How UK-based Kenyan rose from a conductor to running seven successful companies

Steve Chege
Steve Chege, a Kenyan based in the UK and CEO of Max and Maxie Services. [Photo: YouTube]

For Steve Chege who hails from Nakuru and lives in the UK, you can achieve anything you desire in life as long as you never give up and put in the work.

Chege’s life story sounds like a scripted copy of a naija movie but he has evolved from a mere conductor in Nakuru to a man who now runs two successful companies in the UK and five others in Kenya.

Speaking on ‘Metha Ya Kagoni’ a YouTube Channel, Chege prides in being the CEO of Max and Maxie Services Limited, a firm that deals in security and offers home services such as carpet cleaning, car washing among others.

Chege launched this firm in 2013 after merging two others to form this big one firm that offers security services in the UK and in Kenya

Chege says that his security background in the UK informed his decision to run a security firm but it was a long journey for him having tried out his luck in several other sectors.

When he arrived in the UK in the late 90s, his father who was living in Britain asked him to enroll for a healthcare course which he did and passed but could not secure a job.

He decided to work as a security guard with the then Securicor Firm which was later bought by G4S. At the same time, he was pursuing a course in Cisco Networking and landed a job as a guard in one of the American companies based in London offering Cisco services.

While working as a guard, Chege says he brushed shoulders with renowned world leaders among them former US President Barrack Obama, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair among others.

Chege would eventually try out in several other sectors until one day when a company boss who he had worked with asked him to consider opening his own firm.

“One day, a colleague of mine who was a manager asked me to consider opening my own firm and they would give me a job,” he recalls.

After opening his security firm, Max Security Services, he searched for a client for six months without success and decided to give up.

But, on the day he decided to commence a process to make his company dormant, his first client who he has worked with since 2012 called him and contracted his firm.

“I had asked my son Max to bring me shoes so that we return the certificate for the company so that the company would be made dormant and save me from paying taxes. Before I wore the other shoe, Mike called me,” he narrates.

With his first contract, things changed and years later, he has two companies in the UK and five others in Kenya.

What’s surprising is that he built his seven companies from scratch and is proud that he made wise financial decisions without applying for a bank loan.

“I have never taken a loan to run my companies. I work and get money which I plough back to investing. I have seven companies – two in the UK and five in Kenya – none has a loan.”

Chege has fallen victim to cons as is the norm with most Kenyans in the diaspora.

He painfully recalled being conned by his brother-in-law after sending him money to purchase four prime plots in Nakuru.

As if this was not enough, another brother-in-law years later did the same when he sent money to purchase a plot in Juja Farm, Kiambu County.