Karibu Loo (KL) has many exciting developments to report. Thus far in 2018, KL has gone from being a business struggling to secure long-term contracts to a business struggling with positive growing pains.
- Moving to profitability. In early 2018, KL achieved consistent profitability: $2,000 in January, $1,000 in February, and a remarkable $7,000 in March. April is on track to generate profits as well.
- Sound leadership from Maureen and Kenneth. Under Maureen Mulievi’s effective leadership, the business thrived, reinforced by dynamic sales expert Kenneth Odongo’s energetic contributions. See all staff at Karibu Loo: https://www.karibuloo.co.ke/our-staff/
- Long-term business absorbing an impressive 46% to 94% of units. Maureen, Kenneth and the staff have been successful in securing more long-term contracts. The British Army in northern Kenya demands exceptional service and effort, expanding contracts from 16 to 66 units in January. The construction business, with an April total of 17 units on monthly contracts, now includes Konza Construction, Nanchang Construction, TENSES, and Karen Construction. KL has retained the ongoing weekly Sunday-only rentals to three churches for seven units. Long-term rentals therefore absorb 17% (27% with the churches) of our units plus the highly variable British Army business, which puts absorption between 94% in January to 46% in April.
- More effective targeting. KL has learned that long-term rentals are primarily done by foreign corporations or government entities, and Kenneth is becoming effective at targeting important, long-term sales.
- Assets spread thin with inefficiencies costing over $15,000. Running the business has been a challenge as our assets are spread very thin. Current assets include 88 unit (including one VIP unit), a large truck, one exhauster and a pickup truck that can pull the VIP unit or the newly-built trailer to transport unit. KL had to pay for third-party trucks to transport the units to the British Army and is currently renting a large truck full-time (combined cost in Q1 was $14,000) to service the British Army business to which KL has dedicated the exhauster. All the units in Nairobi are serviced manually, which is unhealthy and unpleasant for our staff. The low number of available cabins has forced KL to rent units from competitors on occasion (Q1 cost = $615).
- Most urgent need – a reliable large truck. The prominent challenge is the aging truck, reliable for years but now consistently failing, affecting KL company’s operations. The portable sanitation business is not viable without a reliable truck and exhauster. We’re planning to buy a truck, exhauster, and 60 loos. Seeking individual donations to achieve this purchase goal.
Today, KL employs five Ngong Road Children’s Foundation (NRCF) graduates full-time and has employed 57 high-school graduates part-time as Associates since inception. KL’s Associate Program allows recent NRCF high-school graduates to gain that very valuable first job experience and earn income. The organization employs Sales and Operations Associates for event cabin upkeep, materials stocking, and representing the organization.
The Associates program teaches NRCF graduates how to be good employees – show up on time, do a good job, and dress properly – skills that students living in the slums never see demonstrated by adults in their lives yet are critical to the charity’s mission of transforming lives through employment . Associates make 500 Kenyan shillings a day plus transport and a meal. (For context, 500 Kenyan shillings covers about a quarter of a month’s rent in the slums).
The slum economy has received an injection of $5,000 in earned wages through the making of almost 1,000 day-payments.