Denis Otieno is a serial entrepreneur who is passionate about making an impact in society. He has started four start-ups that offer various services while exploiting the benefits of technology. We had the opportunity to learn more about this young enthusiastic entrepreneur.
Please tell us about yourself.
My Name is Denis Otieno a.k.a. Sirumba, am 30 years old and a criminologist by profession and an IT expert from both Egerton University and Kenya Science Campus
What is the name of your enterprises?
I have had the opportunity to start several enterprises namely Sirumba Foundation (sirumba.org), Sirumba Cart (sirumbacart.com), Just 40 Days (Just40days.com), Yeswal Arts and Sirumba Farm.
What is the idea behind the name of your enterprise?
Under just40days we seek to:
• Increase awareness of scams, crime etc.
• Identify individuals or groups who may be vulnerable to scams, crime.
• Provide accurate and reliable information to victims and potential victims.
• Advise and support those who have been scammed.
• Warn people about fraud on the internet.
• Help people protect themselves against scammers.
• Be the ‘go to’ website for Scam, crime Information.
Under Sirumba Foundation we seek to:
• Media centre
• Social development
• Economic development
• Culture development
How, when and why did you start your enterprises?
I started my various ventures at different times but most in 2016. I started Sirumba Farm in July 2015, Sirumba Foundation in July 2016, Just40Days in August 2016 and Sirumba Cart also in 2016.
Kindly tell us more about your enterprises: services, products, location, and industry.
I sell animal products, pigs and chicken under Sirumba Farm.
Sirumba Cart (sirumbacart.com) is an online shopping platform.
Just 40 Days is an online platform (Just40days.com) that offer counseling and emotional support to those who are affected in any way and who have been victims of fraud. We offer a supportive environment to those who visit our site and ensure that those who visit our site are safe.
How do you generate new ideas to improve your enterprises?
I generate new ideas through research and by reading online.
How do you go about marketing your enterprises and which has been the most successful form?
I market by enterprises through social media especially facebook and sponsored links. These have been the most successful.
What has been your greatest achievement in running your enterprises?
My greatest achievement was having 200 pigs within 2 months and putting up 1,000 chicken within 3 months.
What has been your biggest setback in running your enterprises?
My biggest setback is increased competition and inadequate capital to buy the feeds, especially water because I don’t have a borehole at the moment.
Where do you see your enterprises 5-10 years from today?
I see a wealthy entrepreneur, setting up a school for the foundation; having more than ten thousand pigs and ten thousand chicken. On Just 40 Days I hope to expose all corruption and reduce the no of scammers and perhaps fight corruption in both public and private sectors
What would you do differently if you were to start over again?
Open up a big organization to fight corruption and perhaps the government would outsource my services.
What motivates you to keep doing what you do?
The charity work being carried out by the Aga Khan Foundation
What is your opinion on the view “entrepreneurship is the sustainable solution to youth unemployment”?
It’s the best way to go and stop looking for employment
What would you say are the key elements for one to start and run a successful enterprise like yours?
This would include an idea, adequate capital, energy and the will power to succeed.
What advice would you give to other youths seeking to venture into business?
Pray and think smarter all the time, if you have an idea write it down and get it done.
What advice do you have for other young entrepreneurs who look up to you for inspiration?
Young entrepreneurs should work harder all the time and avoid procrastination.
How do you spend your leisure time?
I love reading, swimming and getting time to plant trees and kales.
Your last word.
I am an entrepreneur and am going to make it, I will hustle and grind
You can reach Denis through the following contacts: