Cephas Gathii has lost big clients, lost money, and won awards. He is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Koncepts and Events. Building the business from scratch has been a struggle.
David Kyalo is Mr. Gathii’s business partner.
Cephas Gathii and David Kyalo are the convenors of the Young Entrepreneurs Expo.
Cephas Gathii is a Computer Science graduate from JKUAT. After graduation, he had looked for a job in vain. He decided to reach out to a friend and try to do something about it.
Teaming up with high school friend, David Kyalo, they started doing small jobs. It ranged from creating websites to printing business cards.
During one of his forays in his IT business with Kyalo, he stumbled upon organizing events. This was a big opportunity that offered growth in its business trajectory.
An IT client wanted an event organizer and they offered to do it.
It was a risk that paid off and gave birth to a new product offering to their nascent business.
With little to no money from their own pockets, they scraped for money from family and friends. They made their first event a success.
When it came to payment time, the manager swindled them of their money. She had noticed their naivety.
They did not have any written contracts. Most of the contract negotiations were through phone and e-mail conversations.
They lost around Sh 300,000. The manager in charge of the event’s finances quit and went with their money. The young entrepreneurs were in a big financial hole.
Working With World Bank
All was not lost as their great job at the TRM kids festival opened doors to more opportunities. They had done a good job and many had seen that.
As luck would have it a staff member of the World Bank had seen their work in their first event and got impressed. It earned them a contract with the World Bank which they did well and got paid for it. Their hard work had paid off.
They had learned their lessons. They were now equipped for the tough world of entrepreneurship. With a successful event at the World Bank Kenya, calls began coming in from other corporates. They were now in business.
Cephas Gathii has been through ups and downs in his journey to building Koncepts and Events. His IT outfit, when starting, was Afriqque Ventures.
He had to rebrand to keep up with the new status and leave no doubt on what it does. Cephas Gathii lacked an office when starting out.
Today he now operates from the comfort of the upmarket Westlands area.
It is a testament to how high he has risen on his entrepreneurial journey.
Some of his lowest moments were the loss of a major client.
A supplier failed to deliver supplies on time. It made them unable to service their obligations and led to client loss.
Entrepreneurship Awards and Fellowships
Cephas Gathii has won awards in his career:
- Business Daily Top 40 Under 40 (twice)
Cephas Gathii has been a speaker and moderator on many entrepreneurship events.
He speaks to young guys who are starting out in entrepreneurship and mentors them.
The Young Entrepreneurs Expo
This is through a brainchild of his and Kyalo. The Young Entrepreneurship Expo invites other successful entrepreneurs to speak to upcoming entrepreneurs.
It also provides a space for others to exhibit their products and services.
Through the platform, the duo aims to help 100,000 young men and women to establish their businesses . This is all before 2030.
A big dream.
Past speakers include Bidco Africa CEO Vimal Shah, Onfon Media founder Denis Makori, KFCB (Kenya Film Classification Board) CEO Ezekiel Mutua, among others.
Entrepreneurship is an avenue many young people dream of but few pursue. Cephas Gathii and his partner David Kyalo have taken the path and made a success out of it.
It’s time to revive your entrepreneurial ambitions and see them through.