[Startup Interview] Job Mutai, Co Founder, New Age Media, Kenya
Job Mutai is the Co Founder and Creative Director of New Age Media agency, a marketing, communications and media company based in Nairobi, Kenya. Just like the best, New Age Media service offering ranges within the contemporary and emerging markets in the media and communication industry.
Job talks to Africa Business Communities about his business journey and why he quit his job in a media house, to start his own.
Would you please introduce your company?
New Age Media agency is a professional brand communication company based in Nairobi, Kenya. We are a start-up advertising agency, which was founded in 2015. We mainly focus on marketing, communications and media. This mainly includes advertising, digital marketing, media Relations and PR.
Where is your company located?
We are located at Madona House on Westlands Road in Westlands, Nairobi, Kenya.
What motivated or inspired in the media business and not any other business?
I could provide result-oriented professional corporate communication functions to SMEs and startups that can not afford retaining big agencies. From my findings, I realized that small enterprises fail to take off due to poorly done Go-To-Market strategy or due to poor visibility. Many SMEs do not have fire strategies. With in-depth understanding and experience in the market communication realm, I dared to tap into this market niche.
Where did you get the funding for your startup?
I started up the agency using my savings from my salary. I was working in a mainstream media house as a creative.
What are some of the major challenges you encountered when you were starting and how did you overcome them?
Challenges are inevitable in business, and how you respond to them is what shapes your destiny. For my case, I foresaw my challenges as an initiation into the business world. The more the challenges, the more the lessons I earned. For instance, most of the big organizations did not pay on time, which in a big way inconvenienced my day to day operations. However, I have learned to negotiate payment terms before embarking on any project. Another major challenge was getting office space that would suit my business. Office space in Nairobi is very expensive especially for SMEs and startups. On the other hand, setting up the agency was very expensive as the equipment and process was bit costly.However, I had to make some personal sacrifices to make it work. Human capital is also a main challenge facing the industry in general. This is one of the main reasons we set up an apprenticeship program.
Who are your clients?
My initial target group was SMEs and startups. However, due to our business network and competence in the industry, we have been privileged to work with some of the big corporates such as Kempinski Hotels, Bosch, UNODC, among others. We were also behind the rebranding of Myspace properties, one of the leading real estate firms in Kenya. Our other clients include County Governments and parastatals.
How has the market responded to your services?
There is a big opportunity in the brand communication industry as corporates have started acknowledging the role of market communication because the current market has started to become creative and creative, one has to employ creative marketing strategies. Having been able to offer these market solutions, I can confidently say that it has a positive progress for the New Age.
There are many media agencies in the country, what would you say gives your company the competitive edge?
Like our main focus is on the SMEs that are not available but are in need of creative agency services. This is what we need to offer them and offer even better services as we personalize their budget and needs. This has been a major boost to our client base as about 90% of our clients are from referrals.
What would you say is your current business threat?
The current challenges affecting the country 's economy are making corporates cut their marketing budgets and this has affected our company. Late payments, slow decision making and project suspension are some of the direct implications we are facing as a company.
What is the latest news from your company?
We have partnered with Dimension Global Communications, a leading PR, Strategic partnerships and Sponsorship firm that has brought in a wealth of experience and network. This will enable you to offer a 360 degree marketing communication approach that will revolutionize brands.
What are the ambitions of the company going forward?
Our main focus will be to provide result-oriented corporate communication functions that are aimed at achieving our client's market goals through innovative and effective brand management services. This will enable us to be recognized as the most innovative, dedicated, and productive integrated brand communication firm in Kenya.
Being young and self-employed, what advice would you give to unemployed youths in Africa?
Every young person should know that they are the hope for the future. The only secret is to be persistent, patient and prayerful. Take time to learn and be observant, they will realize what opportunities are spread out, all over. Lastly, it is always wise to know when to quit, the adage 'winners never quit' is a hoax. In business, you should know when to walk away. Do not fear to start again.
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