Noah Muhindi’s idea, born from a scene in a film 3 years ago, has turned into a successful gift Business.
DnD deliveries is where you’ll find one of a kind gifts as unique and special as the people you’re celebrating.
From Birthdays and Anniversaries to corporate gifts, they refer to themselves as your number one gifting destination for every special occasion.
They have a wide myriad of gift items from flowers, food and drinks, jerseys, jewelry, homeware. If you want it all personalized, they can do that for you.
How it all started – Idea conception
“I was watching a film, ‘Major Crime’ Season 5, Episode 4 in January 2018. I saw a lady delivering a bouquet to a doctor and I thought it was something that could be incorporated into a company we had started – DnD.
We then picked it up and turned it into a project for Valentine’s which was a month away. We came up with a team for the project and got it done. After that, we got more ideas of how it can be done better and better throughout the year.” Noah Muhindi, DnD Gifts.
1st Valentine 2018 Vs 4th Valentine 2021
“There has been a lot of noticeable difference and progress. One, it’s in terms of business operations. During the first year of businessI used to operate in Daystar Athi River. Compared to now, business operations are now smoother.
Another significant difference is how this year’s Valentine is different from the other years. In the previous years, we used to deliver gifts to offices, classrooms, etc. But with Covid-19, most people are home.
Another significant difference is influenced by the power of purchase. The economy has had some shake ups and it’s not as steady as it used to be. Well, we still have many orders coming in.
Yes there have been differences, but we have also grown as a business. From the time we started, there has been significant growth.
We now have different platforms and in addition, a physical place to operate from.”
Sole proprietorship to Partnership
“When I was starting, I registered my business under my name. However, as I moved along and the business started to grow, I invited other people into the business to work with.
But in future, I would want to register it under partnership because it has more value than sole proprietorship.”
Noah’s Business is under sole proprietorship on paper. However, in real business operations, DnD as an enterprise has taken more hands on deck than Noah’s only.
“No one can run a business by themselves. Anyone would need partnership. Of Course there are other things you require from other people. You will need other characters into your business with different abilities to help you.
For me for instance, I need help in accounting, design, other business operations such as a rider to do deliveries or a florist for flower gifts. I can’t do everything by myself and I clearly need people around.
It’s very important to work with other people other than working by yourself.
When I first started, I put together a project team of 5 since it was just a project. This is excluding personnel such as the riders since they are third party.
However, I was ready to release the team after the project due to financial reasons. But, they decided to remain and continue working with me because they had the passion.”
All Gifts and Everything Nice
“We sell all gifts and everything nice at DnD because we believe anything can be gifted.
Gifts can be in the form of experience, a product, a service like a massage, or an eat-out. You can’t put a limit into it.”
Why the gift Industry for DnD?
“My greatest virtue is Love. Where there is love you will find me there because it gives me fulfillment.”
How DnD operates – Order – Assemble – Package – Dispatch
“We have different platforms. First, we have social media platforms and that’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp. Then, we have our main platform which is the DnD website.
What we do is market products all across. We have provided our contact info on all our platforms.
We then get orders either via the website, or WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook or through direct calls and act on them. And different clients use different methods to reach us.
We have several people and companies we have partnered with in the Kenyan market. They supply us with the different items we need such as wine, flowers, jerseys, etc. So everytime we get an order, we contact them and they sell the items to us on a wholesale price.
We then Assemble, Package and Dispatch the orders.
Most effective platform in marketing for DnD
“With the current Kenyan market, even with the website itself, people still come to WhatsApp. Even on Instagram and Facebook, we market with our WhatsApp button.
You find that the second best is definitely WhatsApp. And, customers prefer communicating and making orders and enquiries through WhatsApp because it’s easier and many of them can access it.
Most effective platform in terms of reach and engagement
The platform with the highest number of people is the one that goes. And when it comes to marketing, you have to use data.
So, the most favorable marketing platform is Facebook and most people will say that. Infact, Facebook has the most people or the largest audience in Kenya.
We have been using Facebook and Instagram a lot. We have been marketing and sponsoring ads on Facebook, Instagram, all across. But, Facebook has been the most consistent and most prolific marketing platform.
Getting a physical space for the business
DnD operated online for the longest time. But when the opportunity arose, DnD decided to acquire a physical space at Queensway House, Kaunda Street.
“Some of these things cannot be predicted. Sometimes you can plan and say you will get a space next month and then something happens and it doesn’t happen.
For us, we saw an opportunity and picked it up. We didn’t really plan for it. We had decided to work online before but then we saw the need to get a physical office.
One, there are those people who want to come and make an inquiry or look at the item before. Others want to come to town, pick the item and deliver it to their loved ones themselves. Additionally, others want to come and just brainstorm with you and prefer a face to face chat with you.
Those are the main reasons we decided to jump into the opportunity and get an office in town.”
Biggest Challenge in the day to day operation
“The biggest challenge would be mental fatigue because you have to think through in gifting.
For instance, a customer tells you they want to gift their mom, or their girlfriend, or boyfriend and ask you to help them come up with something.
You give them an idea but they don’t want it. So you have to think hard and it’s the same cycle for every order. And then, you have to be very creative in terms of packaging and other details.
So by the end of the day you are mentally fatigued.
The other challenges that come with running the business are very manageable.”
Why DnD for customers?
Every business operates in a competition filled market. And for DnD customers, the experience they get is what makes them choose DnD over and over.
“For us, what we sell is experience. We don’t sell gifts, or hampers, we sell the experience unique to everyone. And, no one can compete with your experience.
Our biggest value addition to the market as DnD is the experience we give. And we give a unique experience in terms of packaging, delivery, and customer relations. It’s the experience we give that makes us stand out.”
My Entrepreneurship Journey
“My entrepreneurship journey has been amazing, I have to say. And I have enjoyed it so far.
However, the truth is, entrepreneurship is not easy as many people would want to put it. It’s not all that flashy.
But for me, what has helped me is this: I have endured the pain and enjoyed the process of growth. I have enjoyed going through the difficult times because I love creating solutions. Maybe that’s why I have not given up yet. Not yet, because I am not giving up.
And honestly, I believe every human has something unique they can impact society with. One of my greatest motivations is from Phil Knight, the founder of Nike. From his book ‘Shoe Dog’, he has pleaded with the youth to use their 20s and early 30s energy and time to try and work on something of their own before they try or decide to work for someone.
That’s one of the motivations I got while in 3rd year and my mind immediately shifted and decided this is it. Do or die, I am here and I am enjoying it.”
To young aspiring entrepreneurs: You don’t need money to start, you need money to grow
“I will say this to young people who want to start a business and don’t think they have enough capital to start: You don’t need money to start, you need money to grow.
I didn’t start with money, I started with an idea. Infact, I didn’t even have a designed poster. I went on Word and drafted out my idea and approached a few people and told them about my project.
Some few weeks later as I was having a discussion with a few youth in my area. And the then aspiring area MCA heard our discussion and granted me Ksh 10,000.
But even with that, we needed a transport system. I acquired an old motorcycle, from a friend, repaired it and started using it for deliveries. We used it for a while then later acquired a better transport system.
So, capital is never the issue. You can start by hawking. You need to start from somewhere.”