The business fraternity in parts of Kiambu county is now thinking out of the box by converting containers into shopping malls as rent for permanent building continues to soar.
Majority of the traders in upcoming centres of Kirigiti, Ndumberi, Ikinu and Riabai now prefer to operate from containers which are more secure and durable.
A spotcheck by KNA on Saturday revealed that the modification of the containers has greatly contributed to creation of more job opportunities for the growing number of unemployed people who are now sharing a small slot for various businesses.
The innovation has further been credited for improved self employment opennings of small businesses as more and more people are now using the containers to sell and store their wares.
Mercy Wangui, who opened up a salon at Ngewa shopping centre said she was amazed at the fabrication of business stalls from containers which are located along Nairobi-Nakuru highway.
On the outskirts of Kikuyu town, she said, a vehicle she had boarded stopped for passengers to have lunch at a container which was structured in a way that they looked like a hotel.
Simon Gathuru also operates a fresh juice outlet from a container in Kiambu township. He says he borrowed a leaf while traveling from a tour in Nakuru. “The design of the mini hotel caught my eye and when I came back home I decided to buy a container and partition it to small businessses,” he said.
Gathuru said that the business picked up very fast whereby the container had a butchery, a hotel, a bakery and boutique all housed in one unit but partitioned with fabricating material which looked durable.
“Being a landlord, it become an easy task since it only took me two months for electrical wiring to be installed, puting up secure doors and also the clients renovating according to their business ideas,” he added.
He emphasized that the rent is not as as high as what is charged for a permanent building since the rent goes for Sh.12,000 per month unlike the permanent buildings where the rent for a small space can go up to to Sh. 25,000.
KNA talked to Joyce Wambui who also owns a bakery and she stated that renting out the containers was the best decision she made for her business since it is where everyone around the area passes by, so marketing her products is not so difficult.
“For the rent, it is manageable unlike in my previous premises and also the place is very secure since there are security guards in the evening after we close our businesses,” Wambui said.
She explained that most people trying to open up businesses should look for the containers since it wont consume much of the capital for the rent.
Joseph Mwangi, who sells the containers at Kikuyu town in Kiambu County stated that the containers were usually abit expensive when importing them and that is why they sold them at a higher prices in order to recoup the money they had spent while purchasing them. He explained that for a small container he sold it at Sh. 100,000 and that’s the cheapest it can go for.
He summed up by saying that if the Government could zero rate the importation of the containers, many people would pool resources and buy them for business as this was cheaper than buying land and constructing a shop.
By Lydia Shiloya