George Opon, more popularly known as Taratibu, has been a businessman for the past 33 years. He kicked off by selling furniture in 1989 however a few years down the line demand for plastic furniture went up, which meant his craft and business took a hit. He knew immediately that he had to change his business strategy and defidd to venture into welding instead. His switch was inspired by one interesting reason:
Everyone needs gates, grills and metal doors for extra protection at home – even if your home is made of mud.
This is what made it a more sustainable business venture, one that he’s run for the past 3 decades.
Taritibu was introduced to 4G Capital in April 2021 by Millicent, a friend of his who owned a salon. He applied for his first loan which he received the very same day. This instant disbursement of loans is one of the things he loves most about UPIA. He recalls that the first loan he applied for was worth KSh. 5,000. By making partial payments whenever he can, and consistently clearing his loan balance on time, Taratibu’s loan limit has now gone up to KSh. 59,000. He’s a huge fan of training sessions and even after being in the game for over 3 decades, is eager to keep improving his skills.
By identifying the business gap which was the increasing need for metalwork, Taratibu has been able to start and run a successful business that continues to grow over the years. His customer base stretches all the way from Migori to Mombasa. From his catalogue, you can see the pictures of his fabulous work which he and his trusted assistant put together right outside the shop. His pride lies in the fact that he can serve customers with all types of needs depending on their taste and budget.
4G Capital huwa inanisaidia kuinua biashara yangu. Saa ingine, unaweza pata order na huna pesa za kutosha. Inabidi utafute mahali. Hapo ndipo 4G Capital huniokoa!
Translation: 4G Capital really helps me grow my business. Sometimes you can get an order an you don't have the funds. You'll need to get the capital somewhere. For me, that's where 4G Capital really comes through!
As per usual, running a business is not short of its challenges. He points out that business is sometimes slow especially when children have gone back to school and picks up when they’re home for the holidays. He eagerly awaits December when many families travel upcountry to visit their relatives.
His one wish for fellow craftsmen like him is to be supported as local vendors as compared to potential customers rushing towards imported goods. Taratibu is however very proud of his business which has enabled him to buy a plot, build a home and educate his children.