In 2018, a significant shift in the perception of road construction as an industry dominated by well-established corporations commenced, largely due to the inspiring narrative of Charles Kipng’eno Langat. At the age of 47, he courageously challenged the prevailing norms, demonstrating that regular individuals could not only survive but also thrive in the dynamic world of road construction.
The story of Mr. Langat, as recounted by WoK, began with modest origins. He eked out a living by selling second-hand clothing at the open-air market in Kericho. However, driven by his ambition and unwavering determination, he painstakingly constructed his reputation and accumulated considerable wealth as a road contractor.
By the time 2018 rolled around, he boasted an impressive fleet comprising four road graders, four bulldozers, and a fleet of lorries. Mr. Langat’s journey, though, took an intriguing twist.
Initially, he had achieved success in the mitumba (second-hand clothing) business, amassing a total of Ksh1.8 million over five years. Nevertheless, challenges arose when he imported sub-standard clothing bales from Germany, and he became a victim of a fraudulent scheme, suffering a substantial loss of Ksh1 million.
Unperturbed by these setbacks, Mr. Langat made the audacious decision to shutter his clothing enterprise and embark on a quest for fresh opportunities. In 1998, armed with an initial capital of Ksh800,000, he ventured into the realm of tendering to supply goods to state institutions in Kericho.
His unyielding determination and persistence bore fruit when he secured his maiden contract that year, furnishing the Kericho District Hospital with 50 bags of beans and 20 bags of maize flour. He expanded his portfolio by providing timber for construction and firewood to locally accredited schools and the prisons department.
These initial, smaller contracts marked the inception of Mr. Langat’s remarkable journey. His profits surged to approximately Ksh150,000, instilling in him the drive to establish a company aimed at pursuing more substantial tenders within the road construction sector.
In 2003, he laid the foundation for Chaglano Enterprises Ltd. After the company’s registration, Mr. Langat made a successful bid for his first major road construction project. This venture entailed the surfacing of three kilometers of the Kipsitet-Kapsorok road in Soin/Sigowet constituency at a cost of Sh1 million.
Recalling the moment, he stated, “After registering the company, I submitted a bid and secured my first road tender, which involved the murram surfacing of three kilometers of the Kipsitet-Kapsorok road in Soin/Sigowet constituency at a cost of Sh1 million.” This milestone heralded the commencement of Mr. Langat’s ascent within the road construction industry, underscoring the fact that even ordinary citizens could prosper in a field that was once deemed the exclusive domain of the elite.