business and he was doing very well. However, I realised that many cleaning companies focused on carpet cleaning and not cleaning buildings. I wanted to fill that market gap,” says Mosoti.
Mosoti would immediately call his best friend Kabau, who jumped at the idea. Mosoti and Kabau go way back to their university days at Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology (JKUAT).
While Mosoti has a degree in computer science, Kabau has a Bachelor’s degree in commerce, specialising in accounting and auditing.
“I actually had the idea in my mind two years before but I did not know how to execute it. I thought it would be great to join my friend Lee because I believe in strategic partnerships. Lee is a very smart guy with a different background and I thought my business and accounting background would add value,” says Kabau.
Starting out was the hardest part, the pair recalls. Finding a business name was even tougher, as the pair wanted a difficult-to-forget business name.
We settled on ‘Mr Happy’ cleaners because of the uniqueness of the name. Besides, cleanliness and happiness go together and a clean environment makes people happy,” says Mosoti.
The pair registered their company and business name and came up with the logo of a smiling broom.
With a starting capital of Sh55,000, the pair was able to register the company, print business cards and fliers, set up a website and buy medical certificates and uniforms for their workers. They also purchased mops, brooms and cleaning chemicals to start their business.
They began with only five permanent workers, but would hire temporary staff as need arose. Because they could not buy cleaning machines at the start, the pair used their personal vacuum cleaners and hired stripping machines from established companies.
Their first contract came through in March this year, when one of their fellow players at Nondies Rugby club contacted them to clean his business.
“Rugby players have a culture of supporting each other. Even after our games, we socialise and support each other. We are grateful for the player who chose us above other experienced companies and gave us that opportunity,” says Kabau.
There was no looking back and they have since progressed to cleaning hotels, restaurants and commercial buildings.
So far, the company cleans three major restaurants in Nairobi’s Upper Hill area, two on Ngong Road and one in Westlands. They specialise in office cleaning, junk removal, fumigation, carpet cleaning, washroom maintenance, soft landscaping as well as after-party cleaning.
“We are looking forward to the Youth and Government Procurement Opportunities (Yagpo) that require 30 per cent of procurement opportunities be given to youth. This applies for non-professional services such as cleaning and we are positioning ourselves for that,” says Kabau.
To Mosoti, their biggest motivation remains building customer loyalty and ensuring customer satisfaction.
“The industry has great potential as the our few months of business have shown. It may be flooded with many companies, but few remain successful. And we want to be remain among them.