Johannesburg - A Kenyan computer science graduate who spent a decade in the United States, has found his calling back home making floor mats, after his father asked him to get one for his medical practice.
Anthony Wamburu founded Stocles Mat Solutions, which manufactures eco-friendly durable rubber floor mats, after his father, a medical doctor, requested a mat that could withstand the dust and mud brought by scores of patients to his practice in Kenya's central town of Nyeri.
Observing that many people in the town used old tyres from broken down vehicles for mats, Wamburu decided to design his own, and, after months of trial and error, hit on the right formula.
His father loved the final product, and high demand from other residents in the town gave Anthony the idea of making a business out of it. Hence, Stocles Mat Solutions was born .
"The mat industry in Kenya is not very diverse today. In many places you will find that because there are not too many choices for good floor mats, people still use flattened cardboard and car rubber mats for their establishments," Wamburu says.
"It is for that very reason we decided to venture into this market."
Now his mats grace the doorsteps of offices, gyms and are also used as bases for household appliances such as fridges and washing machines. One of their appeals is their durability.
Wamburu started the company using his personal savings as capital, but is looking for investors or partners to help him expand.
"My plans are in line with those of Kenya-Vision 2030 and ... as much as I am trying to build my company I also create jobs for the youths, train them on how to do the job, educate them on how to be self employed," Wamburu says.
"I also encourage every one to use Eco-Friendly mats to fight pollution."
Stocles Mat has five time employees but frequently takes on casual workers when demand for mats is high. All but one of its employees are engineering students from a local university.
African News Agency/ANA