How this African entrepreneur quietly built a $100+ million business (2023)

How this African entrepreneur quietly built a $100+ million business (1)

Some of the most inspiring success stories are told by entrepreneurs who had no idea that they would one day start, run, and grow a company that would not only be successful in their home country, but would spread its tentacles to other parts of the world. .

This is the success story of Humphrey Kariuki Ndegwa, a Kenyan businessman who began his career in the corporate world, rose through the ranks, but eventually realized he was not cut out for gainful employment, prompting him to resign. the work of him to start a business that would one day be worth more than $100 million dollars.

See also:How This Nigerian Entrepreneur Made Over A Billion Dollars At The Age Of 39

This is how he did it:

The early life and education of Humphrey Kariuki Ndegwa

Humphrey Kariuki Ndegwa was born on 28 August 1957 in Nyeri County in the Kenyan Central Highlands to a family of 10 children and was one of his father's six children who enjoyed a modest lifestyle growing up in areas rural.

In his childhood, Humphrey Kariuki Ndegwa would wake up early in the morning with his brothers to milk the cattle and feed the animals before going to school. Despite the fact that the location of his school is 3 kilometers away, Humphrey Kariuki Ndegwa used to get to and from school without using any kind of public transportation.

(Video) The Changing Face Of The Fitness Industry & Future Of Gyms/Boutique Fitness: July 2020

After finishing his O' levels in Nairobi, he went to Kagumo High School for his A' levels. But while studying, 19-year-old Humphrey Kariuki Ndegwa was given an 8-month break, during which he got a job with the help of some of his family members to work at the Central Bank of Kenya.

His first position was as a clerk, after which he went on to work in various other departments such as the Export department, the Exchange department and the Import department. All in the Central Bank of Kenya.

Although working for the Central Bank of Kenya provided a comfortable lifestyle for Humphrey Kariuki Ndegwa, it didn't take long for him to discover that he never liked being subservient to other people. And this realization led him to chart a new course toward entrepreneurship.

See also:How a poor African farmer built a business worth over $100 million

your first venture

During a break from work at the Central Bank of Kenya, Humphrey Kariuki Ndegwa traveled to the UK to visit his sister. She had been trying to sell a car she had in Norwich for a while, without success. Seeing an opportunity from her, Humphrey offered to help her sell it in Kenya only if she would allow him to travel back with him, which she did.

Returning to Kenya with the car, Humphrey Kariuki Ndegwa was driving it in search of a buyer. One day someone left a note in the car asking to be called. After dialing the phone number, he realized that it was a British man who made the appointment and thought that he was a co-British man in Nairobi who was trying to sell the car because he had a tag that said "City of Norwich". .

After consultation and a settled transaction, Humphrey Kariuki Ndegwa was able to sell the car to the British national for 200% of the price his sister was trying to sell the car for.

His successful sale got him into the auto business and kept him there for a long time.

See also:How Aliko Dangote became the richest person in Africa

The start and growth of a group of successful companies

After successfully trading cars for many years and saving a lot of money, Humphrey Kariuki Ndegwa founded the famous Green Corner restaurant in Kenya, which even former US President Barrack Obama mentioned in his memoirs. The restaurant was founded with a bank loan of $15,000, which he quickly paid off in a short period of eight months.

With the success of the restaurant, Humphrey Kariuki Ndegwa moved into importing wines and spirits, which led him to found another very successful company called Wines of The World, which is now widely known as WOW Beverages.

His company was the sole distributor in Kenya of many popular European and American wines, whiskeys and brands.

But relying on being the sole distributor of the various wines was not safe, as the companies could enter the Kenyan market alone in the future, inevitably ruining their businesses in the process. To avoid this, Humphrey Kariuki Ndegwa registered a company called African Spirits, moved into the spirits production business and launched his first flagship product called Blue Moon Vodka, the current top selling local spirit brand in Kenya today (2017 ).

Going further, African Spirits has launched another product, Legend, which is also the best-selling brandy in Kenya today (2017).

The success of the local wines was not only a remarkable sense of achievement for Humphrey Kariuki Ndegwa, but also a motivation for the company, which today (2017) is known as the most successful local spirits company in Kenya.

After a series of successful businesses in the restaurant and liquor niches, Humphrey Kariuki Ndegwa moved into the oil business and became an agent for the National Oil Company of Kenya (NOCK). He founded the oil company Dalbit Petroleum and in doing so seized the opportunity as an agent to buy oil from NOCK to ship to other parts of Kenya.

According to an interview Humphrey Kariuki Ndegwa had withForbes,he says:

“The government has allowed us to purchase fuel products from NOCK and distribute them domestically to other regions in Kenya. Margins were tight, but it was good to be in the oil business. That was in the eighties. He had some friends: the Horsey brothers, who owned a construction company called Civicon, and had a contract with the World Food Program to distribute water in South Sudan and build some roads in the country. So I partnered with Civicon and set up a small depot on the Kaboko border between Ibanga and South Sudan. This was the first place where we installed a small warehouse; it was an 80,000 cubic meter oil storage facility. So from Kaboko we got the Horseys with their 8 x 8 trucks to transport the oil to Juba and other places in South Sudan. The margins were astronomical. The volumes were not many, but the margins were absurd. We were supplying oil to the World Food Program, and then there was a drought in the country and the WFP was using helicopters to deliver food to South Sudan. We also supply oil to WFP at their airfields in South Sudan, and that's when we started making big margins. In eight years, the roads were ready and, as a result, the slopes began to erode."

Its oil distribution business today has operations in Sudan, Kenya, Zambia, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

In addition to his oil company, Humphrey Kariuki Ndegwa later won a $400 million energy bidding contract in Mozambique through another company of his that he founded in 2008 called Great Lakes Africa Energy.

See also:How the son of a former African teacher made over a billion dollars

Your business and achievements today

Today, Humphrey Kariuki Ndegwa is not only a talented Kenyan billionaire, but also a silent one. He successfully kept his life private and out of the public eye, while building a business empire in the process.

His business employs more than 1,000 people and, in addition to being an entrepreneur, he has made a commitment to wildlife conservation in Kenya, with the acquisition of Game Ranch, which is home to the Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy and Animal Orphanage.

See also:How To Make Money Using The 7 Billionaire Investing Secrets


While Humphrey Kariuki Ndegwa's story may not be that of someone with budding entrepreneurial talent in their teens, his story represents that of millions of people around the world who work for organizations but deeply believe that they are cut out to lead their own projects. . .

If you find yourself in that dilemma, this success story from Humphrey Kariuki Ndegwa is enough to get you started.

What do you think about this Humphrey Kariuki Ndegwa success story? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Reed Wilderman

Last Updated: 03/07/2023

Views: 5801

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (72 voted)

Reviews: 95% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Reed Wilderman

Birthday: 1992-06-14

Address: 998 Estell Village, Lake Oscarberg, SD 48713-6877

Phone: +21813267449721

Job: Technology Engineer

Hobby: Swimming, Do it yourself, Beekeeping, Lapidary, Cosplaying, Hiking, Graffiti

Introduction: My name is Reed Wilderman, I am a faithful, bright, lucky, adventurous, lively, rich, vast person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.