I bring parties to unconventional spaces

Thursday, November 5th, 2020 00:00 |
Kevin Kamau (Right) and a member of the Bush in the Bar team. Photo/PD/NJERI MAINA

Kevin Kamau, managing director and founder of Bar in the Bush, an events company that offers professional bar services at unorthodox, and out-of-ordinary areas, tells People Daily of his entrepreneurial journey.

Njeri Maina @njerimainar

Kevin Kamau has always loved events. From a young age he knew he wanted to do something in that space despite not knowing exactly what.

Even though he went on to do other things, his dream to own an events company came into fruition in 2014.

He woud get displeased with service, where everything on offer was served in plastic cups.

He saw the gap and decided to set up a ompany that takes away the headache of hosting.

“I started Bar in the Bush purely out of the need to facilitate hosting of exquisite events in unconventional event spaces such as parks, rooftops and private residences, that then were not half as popular as they are today.

I was already an events manager and I could see how clients were yearning for a different experience.

I saw a gap and decided to fill it by providing services that Bar in the Bush currently offers,” Kevin explains the genesis of his company.

At the first ever event they curated and bartended, they did not own anything they used, with most glassware coming from people in his vast networks in the industry.

They would start buying equipment towards the end of their second year in business.

Kevin attributes his understanding on building a brand to the basic foundation his Bachelor of Arts with a major in marketing provided him.

He has also predominantly worked in sales and marketing for a better part of his career, which has shaped him significantly, especially his approach in running a business.  

Kevin says starting out was hard, especially since it was untried territory, hence there was not enough research or preparation that could have readied him for entrepreneurship.

First off, financing both at the start of the business and in later stages for scaling has been hard.

The other challenge, which he welcomes with both hands, is the need to up the ante with each subsequent event.

But the definition of a good business man is in how he deals with challenges and handles the wins.

And Bar in the Bush has had plenty of wins from handling  events including Miss World Kenya, Kenya Music Week, Afro Jazz at the Waterfront, launches, corporate end of year parties, and other numerous high profile private events they could not divulge as per clients’ requests.

While his business has had its fair share of highlights and challenges, Covid-19 brought the business to a near halt.

“Covid-19 has been hard on everyone. It has forced us to rethink how we do business and made us restrategise on new ways of meeting clients’ needs while observing Ministry of Health Regulations.

One way we have been doing this is by hosting small private bush tours for families looking to get out a bit coupled with beverage experiences for groups as small as six persons in accordance with the safety regulations,” Kevin explains.

Among his plans is the expansion of portfolio of services offered from not just tending to drinks, but also providing accompanying glassware, bar furniture and décor, waiters, professional bartenders and pretty much anything else that would be required in a bar in the bush.

They want to also get into club and beverage activation services where they would hire personnel to help launch new beverages or push sales of specific drinks at designated venues. 

Networks work 

Kevin has learnt a lot on his entrepreneurial journey, chief among them, the value of networks.

He says networks are important pillars of business, especially if one is in the service industry where the product cannot be viewed in store beforehand.

Referrals come in handy with the potential of growing a business exponentially.

Networks not only help you grow your customer base, but also help when sourcing for facilities and products needed to provide a service.

He emphasises on the need to value networks and learn how to best leverage them for results.

While networks may play a part in business and brand growth, the quality of the service or product provided bears the most weight.

“The world is always watching, so make sure whatever you are putting out is your best work. Innovation, partnership, discipline and focus are key for business survival,” Kevin elaborates.

As to the best advice that he would give future entrepreneurs, he emphasizes on the need to start just where you are with what you have.

“It may sound cliché, but it is the most practical thing that entrepreneurs need to do. Just start small, but think big.

It works wonders for your learning and confidence curve as you grow as an entrepreneur.

You can always scale as you go, but you have to start somewhere,” Kevin says.

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