Reuben Kimani: How business magnate turned a side hustle into a formidable real estate firm – Business Daily
Reuben Kimani is the co-founder and CEO Username Investment Limited, a local land buying and selling company. PHOTO | COURTESY
When Reuben Kimani joined hands with two others to start a side hustle in 2010, he never had the slightest idea that the enterprise would one day gain substantial stake in Kenya’s real estate sector, not to mention stamping a mark in the global scene.
A quick spot check by Business Daily on his Linkedin account shows that at the time, the Username boss was working at Safaricom Plc, having graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Technology from the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) in 2008.
Armed with just hope and optimism, Mr Kimani and two others registered Username Investment Limited as an all-business enterprise before shifting full focus into real estate in 2013.
In the arrangement, Mr Kimani became the Chief Executive Officer, Joseph Gitonga, Head of Sales and Marketing while Julius Karanja the Head of Finance and Customer Relations. All the three brains had a combined experience in ICT, engineering, banking, mortgage, real estate management and finance.
The initial starting capital of the venture was Sh2.5 million which they invested in the purchase of a 42-plot property in Konza. This they raised from their personal savings in addition to an unsecured loan of Sh1.8 million.
In online computing, ‘Username’ is a terminology used to denote a unique identity of a specific subscriber. “The incorporation of the name is symbolic to provision of services and solutions that are unique and specific to every individual’s needs and aspirations,” explained Reuben IN a past media interview.
As the man charged with laying down the company’s strategy for eventual implementation, Mr Kimani’s fingerprints are all well visible. Within three years after registration, Username Investments had transitioned from being a start-up organisation to being a worthwhile notable real estate firm in Kenya.
Today, the company boasts of issuing over 10,230 title deeds. The company has now directly employed 70 employees, up from the four it had in 2013.
In the 9 years of business, Username says it has enabled acquisition of property to over 11,000 young people countrywide. To counter the rising competition and attract more purchases, the company has adopted a model where it delivers title deeds to all their customers upon completion of payment.
Away from the business grit, Reuben Kimani is channelling part of his fortunes to charity in the form of educational and entrepreneurial sponsorship for young people. By the time of going to press, Mr Kimani has funded several personal sponsorships, with a good number being budding entrepreneurs in branding.
In addition to his passion for real estate and mentorship, Mr Kimani loves travelling, reading as well as watching movies.