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Design firm that offers a unique touch

Four years ago Obegi Tinega started Handy Creations, a design company, in order to explore the world of entrepreneurship.

Twice, he failed but never lost hope. He is now settled at his office in Corner House where he runs his design company through a unique model.

Although he has three people stationed at his office, they are not his employees. Instead they work under his company name.

When Mr Tinega gets a contract, the three are paid per project done. They are also allowed to do own projects on the sides as long as they pay for the workstation at the end of the month. A workstation is made of an internet connected computer, an office phone, a chair, space and other office amenities to carry out the job.

Productivity

The two men and one woman are experts in web and interior designing.

“Whenever I get an order, I delegate it to a specific person in the office and the individual charges for the job done. I don’t pay them salary at the end of the month,” he said.

This, he says, has been effective in running the office and increasing productivity.

“It discourages laziness and encourages aggressiveness,” he added.

However, Mr Tinega has employed an office supervisor and graphic designer to help him with the core business of the company.

So why rent out workstations? Having web and interior designers within reach was inspired by the constant demand for the services by his clients.

Inspired by the need to offer a full package in designs, he came up with the idea of having them in-house so that in the event that a Handy Creations client wanted a full package of design, then Mr Tinega would not have to go far.

“Clients prefer a one-stop shop and try to avoid giving contracts to many companies. They always settle for an individual who would offer it all,” he said.

Besides having the inside team, the 31-year-old also contracts animators. He, however, says they are rarely on demand.

Mr Tinega started doing design work while studying for a Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Nairobi.  He would get jobs to design and print T-shirts.

After his graduation in 2005, he joined Barclays Bank as a credit card salesperson. Little did he know that doing sales was giving him skills that he would later use to start a company.

Four years ago Obegi Tinega started Handy Creations, a design company, in order to explore the world of entrepreneurship.

Twice, he failed but never lost hope. He is now settled at his office in Corner House where he runs his design company through a unique model.

Although he has three people stationed at his office, they are not his employees. Instead they work under his company name.

When Mr Tinega gets a contract, the three are paid per project done. They are also allowed to do own projects on the sides as long as they pay for the workstation at the end of the month. A workstation is made of an internet connected computer, an office phone, a chair, space and other office amenities to carry out the job.

Productivity

The two men and one woman are experts in web and interior designing.

“Whenever I get an order, I delegate it to a specific person in the office and the individual charges for the job done. I don’t pay them salary at the end of the month,” he said.

This, he says, has been effective in running the office and increasing productivity.

“It discourages laziness and encourages aggressiveness,” he added.

However, Mr Tinega has employed an office supervisor and graphic designer to help him with the core business of the company.

So why rent out workstations? Having web and interior designers within reach was inspired by the constant demand for the services by his clients.

Inspired by the need to offer a full package in designs, he came up with the idea of having them in-house so that in the event that a Handy Creations client wanted a full package of design, then Mr Tinega would not have to go far.

“Clients prefer a one-stop shop and try to avoid giving contracts to many companies. They always settle for an individual who would offer it all,” he said.

Besides having the inside team, the 31-year-old also contracts animators. He, however, says they are rarely on demand.

Mr Tinega started doing design work while studying for a Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Nairobi.  He would get jobs to design and print T-shirts.

After his graduation in 2005, he joined Barclays Bank as a credit card salesperson. Little did he know that doing sales was giving him skills that he would later use to start a company.

Although Barclays Bank took him in permanently, he did not last long.

“While doing my work, I used to get calls from people in Nairobi asking me print T-shirts for them but I couldn’t for I was stationed in Kisii,” he said.

One day, he received a call from a South Sudanese requesting for 1,000 pieces of printed T-shirts. That call was to change his life forever.

He asked for a day off from work to make it to Nairobi for a meeting with the customer.

With no capital for the job, he asked for a 70 per cent downpayment. Luckily, the client agreed. That was when Mr Tinega took the decision to quit his bank job to launch Handy Creations.

Besides the design work, his company does branding. Handy Creations is the face behind the branding of Dahabshiil Money Transfer Company in Nairobi.

He attributes his success to perseverance and self-discipline.