Tabitha Karanja’s story is proof that you can dream big but start small
18 years ago, Tabitha took a huge risk and ventured where no one had. She stepped into an 87 year old male dominated business monopoly after realizing a gap in the market
Tabitha and her husband emptied the family’s savings and started Keroche, making fortified wine, which despite being low priced, was made to high standards.
The decision was tough as she battled with banks unwilling to part with desperately needed start-up capital and uncooperative government officials who at a point shut down her offices. According to her, the early days of the business were quite tough as they also had to convince people why they should purchase their products.
The company struggled with getting distributors, so Tabitha had to set up her own network of agents. Product imitation and change in government regulations at that time stopped Keroche from making fortified wine and she moved into beer, gin, vodka, and wine imported from South Africa, all sold in glass bottles.
From starting with only five staff, Tabitha now employs over 300 people and her company’s state-of-the-art production facility is targeting 20% of the Kenyan market.
No matter how big the hurdles may be, never give up on your dreams.