Thursday, February 28, 2013

Engineer steers bike-powered advertising firm to drive startups

By FRANKLINE AKHUBULA [email protected]   

Unlike established companies, the cost of advertising for many budding entrepreneurs is usually out of reach.

It is for this reason that Samson Wachira started the Adryde Marketing Company to give startups a platform to grow their customer base.

Through Adryde, young entrepreneurs can advertise their products using bicycle trailers fitted with adverts.

Although the concept is barely a month old, a good number of entrepreneurs are taking advantage of the new media company to reach out to their target customers.

According to Mr Wachira, the idea of developing this style of marketing is a plan which he toyed with for more than two years before putting it into practice.

“I wanted to offer an alternative, affordable, and unique way of sending information from entrepreneurs to consumers. I wanted to give small businesses a means of marketing their products without necessarily compromising their minimal profits to enable them to grow,” he says.

He told Money that for any business owner to pass information to his/her would-be customers through his media, the entrepreneur is required to deposit with his startup the preferred information to be relayed to the target market.

His company uses 10 modified bicycle trailers which cost the entrepreneur Sh40,000 to design. To launch the business, Mr Wachira used Sh400,000 on bicycle trailers and about Sh600,000 on other logistics.

His customers are also expected to name the area they intend to sell their products. He believes that it will not take long before he starts reaping profits once his investment picks up.

At the moment, his clients range from individuals to small businesses advertising different kinds of products.

“We work according to our client’s demand, which I think makes it the best media so far in the country. Above all, it’s the cheapest, most efficient, eco-friendly, and sustainable marketing media compared to other advertising companies and I believe any entrepreneur will be willing to buy our idea because it’s salable and practical,” he says.

He has employed 10 people to operate the bicycles trailers which advertise the products. In a few months, he plans to increase the number of workers to about 100.

A bright future

“From day one when we started testing the market, the response has been positive. Many businesspeople have been demanding more information with a view of possible placement of adverts with Adryde. We want to grow first before we can introduce new products to add value to our clients. Depending on how successful the idea will be, Adryde sees a bright future with prospects of introducing light-emitting diodes (LED) as its next technology so that we can grow,” he adds.

He claims that his firm has been licensed by the Nairobi City Council to advertise all around the town.

And in order to cultivate confidence in his clientele, he has partnered with an online tracking company, Paddycom, to make it easy for Adryde advertisers to track their adverts and even direct the bicycle trailers to the area they wish to be covered at any given time as long as it is within the agreed period.

“What I like about Adryde is that we are able to traverse the city and even the slums, depending on the need of our clients” he says.

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