The advertising industry can be very lucrative when executed correctly. Various forms of advertisements exist but, billboards are arguably the most standout and popular forms of advertisements in the country and perhaps anywhere in the world.
A stroll or ride around any town in the country or major roads, one cannot miss a billboard advertising various consumer products from different companies.
In Kenya, one of the largest and arguably the most popular billboard company is Magnate Ventures. The company was founded and is owned by a close confidant of President Uhuru Kenyatta, Stanley Kinyanjui.
The reclusive billionaire is reportedly a close friend of the Head of State, and forms part of the inner circle he hangs around with in private. In 2017, Kinyanjui was among those that contributed financially to the reelection of President Kenyatta according to reports by the Standard.
File Image: Tom Muchina (left) receives his prizes from Magnate Venture CEO Stanley Kinyanjui (right) in 2017.
Kinyanjui was one of the founders of Friends of Jubilee, a lobby group that was formed to raise money towards the ruling party’s campaigns and reelection.
Magnate Ventures is headquartered in Nairobi and offers outdoor advertising through; billboards, street signs, hoardings, and event branding in East Africa.
According to the company website, Magnate Venture controls a 50per cent market share in Nairobi, 40 percent in Mombasa, 60 percent in Kisumu, 63 percent in Eldoret, and 57 percent in Nakuru, and has over 1,200 billboards.
How We Made it In Africa Magazine in 2013 reported that Kinyanjui runs the company along with his younger brother, Robert Kinyanjui.
"I run this business with my younger brother and co-founder Robert and when decisions need to be made we do not have a lot of bureaucracy," Kinyanjui was quoted as saying.
Magnate Ventures has over the years grown to venture into various countries in Eastern and Central Africa including Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The company has worked with multiple companies and organizations both locally and internationally. Some of them include; the NATO, the European Union, Manchester Airport Group, UK Customs, Hong Kong International Airport, US Department of Homeland Security (TSA, CBP), US Department of Defence.
The advertising industry in Nairobi is very lucrative and according t reports, outdoor adverts on larger billboards cost about Ksh1.3 million per year while the small ones go for between Ksh20,000 and Ksh50,000 per annum.
In 2019, the Nairobi City County Outdoor Advertising and Signage Control and Regulation Board noted that the county made about Ksh2 billion in revenue from the outdoor advertising in 2018.
Magnate ventures has since ventured into digital marketing, diversifying the company’s revenue streams.
Kinyanjui and his brother Robert, have often been hailed as very philanthropic individuals who like to mingle with ordinary members of the public.
They are said to greatly contribute to numerous activities within the locality of their rural home.
Kinyanjui attended Kibiku Primary School in Kabete Constituency, Kiambu County and is said to have helped and still continues to help many students from the school.