A DIY STARTUP: How does Distribution work in kenya??

Wadau mimi nimediscover a better kitchen appliance:D:D:D:D that is not hard to assemble sales point of 20-30 shillings retail, not even expensive and is easy to be faked but very creative. My point is not to say what it is coz you can make yourself but I need a coherent Distribution mechanism to sell this product at scale before I’m copied and forgotten.


Sante wadau, ata mimi nataka kuunda kampuni kama nyinyi niache low wage pay ata some point.

Nobody will fake anything from you unless it has already made you money, in which case you will be in a position to share the remaining market without too many complaints. Nobody will agree to distribute a merchandise, no matter how creative, unless you can show proof of sales. Finally, the market will resist even those things it needs, partly due to lack of information or the presence of persistent ingrained habits. Case in point; gas lighters have failed to dethrone matchboxes, despite the former offering clear advantages over the latter.

Great insight Mdau.

In the assumption that within 1 yr or 2 conservatively:p:p, I am able to overcome many hurdles including sales volumes and the market is friendly, then what next. How does my product scale in distribution

For such a product, anyone who wants to make money becomes your distribution channel; from the hawker to the mama mboga to the office worker who wants to make a coin from colleagues. In Kenya we have no established distribution channels, the kind that will magically deliver your product to every customer.

Discover? First do a patent search before you are surprised with a lawsuit.

The one thing I know about startups is that you need to create the Minimum Viable Product(MVP) then start marketing like crazy.

So anza.


Ndio naona ata hii competition iliisha

My 2 cents;
It’ll retail at 20-30 Bob.
-What value does it add to the kitchen? Or is it some sort of toy?
-To make a million, you’ll need to sell ~50K units less assembly cost. Ama you do assembly on your own?
-Is the 20bob your COGS?

You need a plan. A business plan and how to get these units together, but how about you start selling around your village and see how’s its incepted? if it has good traction, start thinking about scaling.
From your notes, I see you want to go 0-100 overnight which is tricky with a Kenyan system.

Is it obvious like say a knife? Or does it require you to teach consumers how to use it?

For instance, those tu-things sold in buses and on the streets that do carrots, cabbages and everything else? And where the seller has a cabbage to demonstrate?

Scaling distribution of a product that requires consumer education is more of a challenge. Not impossible but requires more resources and creativity

Also expect high resistance by key distributors unless you support with a plan for demos or such other.

Majority of retail in Kenya, is informal and quite fragmented. Most distributors with scale stick to proven products hence, are biased towards food and everyday items. They could be reluctant to take your product.

This then means you have to think of an ingenious way to go mass market, and then efficiently so without using established channels.

All the best.


You could also try market your product through online platform and social media,lakini pattern your product first

Weka hawkers wa Cityhoppa na KBS kwa payroll yako. They market it like crazy

si hii ni juu matches are cheaper, be damned the advantages, and also availability?

those are two LCM solutions, again, be damned the advantages of the lighter.