Business / Economy

For enterprising Kenyan, Beijing proves a strategic springboard

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-07-11 07:52

For enterprising Kenyan, Beijing proves a strategic springboard

Two African businessmen talk with a Chinese company representative for trade in made-in-China farm machinery in Guangzhou, Guangdong province. [Photo/China Daily]

While growing up in a low income suburb northwest of the Kenyan capital Nairobi, Mohammed Kimani never dreamt that he would one day become an accomplished entrepreneur with a large footprint in his native country and China.

While in high school, Kimani did manual work to raise tuition fees and the trend continued when he joined college to study information technology.

The self made businessman who founded Amana Export Company after graduating from a mid-level college in Nairobi is an embodiment of courage and resilience in the face of adversity.

Now in his early 30s, Kimani has witnessed the growth of a medium scale enterprise into a profit churning behemoth that has a large presence in Kenya and China.

During a recent interview, Kimani said that a visit to China in 2012 paved the way for the rapid growth of his startup that is not only involved in import and export business but also facilitates interaction between Kenyan and Chinese entrepreneurs.

"When I first landed in China in 2012, I applied for a teaching career although my heart was in business," said Kimani, adding that perks and exposure gained in the teaching profession paved way for realization of his dream as a distinguished entrepreneur.

He was employed briefly as a teacher in Shenzhen and Henan province and later moved to Beijing to build his start-up.

While in Beijing, Kimani interacted with successful Chinese and Kenyan entrepreneurs whose advice and connections would later open new opportunities to the ambitious youngster.

"I knew from the beginning that Beijing was a strategic springboard for a foreigner yearning to venture into business since it is a cosmopolitan city," Kimani said.

He said his Amana Export Company has offices in Nairobi and Guangzhou to help facilitate interactions between Kenyan and Chinese enterprises.

Kimani's start-up has been facilitating Kenyan small and medium sized enterprises in importing high quality and affordable products from China at a modest commission.

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