Nov 26

‘There’s nothing else I’d rather be doing right now’

Ritesh Doshi was born in Kenya, and after studying at the London School of Economics he pursued a number of work opportunities abroad, including investment banking. He saw an opportunity to bring the US-based franchise, Naked Pizza, to Nairobi after waiting 90 minutes for a pizza while visiting his family in Kenya a few years ago.

“In every other international, world-class city that I have lived, worked and travelled to, I have been able to get a pizza in 35 minutes or so, so why not Nairobi?”

He added that with a growing upper and middle class with rising expectations of quality and convenience – as well as a growing number of expats – the demand and potential for success was obvious. However, while he did not imagine that setting up the franchise would be easy, the experience was still more challenging than expected.

“Setting up a business anywhere is hard. I expected it to be harder in an emerging country like Kenya. It’s been even more gruelling than I could have imagined. With the exception of labour and some fresh produce, everything costs more. Equipment, food ingredients, government licences, taxes. And everything takes longer.”

He noted that government bureaucracy, poor infrastructure and a short supply of skilled human capital are his main obstacles.

“You often ask yourself ‘is it worth it’ when a lot more things go wrong than right. But there is nothing else that I would rather be doing right now, especially being part of that growth story in my own country,” Doshi highlighted.

Source: How We Made It In Africa