Abdikhalaq Haji Abdi runs an international freight forwarding business. He uses Kenya Airways’ Cargo services every week. Msafiri asked him about his business and his loyalty to Kenya Airways
Abdikhalaq Haji Abdi
• Age:43 • Country of residence: UK • Job Title: Managing Director • Company: Kesom Freight International Limited • Favourite destinations for business: Germany, Dubai and Kenya • Favourite destinations for pleasure: Mombasa, Kenya; Dubai and USA.
Q Tell us about your business
Kesom Freight International Ltd™ is an air and sea freight forwarding and logistics organisation providing international transportation services.
Q Tell us about your career
I started Kesom Freight in 2004. I used to send goods home to Kenya and, after speaking to fellow Kenyans living in the UK, friends and family, I decided to start an export business sending freight to Kenya. Initially, there were just two staff. I used to drive around London and the surrounding areas collecting freight and my colleague used to answer the phone and do all the paperwork. Through hard work and a lot of perseverance we built up the business to where we could employ further full- time staff. Our export grew from under a 100kg per week to more than 500kg per week within a couple of years. We have now increased that figure to well over several tonnes per week.
Q Your long term goals?
My vision for Kesom Freight was simple: to make it as easy as possible for the customer in the UK to send goods back home to Kenya. I wanted the customer to bring their goods to our West London office, hand them over to us and then have them collected from our offices in Nairobi or Mombasa. I wanted the process to be as smooth as possible and remove all the worries, knowing that we take care of everything. I want customers to know that loved ones back home only need to go to our office and pick up their parcel.
Q How did you market your business?
From the beginning we relied solely on word of mouth. We have found this to be the best form of advertising. Through this, we have built up a client base that is ever expanding. We still get most of our new customers through recommendations. Kesom Freight is a one-stop destination for anyone sending goods home to Kenya.
Q How has your business grown?
We are now able to send anything from a small watch to a bus, from kayaks to large speedboats and plant machinery like generators and industrial boilers. We also offer people back home in Kenya the opportunity to shop online in the UK and have their orders delivered to us. We then ship them to Kenya. This service has been a huge success with British residents in Kenya, as well as opening up a world of Internet shopping to Kenyans. From our tiny beginnings Kesom has grown into a truly international company. In April 2015 we opened our first European branch in Frankfurt, offering people the opportunity to export from Germany and all over Europe to Kenya.
Q How has KQ helped you to fulfil your business dreams?
From the beginning Kenya Airways have been my partners. They were there when I was starting out sending just a few parcels and have helped me grow the business. Knowing I can rely on Kenya Airways’ expertise in handling all our cargo needs means I can rest assured that they understand our needs as a company and also as fellow Kenyans. We are proudly Kenyan, and we are proud to associate ourselves with Kenya Airways.