How a career pilot opted for a multi-billion real estate venture

Mwenda Thuranira, CEO, MySpace Properties

After six years as a realtor in the US managing and selling properties, Mwenda Thuranira opted to take the challenge home. The the real estate sector had collapsed due to the US financial crisis between 2004-2007.

Mwenda had goneto study piloting and eventually acquired a private pilot’s license from Orlando Flying School. After graduation, he left to work as at a construction site. “I released piloting was not my thing and settled for a career in the construction sector.”

Working at a construction site soon opened up him to a wide array of opportunities in the real estate sector and he felt in love with.

Excited this new journey, he enrolled for a six months realtor course which was instrumental in shaping his knowledge on mortgages, property deals, loans and other form of property financing.

Coming back home, he set up shop in Mombasa in 2008. “There was opportunity to grow at the coastal region compared to Nairobi. A lot of players were developing properties and the Mombasa wasn’t known as a go-to destination,” says Mwenda Thuranira.

“As an entrepreneur, where there are challenges I know there are opportunities. Whom to sell to was their major problem.”

Mwenda is the CEO of MySpace Properties which was recently listed at the Nairobi Securities Exchange under the Ibuka programme to improve its market positioning.

“Our business is capital intensive. We need funds to enhance our capacity and pro-actively compete in the market in a way that enables us to give our customers, investors and stakeholders value proposition.”

The firm is also interested in helping the government achieve its housing ambitions under the Big Four Agenda. “Kenyans need a structured real estate solution they can trust,” says the CEO. This informed the property firm to introduce modern mini-malls to meet the growing demand of affordable space from retailers and vendors.

According to the executive, the high cost of rentals spaces and lengthy commuting distance from residential areas has kept small scale traders and retailers out of business. “Mini-malls is part of our strategy to come up with properties that will accommodate various clients and bring markets closer to homes,” he says.

Mwenda who first started his company in a makeshift office in Mombasa, always wanted to work in business. And seeing his company growing organically over time with over 75 per cent of referral business excites him.

Asked what has been the secret ingredient to his meteoric rise he points out to his incredible team at the firm. “Our people have been the greatest aspect of our growth. We also keep our word and build sustainable relationships.”

Having set foot in Nairobi, the property firm hopes to innovate and bring more solutions to the people at it embarks on a growth strategy.

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