Saida Story — Elands Feeds

Kitengela is a fast growing town 30 KM from Nairobi. The rapid growth in residents has attracted businesses that serve them mostly in construction materials, groceries, entertainment and professional services.

Section of Kitengela Town (Credit : Kenya Buzz)

Duncan is one of the business owners that has set up shop in this town. His enterprise is 3 years old but this being his second business, his story goes back further.

His previous enterprise was in cosmetics where he worked to create a hair shampoo product. “The business was good but the profit margins were small — what made it worse was the rise of imported products that were sold at lower costs. So I started thinking of what else I could do” says Duncan.

His journey to his current business grew out of an observation from his parent’s challenges at getting quality animal feeds. “Most farmers I spoke to while I researched the market had similar problems, they had a hard time getting quality feeds for the livestock.” says Duncan. Out of that experience his business Elands Feeds was born.

Duncan outside his shop

His research in Nairobi revealed that demand for cattle feeds was lower but poultry feeds were a huge market. “Here in Nairobi there is always demand for chicken feeds, I could make the rest on order but I always have to have chicken fees on stand by” says Duncan.

Duncan manufactures his own product by buying raw materials and mixing and packaging them to create his final product. His most popular product “Kienyeji Mash” is a product for indigenous chicken best known for their taste.

Some of Duncan’s Products

One of the challenges he is facing today is substandard competing products from people he says are only out to make a quick buck. “These people have no regard for quality and so produce cheaper products that are not good for the livestock” he says. Duncan has gone out of his way to meet the farmers to educate them of the quality standards he has and why his product costs more but is worth every shilling. “That has worked well, when I talk to them about the quality standards my business has improved” says Duncan.

He is also working on an ambitious quality standard in conjunction with a leading consumer chicken brand to get farmers aware of the fact that chicken fed with high quality feeds fetch better market prices.

He produces about 30–40 bags per week mostly on order. “In 2016, my hope and expectation is that I get my own machine to mix and package the feeds because that will help my business a lot” he says. Today he relies on hired machines to do the work for him. He estimates the machine costs KES 150,000 (~$1500) and has been setting aside money towards this goal.

“Saida has helped me very much each time I had a customer call to place a large order. I have not had any problems with the service, I ask for money and it comes quickly and I can go about with my work. I commend you for the good work and look forward to growing with you in 2016” says the soft spoken entrepreneur.

Duncan has used the service in recent months to access close to KES 50,000 ($500) that he has used to satisfy demand spikes at his business. He currently has built his credit limit from his initial amount to KES 10,000 ($100) by repaying on time.

Everyday, all over Kenya thousands of people like Duncan and others use Saida to access mobile loans to build and grow their businesses. Customers approved for Saida loans can request up to KES 20,000 ($200) and the disbursement is instant over M-Pesa.

Repayments are easy through M-Pesa and are due in one month and our customers get an SMS when payments are due. Interest is charged at a flat rate and varies from customer to customer.

A Saida customer with a KES 5000 ($50) loan on the app

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