We recently met an entrepreneur, who started Kenya’s Sumuni, an online platform that connects companies and individuals interested in renting, hiring and leasing tools and services with suppliers. He says that looking to simplify the whole process for its users who want to hire or lease services or equipment… See his story.
What is Sumuni?
Sumuni is an online platform that connects companies and individuals interested in renting, hiring and leasing equipment and services with suppliers, looking to simplify the whole process for all. We provide on demand hiring and leasing services.
When was Sumuni launched?
The Idea was conceived in February 2015 and later the company was incorporated in October the same year
How does sumuni work?
The user needing an item goes to the website www.sumuni.co.ke , requests an item, accepts the terms and condition of hiring the equipment, the sumuni team receives the request and we connect you to a vetted supplier, upon which the item will be returned within the specified duration by the user.
We offer quality search by connecting the clients to potential verified vendors with the most affordable rates .Our services are always accessible to everyone, even when they are on the move, via our responsive mobile website, WhatsApp, telegram and we are always on call.
What inspired you to start?
Discovering there is a need to bring together and establish a market for businesses who are in the hiring business and individuals who would like to hire items in for a short period of time, like an hour, a day or maybe a week.
Who are the founders?
Awil Osman who is 24 years old and Arif Ahmed who is 27 years old, both are Computer Science graduates from University of Nairobi.
How Many customers do you currently have?
We receive an average of 5-10 requests in a day, of which we charge a commission on every successful processed quote we make. From the customers we have serviced we discovered that most of them are referral customers, Challenges is finding new customers which is hard convincing them.
Do you have any competitors?
Definitely. Our main competitors are local newspapers and dealers who are in the business for hiring, renting and leasing.
What’s unique about that differentiates you from the competition?
We are transaction based meaning we ensure that you have successfully acquired your item then we charge. Unlike other providers who charge even before you get the item. We have an online platform where you just request for an item which is much reliable than making multiple phone calls to several dealers before you get an item.
What are the challenges that you are facing so far?
Convincing Kenyans that hiring is more advantageous over buying .We need a very expansive marketing campaign in order to spread the word about our platform which is very expensive.
How many items for hire now on the platform?
We hire out items based on demand, so what we have is a list of suppliers who we source out when there is demand for a particular item for hire.
Why hiring and not selling?
Hiring is cost effective – buying various equipment for one time use is quite expensive and it involves huge costs including maintenance, inevitable repairs, storage etc.
Time effective – You do not have to spend valuable time looking for that item, you get to experience the item before you commit to buying you get to avoid trying to keep up with new technology or an improved version of a particular item.
Kenyans should embrace technology when looking to hire equipment .