Stop thinking of big ideas, think of small ideas in a great way, these are the words that blew my mind as Peter Muthee told me his journey as a young and fresh entrepreneur.
Peter Muthee is the founder of Saikle Bikes; a bike renting company currently operating in Juja. Through the amazing outpour of customers for his service, Peter has made tremendous progress but all these did not come on a silver platter.
Peter was a Geomatics Engineering student at JKUAT, Kenya’s premier institute for engineers. As a young man who wanted to enjoy his college life, he chose biking as a pass time activity and soon he was benefiting from the sport; more so, his breathing difficulties healed.
In the second year, he came up with the idea of renting bikes to earn some cash as every comrade strives to do. But he did not want to benefit alone, so he decided to present his idea to the Association of Geomatics in JKUAT so that the club would raise funds for their activities.
The officials at that time turned it down, claiming it would experience logistics issues and students couldn’t run it.
Well, Peter had just met his first stumbling block and he had a tough decision to make. After critically thinking, he decided not to give up on his dream but rather postpone it.
Peter gave his course a priority and chose to remain patient. He graduated last year, 2015 and finally had the opportunity to actualize his dreams.
Having a friend sometimes can be what takes you to the next level. Peter had a close ally, Sam who has connections in the UK. He enlightened him about his prospects, asked for assistance and ‘abracadabra’, the first bunch of five bikes landed in Mombasa port.
He was given terms, to raise all the capital in 3 months. Without any hesitation he launched his company Saikle in July 10th, parading his five bikes in Gate C for the first time and holding a placard with “Bikes for Hire” on it.
The response was awesome and at this moment I would like to say the rest is history.
Let me take you through Saikle. It has two stations at the moment, Gate B and C. Saikle has more than 40 bikes for hire. The bikes are surprisingly strong, long lasting and you can find almost any type you want.
Charges are as follows
- 1 bob per minute
- 50 bob per hour
- 50 bob overnight (7:30 pm –9:00 am)
- 300 bob in a day.
Customers fill some required details like phone numbers and leave their Identification Cards or Student IDs at the station which they get back on return of the bikes. Saikle has also plans guided tours and challenges as it aims at reaching a bigger audience and impact more lives.
Peter’s aim was not to make money from students; he wanted to offer an alternative means of passing leisure in college and since his debut, biking has become a trend in JKUAT especially for love birds.
Peter was joined by partners Sam and Mumo as the company grew. Mumo was a classmate to Peter and is still pursuing advanced studies in Geomatics Engineering. The two assist in running the company.
Together, they see a bright future for Saikle, which will become a household name for campus students all over Kenya. Peter’s best advice to potential entrepreneurs is to understand their customers and come down to their level.