30-year-old Peter Muraya is the founder of Innovare Limited, a leading sales training, consultancy and advertising company that seeks to assist companies leverage on their brands to be sustainable and profitable.
Words Moureen Mwaura
Muraya’s passion for entrepreneurship started while he was still in secondary school. Immediately after finishing his Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE), he started his first small business. “I mobilized Ksh. 9,000 which I used to start a small café,” says Muraya. “After running it for a couple of years, I decided to try my hand in Business Process Outsourcing (BPO),” he adds. However, he had to abandon the business to continue with his education.
After graduating from university, he shifted to formal employment which he explains failed since his passion was in entrepreneurship.
Muraya however notes that to be a successful entrepreneur, you must learn how to sell. “That is why I took a sales job for a few years, so that I could be able to operate in a larger scale once I got back into business.”
“To venture into entrepreneurship and build a successful business, first get employed in order to learn management skills and do your work to the best of your ability. When you have done all that, then you can take a step of faith and start your own business.”
He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Kenyatta University. He also studied philosophy as well as accounting. Muraya further asserts that his educational background has been a big asset in his entrepreneurship journey.
The young entrepreneur settled on self-employment since he had a vision for bigger things. He was tired of micro-management and comfort in employment which he says kills talents and ambitions. “To get what you want, you must get out of your comfort zone,” asserts Muraya.
What drives him is the need to train fresh graduates to become successful and motivated sales executives. To attain that, he strives to change people’s perceptions and attitudes regarding sales. Through that, people start appreciating the profession and choose it as their first option.
A range of services
Innovare has a diverse portfolio of services. The most popular is sales trainings. It has experts in various sales related fields who conduct training to ensure clients benefit from a large pool of experienced knowledge base. In 2015, for instance, Innovare trained over 30 companies in sales and customer service− most of them being referrals from satisfied clients.
Innovare recruits fresh graduates and offers them timely and continuous training to help them understand their mandate in regard to the marketing strategy.
Other trainings focus on customer relations with emphasis on trends that drive customer satisfaction. Innovare has partnered with diverse trainers in different disciplines like Image and Health to offer wholesome trainings to companies.
The firm also offers consultancy in sales and marketing. It trains companies on how to treat and facilitate sales people. On top of that, Innovare retails bulk SMS as a marketing platform to reach targeted clientele. “This service ensures that companies that use the service communicate cheaply with their current and prospective clients using customized SMS that have their company names.’’
At a tender age of twenty months, Innovare is already soaring high in the corpotate sky. The company has expanded its service range to include sales recruitment, trainings, sales consultancy, public relations and advertising. Recently, Innovare launched a sales magazine which focuses on sales and offers companies a platform to advertise their products and services.
“We are in the process of starting a sales college offering specialized courses in sales and marketing. These courses will be purely designed to equip students with practical selling skills and sales experience through mandatory attachment,’’ avers Muraya.
Despite these achievements, Innovare has faced a number of challenges. Muraya admits that it is a tough task running a start-up amidst established companies. He further says that mobilizing capital was a problem at the infancy stage of the company because no financial institution was ready to give money to young entrepreneurs with new start-ups.
Getting new clients was another challenge since marketing, promoting and networking needed capital. However, Muraya bet on creativity to minimize expenses and maximize on opportunities.