Motorcycles are common mode of transport both in urban and rural Kenya, with bodaboda sector employing at least 4 out of 10 youths in rural counties.
This has seen the demand for motorcycles and spare parts increase tremendously over the past decade.
Even so, most motorcycle buyers in the country find it hard to purchase quality motorcycles for their trade due to limited information available
This has seen most of them conned by middlemen who sell them substandard products at overrated prices, with some forced to waste most time to manually search for their dream motorcycles.
These buyers can now rest easy, thanks to Nduthi.com, an ecommerce platform that points them to credible dealers across the country, offer price estimates and detailed technical information about different types of motorcycles available
Although Kevin Biwott Koech, an enterprising young Kenyan who has vast knowledge of motorcycles, having been a professional biker since 2006 conceptualized this idea in 2010, it is until 2014 when the initiative came to fruition.
Biwott fell in love with motorcycles when he went to pursue Electronics in India, a country with one of the highest motorcycle penetration in the world.
Just like many other motorcycle enthusiasts in the country, Biwott found it hard to get credible dealers, professional advice and products locally.
This information vacuum is what inspired him to start nduthi.com which currently enjoys at least 10,000 page views per day with thousands of fan thronging the site’s social media platforms. Currently, its Facebook page has over 18,000 followers.
‘Initially, I didn’t know exactly what to offer on the site. Although I lacked clear business goals, I had a deep urge to help Kenyans conveniently get quality bikes at better prices’’
With time and assistance from his partner-his younger brother David Kiptoo, a web developer and cyber security expert, Biwott managed to come up with a well-functioning site that allowed individuals selling second hand bikes reach their prospective customers for free.
He also did frequent blogs offering personal opinion on how to find best bikes for different purpose before he started to engage various dealers for partnership
‘Getting dealers to trust the platform was not a walk in the park. Most of them were skeptical about sharing their business information like prices with a stranger. Others who had internal marketing team were not willing to spend more on external marketers,’’ explained Biwott
After digital marketing wave started to hit the country, thanks to the entry of ecommerce platforms like Jumia, dealers started coming on board.
The site now boast of both international and local motorcycle brands like Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha, Bajaj, Skygo, Lifan, Bajaj, Hero, TVS and KIM.
How it works
The site has a content sharing model where partners are given unique logging in credentials that allow them post and view information to their prospective clients.
Honda for instance is able to post pictures, prices and description about their products using logging details offered by nduthi.com. Partners can chat with clients and receive orders via the site under observation by nduthi.com administrator
When a customer place an order on the platform, it is viewed both by nduthi.com and the specific dealer. Nduthi.com follows up with the conversation until the purchased product is paid for and delivered to the client.
According to Biwott, nduthi.com earns a commission from every sale made via the site.
Individuals selling their second hand motorbikes are however not charged. Biwott told Techmoran that plans are underway to start charging second hand dealers a small fee.
The site has several sections which includes type of motorcycles. Some of categories in this section includes bodaboda, off road bikes, sport touring, tricycle cargo, sports bike, chopper, scooter, electric bikes and even tuk tuks.
When you click on a type of bike, several information about it is revealed i.e. the model, brand, price and a short bio about its user ability.
It has different dialogue boxes which allows the viewer to search brand, price and efficiency capacity.
It has a cart where a willing buyer can post an order that is viewed by both nduthi.com and its partners.
Other key icons on the site includes:- Find a bike, used bikes, new bikes, sell bike, Find a dealer Finance, Gear shop, Events and a term of conditions.
Besides linking buyers and sellers, nduthi.com has partnered with various finance institutions and dealers who offer higher purchase services and competitive discounts to buyers.
No cyber security threats
Cyber security is a thorn in flesh for the e-commerce sector across the globe. Biwott is however grateful for his brother who is an expert and manages technical aspects.
‘’We conduct regular security surveillance to ensure that information about our partners and visitors is not compromised,’’ assured Biwott
Job creation and expansion plan
Biwott is the Managing Director for this fast growing firm while his brother Davis is an Executive Director.
They have also a team of 5 young Kenyans who help in daily running of the business on part time basis.
Biwott has plans to grow the business beyond Kenya’s border, hoping to rope in the rest of East Africa before covering the continent.
He termed the e-commerce sector targeting machines in Africa as a virgin, explaining that it is only South Africa which has few motorcycle e-platforms in the continent.
He is optimistic that his gradual expansion plan will create hundreds of job opportunities for young people in the region.