MUTHOKINJU Paints & Cement: How Humble Couple Built a Construction Giant

Ezra Manyibe | 1 week ago

Muthokinju Paints & Cement has over the years established itself as a major player in the country's construction industry. The company which supplies construction material boasts locations in various parts of the country and is steadily growing owing to steadfast stewardship since its inception.

The company currently boasts physical presence in over 18 locations across the country including Kasarani, Ngong, Kiambu Road, Kenol, Embu, Meru, Kerugoya, Kitengela, Thika, Karatina, Murang'a, Rongai among others.

Muthokinju Paints & Cement was founded by Susan Muthoni Kimani and Barnabas Njuguna. The company name was coined from their names Muthoni (MUTHO), Kimani (KI), and Njuguna (NJU), MUTHOKINJU.

Before founding the company, Susan operated a café at the Kenyatta Market in Nairobi. She would later reach a decision to quit the business and venture in anything other than perishable goods.

Together with her husband in 1995, they opened their first hardware at Kasarani.

Muthokinju Paints & Cement took off and after opening branches in other locations, the company was incorporated as a Limited Company in 2004.

After a successful spell steering the company to prosperity, Susan and Njuguna handed the baton to their son, Benjamin Kimani who took over as the Managing Director. His wife Sarafina Njatha is the Chief of Operations.

When he assumed the reigns, Benjamin was only 24 years old. He boasts a Master's of Business Finance degree from Edith Cowan University, Australia.

"I took over a business that already had a good name. I give credit to my parents for building goodwill. I’ve been able to amplify their values by playing in a bigger space than they did," he said during a past interview.

Benjamin has made sure to digitise operations at the company. He has a vision of Muthokinju going completely paperless. 

“I want to ensure that our systems and processes are lean by minimising inefficiencies."

Benjamin underscores the reputation his parents earned the company. He aims for Muthokinju to continue being a leader in the provision of affordable construction materials.


Muthokinju Paints & Cement Managing Director Benjamin Kimani. |Photo| Courtesy|

Benjamin reveals that a majority of his meetings are about strategy and minimising. That is why the company decided to digitise most of its operations.

Though minimally involved, Susan and Njuguna still hold positions in the company. The former is the Marketing Manager and the later chairs the company business.

"We live close to each other and see each other almost daily. I always seek their wisdom rather than lead the organisation blindly. They're very proud of me." 

The Kenyan news headlines are littered with stories of prominent families going into disputes over control of wealth. This is something Benjamin is determine to avert, and as a result, the family drafted a constitution to guide management of the company.

The document also dictates how Susan and Njuguna will exit the company.