Rise to reach the sky
Spanish philosopher George Santayana once said it is always pleasant to be urged to do something on the ground that one can do well.
Following the same philosophical thinking, Benfried Kahirimana founded Office Experts because he felt he was meant to strive in his own business.
Office Experts which offers a wide variety of office and home furniture operates at Number 7 Planck Street, Southern Industry in Windhoek.
Having worked in the same environment for five years, Kahirimana realised that he could surely set up his own business as he felt he had been around enough and had become very good at what he was doing.
Armed with this knowledge and some savings, he registered his own business in April 2012 and started operating in August of the same year after resigning to fully commit to his venture.
At first, he started the business from home marketing his business from door to door to get it on the market.
“Getting a loan from banks is not always easy so I basically started the business from nothing. Getting the suppliers to trust me was not a walk in the park. However, we managed to get clients who were willing to pay in advance 50% deposit which allowed us to keep the business rolling,” he says.
From those days, he used to operate from home and had to constantly plough back into the business the little profit he got from the sale.
He has grown the business within a year to employ 10 people and diversified into making more products.
Kahirimana points out that his products can be divided in five sectors including reception furniture which he describes as the perfect fit for the area.
They offer a wide range of melamine and veneer reception desks, counters and coffee tables in a wide variety of colours, styles and sizes.
The second sector offers a choice of workstations giving various styles to suit the office layout.
Office Experts has a section that offers office chairs including executive chairs, ergonomic chairs and visitor chairs.
The remaining two sectors offer office screens which can either be desk screens or floor standing screens to divide the office space while the filing and storage section offers a range of bookcases, stationery cupboards, pedestals and credenzas to optimise the office.
In addition, they sell computer accessories, stationery as well as do upholstery and repairing of office chairs.
The list also includes air conditioning, electrical appliances, training equipment such as whiteboard and projectors.
While some of the products are bought from South Africa, they have customised furniture made in their own workshop to broaden this sector.
Kahirimana notes that they have recently purchased machines to further help make furniture and school tables and chairs which they already sell.
In order to get the market their business, they have implemented a short time delivery strategy which involves getting products delivered in the shortest time possible to the clients.
Some of the clients, Office Experts deals with parastatals, various companies and educational institutions such as Unam Windhoek, Rundu and Ongwediva, International University of Namibia (IUM), Swakop Uranium, Green Enterprises as well as the Karibib Town Council.
Looking at the future, he plans to open branches in the north to broaden the brand. He urges the aspiring entrepreneurs not to lose time once they found what they are good at but follow it wholeheartedly.
“We intend reaching more people across the country, the business has enough vans for deliveries so we can reach all regions and I also have a very capable team.
“Furthermore, I am planning to open a branch in the north in the near future,” he says.