Kenya’s first locally made USB cable chargers are now available in the market. Anthony Muthungu decided to start producing the USB cables after he realized he was spending lots of money buying cable chargers that would break down even while still new.
“I started asking my friends on Facebook to sell me their USB cables that were not working. Within a short time, I had more than 5,000 USB cables.” Muthungu said.
He documented the cables and their problems, and rounded up a small team to come up with something authentic, durable and of high quality.
Mr Muthungu studied Bachelor of Science at the Karatina University, Nyeri County. He has a small team comprising computer, software, mechanical and electrical engineers.
“So, we have a lot of strength when it comes to technical know-how,” he emphasises.
To keep manufacturing costs low, the company sources raw materials such as injection plastics, wires and recycled plastics locally. They however have to import connectors and other items not available in Kenya from China and India.
“We import some (machines) from china as well as fabricate others at Nairobi’s Industrial Area,” he adds.
The company produces about 300 to 500 USB cable chargers per day from their factory located in Kirinyaga county. They spend about Sh80 or Sh90 to produce each USB cable charger.
“We will be able to make even 10,000 pieces per day if we can get some machines,” he adds.
The company has so far sold about 800 pieces since they opened their doors to the local markets two weeks ago.
The wholesale prices for the micro USB cable is Sh135, type c, Sh165 and iPhone, Sh200.
Mr. Muthungu has helped to create employment for five employees directly and 20 indirectly through the supply chain.
So far, he has spent up to Sh3 million in capital from his savings and from friends.
“You start small then you grow. But if you wait until you get Sh3 million to start a business then that will not happen. You make one step at a time and that is how I have been able to reach here,” he advises.
The USB cable chargers have been approved by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) and Kenya Export Promotion and Branding Agency (Keproba).
Mr. Muthungu says the company plans to venture into mobile phones assembly and earphones by 2023.
“By 2026, hopefully, we will have started making phones, earphones and chargers all at a go.” he says.