Nicholas Wambua: Man minting millions from the scrap metal business

Nicholas Wambua, a Kenyan entrepreneur, has witnessed a significant uptick in his income since transitioning from farming to the scrap metal trade.

Originally from Machakos County, Wambua decided to leave farming behind in 2019 due to the unpredictable weather patterns that resulted in substantial losses for him.

Seeking better opportunities, he relocated to Narok County, where he initially set up a cereal business. However, with the assistance of a friend, he soon shifted his focus to the scrap metal industry.

“In the beginning, I established a cereal shop in Narok town, sourcing cereals from the Ukambani region. The business was doing well, enabling me to sustain my modest living expenses and support my family,” Wambua shared.

His foray into the scrap metal trade began with visits to construction sites, where he would procure used iron sheets at discounted rates and resell them as scrap metal.

Over time, Wambua’s enterprise gained attention, with individuals approaching him to sell their scrap metal.

Wambua elaborates on his business model, stating that he purchases scrap metal at Sh. 25 per kilogram and sells it to metal industries in Nairobi for Sh. 30 per kilogram, yielding a profit of Sh. 5 per kilogram.

“Our primary markets are in Kitengela and Uganda. On average, I sell over 20,000 kilograms of scrap metal per month, resulting in a monthly return of no less than Sh. 100,000,” he reveals.

He emphasizes the importance of being able to discern high-quality scrap metal, as not all materials meet market standards. Additionally, he warns against unwittingly dealing with stolen goods, which could lead to legal repercussions.

“People have become increasingly crafty. Instances of vandalism targeting equipment belonging to water and electricity utilities, as well as road signs, are common. Hence, we must exercise vigilance when purchasing scrap metal from the public,” he cautions.

Wambua acknowledges the challenges posed by governmental regulations but has nonetheless managed to thrive in the business.

Thanks to his profits, he can support his two wives and six children, and he has also invested in a plot of land in Narok town, with plans for development in the near future.