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Matatus drive advert business beyond limits

By ANNIE April 19th, 2014 2 min read

During his three year’s study in Manchester, 90 per cent of the times he travelled, Mr Trushar Khetia used passenger buses.

Being passionate about branding and marketing, he did not fail to notice that each bus had customised advertisements running on all sides.

“That was the first time I saw passenger buses used very successfully in advertising,” said the Tria Transit Media CEO during an interview at his office in Westlands last week.

After graduating with a degree in business administration he was employed by P&G and given the role of supervising the company’s brands and marketing but quit after three years and flew back into the country. He joined his family’s retail business in Eldoret for two years.

Despite facing opposition from his parents, Mr Khetia left to establish his business, which had been on his mind since his school days. He desperately wanted to make it real and saw no better time for that.

“While still doing my studies I noticed there was a gap in transit advertising locally and being passionate about marketing and branding, I wanted to pursue it and bring in creativity,” he said.

Tria Transit Media opened its doors on June 1 last year.


The company deals in external and internal branding of buses. Instead of investing in a one-sided static billboard — the idea is to give a brand an alternative movable advertisement featured on three sides of a bus.

Matatus being the most popular form of transport in Nairobi, Tria Transit media uses the platform to reach out to consumers.

With the many passengers matatus carry and the trips they make every day, there is a huge chance for brands to reach out to their customers and realise great success.

“The external advertisement communicates more to people on the outside unlike the external ones targeted to those on the move,” said the 27- year-old.

“Commuters are relaxed and undisrupted during a journey, they will never fail to notice an advertisement displayed internally,” he added.

Occasionally, the company also engages consumers in first-hand experience. The 20 agents sent on different routes periodically do a one on one product promotion in the buses.

In Nairobi, the company has a hundred branded buses on transit. External advertisement feature on  30 per cent of the buses, while 70 per cent have internal adverts.

Kenya Bus Service (KBS), Metrotrans, Embassava, Banana Hill Matatu Sacco (BHMS), Triple S and Zuka Travel are some of  the saccos partnering with Tria. However, his plan is to involve university buses too to meet brands demands.