Business Success Story in Kenya: How I Became a Millionaire by Selling Second Hand Japanese Used Cars


My name is Ken and I live in Nairobi. I thank God because I am a millionaire because of selling second hand Japanese used cars.

I completed my college degree in 2006 from Kenyatta University. Two months into my graduation, I secured employment at Jubilee Insurance Kenya. At this point I was earning Ksh 30, 000, which was too much for a bachelor who had zero responsibilities.

The first three years were smooth, leaving in a Ksh 7,000 house and spending lavishly to make myself happy-the world was simply revolving around me.

I remember in 2010,I had completed more than 3 years at Jubilee Insurance. With almost nothing to show for my well paying job, I had started regretting over my lifestyle. My siblings were ever nagging with school fees demands while pressure was piling up from my parents to marry and make some investments. But looking at my account there was almost nothing, only some coins to keep the account going.

At this time, most of my friends had built homes, married and invested heavily, while the only thing I could show from my job is an old Toyota Voxy.

While trying to figure out something useful I could do with my life, I came across a company by the name SBT Japan, which was responsible for importing cars. Since I was working with insurance company, I had some knowledge of importing cars but didn’t know the process.

I contacted the company to inquire about the process of importing a car. Shock unto me when they told me I could get up to 20 % discount from the price quoted on their website. A car that cost Ksh 700,000 in Kenya car bazaar was quoted at Ksh 350,000 at SBT website. Now, when I asked if it was possible they reduce the price further, they agreed.

The following month I took a loan of Ksh 1.5 million from CFC Stanbic Bank. I used Ksh 700,000 to import two Japanese used Toyota cars . At this time I was serious in doing the business.

After 3 weeks, the cars arrived. My problems started when I asked my friends to buy and they all declined, claiming they couldn’t trust I could afford to do the business.

The cars stayed idle in my landlord’s parking yard for 6 months. I almost gave up but something told me one day I will make it.

At this time I was repaying my loan, but I was not moving at all since my business had stalled.

Luckily, a new security company was launching its business and the owner had earlier come for insurance products. So when I told him about the pricing, he agreed to take the two cars. I immediately made Ksh 300,000 profit from selling the two vehicles-I was motivated.

The money I got from the sale enabled me order for more. I ordered 2 cars, which I also sold after one month.

The rest is history!

As I send this story, I have managed to sell over 50 cars and managed to make over Ksh 5 million.I am now self employed and have also employed three workers.

I wish to encourage anyone intending to start any business to do so. I know it can be challenging but please follow your passion.