I quit banking to deliver parcels from America
Statesduka.com CEO William Anguka (left) delivers an item shipped in from the US to Nairobi businessman David Okombo on April 2, 2018. photo | salaton njau
William Anguka was working in a bank when his childhood friend William Brian called him on phone requesting him to deliver a gift from America to someone in Kenya. Mr Anguka, who had been working at the Kenya Commercial Bank for nine years, hardly anticipated his goodwill gesture would lead to an enterprise that would be worth Sh6 million in just two years.It all started in mid-2015 when ‘Brayo’, as Brian was then popularly known within his Kileleshwa neighbourhood, called Mr Anguka. Soon they struck a deal where Kenyans in the US could send items home through Mr Anguka at a fee.“I took leave on December (2015) and I handled so many gifts, earning Sh50,000. And all it took me was to make calls for people to pick up their parcels at an agreed point or hotel within Nairobi. I also did door-to-door deliveries,” he recalls.
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Mr Anguka then realised some people were repeat clients who wanted cosmetics, pharmaceutical and electronic items delivered safely. “I received two or three parcels every week in 2015,” he says, adding that the business kept growing as more and bigger parcels landed in his hands. Mr Anguka then decided to take the business seriously in 2016 by creating an online platform known as Statesduka.com. With airlines restricting Kenyans returning home from carrying luggage beyond 25 kilogrammes Statesduka.com came in handy as many Kenyans sent home a range of items such as baby clothes, watches, laptops and mobile phones.The platform was registered in mid-2016 and it became increasingly popular as more people sought to purchase items online from stores in the US for quick delivery. “We ship in the goods and are paid upon delivery but we also help clients to use our site to search retail stores and then pay upfront via our M-Pesa paybill number. We buy and deliver within a week,” he says.Mr Anguka who holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and a master’s degree in Business Administration, quit banking entirely last year and set up an office at Nairobi’s Parklands where he has a secretary who handles parcels coming in. Mr Anguka and another employee do deliveries around the city.“My job at the bank was prestigious and I was passionate about building my career in banking but I now find the parcels business more interesting. I love what I do since no one requires me to dress formally,” he says, adding that most transactions are concluded on phone.Among his clients is Goodlife Pharmacy that regularly orders pharmaceutical products from various stores in the US.Last year he also received an order for 100 laptops that raked in Sh600,000 before he paid taxes and shipping costs. The largest consignment ever received earned him Sh1 million for an assortment of pharmaceutical drugs.“I have built trust with cosmetic and local drugstores as I fulfil their orders within set timelines. For clients around Kenya, I use the client’s preferred courier service. I have also delivered parcels to clients in Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda,” he says.He says beauty products are key part of his business as luxury shops and individual clients order specific brands from America.Mr Anguka says his business has grown rapidly because people prefer dealing with an established entity with an a office, bank account and mobile phone paybill which are proof of payment if need be.“I also help some clients to buy items online since many fear giving out their bank card numbers. I show them how to transact and have the items delivered to my partner for onward delivery to Kenya,” he adds.Mr Anguka says he now focuses on helping businesses source for items from America.He plans to open offices across East Africa as he already has clients in the region.