ENTREPRENEURSHIP: Campus Lady Making Money out of Gas Cylinders

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A partnership with her father. That is how Roczer Wanjiru’s business started off. She is a second-year student of Business Management and Economics at Kibabii University.

“I dug into my savings when my dad was opening his business and joined hands with him such that, half the business was mine. I saved my part of the profits.

“Over time we fell out due to some management issues, especially of the money. This is when I decided to establish the same business but on my own over the six, seven months.”

She has employed someone to run the business as she deals with her other engagements such as school. Her gas cylinders are 5-13 kgs.

PHOTO:Roczer Wanjiru

“Business is great. Considering it is set up in an urban center where the gas consumption is higher as opposed to fuel, charcoal or firewood.

“I pay my own school fees, rent and have some cash for a comfortable upkeep. Once in a while, I chip in for my younger siblings’ fees as well.”

In addition to that, she is an employee with Equity Bank.

“I am an agency banker and I deal with Freelancing and Recruitment. I sourced my inspiration from my uncle who banks with the same. It broadens my skills.”

There was a time she was involved in promotions for Jonny Walker, Black Label, and Red Label brands.

“The pay was good (smiles) but I had to quit as the activation was mainly at night. I used to get home quite late. For safety concerns, I stopped.”

Her challenges?

“Some customers come to contain that their gas cylinder hazijajaa and that they are producing a yellowish flame. I am only the distributor, I don’t fill in the gas.

“Others bring totally different empty cylinders whereas I stock known brands such as Total or K-gas amongst others. This becomes problematic in the exchange as I’m unsure of cylinders without labels.

“Friends and relatives want credit. That is extremely bad for a business. They are sometimes the hardest to deal with. Managing money is also another hurdle.

“Obviously, at times I almost fall into pressure as I see my friends hanging out or buying things. I have to remind myself that I have a target to hit. That doesn’t mean that I don’t treat myself every little while (laughs).”

Her passions include singing, acting, reading books and helping the needy.

“My dream growing up was to be a doctor. My friends then used to call me Daktari. Along the way, things changed and I am an entrepreneur. My business course might help me secure better opportunities as I look to expand my business.”

Any ongoing projects?

“I am currently working with a crew on a local production that we will start shooting late this January. It will be about the Kenyan campus life. More stories need to get out there.

“On books, every person should read Secrets of the Billionaire Within by Wale Akinyemi. It is a very catchy read as well as enlightening.”

Roczer’s motivation stems from her grandmother in whose care she grew up in hence they are quite close. In her visits, she is always being encouraged to work for everything she wants, not expecting a thing from anyone.

“Young people should have fun. Responsible fun at that. Keep healthy as you go about your youth. There is only one life. Live it well!”

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