Starting a commercial cleaning company in Kigali

I was planning to start a commercial cleaning company in Kigali. I do not know if this is a good idea.  Not sure whether I will be able to get clients (contracts) since I never lived in Kigali before. Any suggestions will be much appreciated. Thanks.

Hi, what do you mean by cleaning service ? As the government already collect the garbage to all citizens and security fees. I'd suggest laundry service instead :) You can send me a private message if you like

What I meant is cleaning buildings like malls, offices etc... I do not kmow if there are companies who do that in Kigli. In the west companies do get contracts for those kind of services. Thanks

Oh I see, yes there are such companies but maybe you can offer best and join the competition !

Unfortunately I would not recommend it for a foreigner.  This is because you will need a good number of local hire (which will form the backbone of the cleaning company), but unfortunately there is a language barrier, local hires at that level easily give up looking for better opportunity (quite understandable) and many are literally from the village and need quite a bit of supervision and training.. before leaving and one has to start all over again. Would not recommend it as my honest opinion!

Noted. Your recommendation is much appreciated. Thanks

Don't be put down by opinions.if you think of it as a business then just go for it.its all about competition who knows you could make a difference

Thanks a lot.

Sorry for late response here.

I wd advise to proceed with the idea and do it more proffesionally and you will win the game/ market. The challenge of illiterate workers will be solved by providing on job trainings which will be also done by literates you will work with.

Hopefully this will make a difference and succeed in Yr operations.

Sorry for late response here.

I wd advise to proceed with the idea and do it more proffesionally and you will win the game/ market. The challenge of illiterate workers will be solved by providing on job trainings which will be also done by literates you will work with.

Hopefully this will make a difference and succeed in Yr operations.

Sorry for late response here.

I wd advise to proceed with the idea and do it more proffesionally and you will win the game/ market. The challenge of illiterate workers will be solved by providing on job trainings which will be also done by literates you will work with.

Hopefully this will make a difference and succeed in Yr operations.

Thanks a lot for your advice. Actually I had already put it on hold due to language barrier as per one of the advice below. I plan to come and visit Kigali this year and explore more. My initial plan was to start a professional cleaning company as you said. Will see what happens when I visit. You never know It is not too late yet.

Your comment is much appreciated.

Happy New Year.

Thanks.

@salmanahdy, are you still considering to start your business or have you al already began. I'm interested.

Thanks for your reply. I was discouraged by the replies I got. So I never pursued.

I'm sorry to hear that. Should you still be interested i'm interested in starting something in Rwanda but I live presently in Belgium.

I did my own research after visiting Rwanda in year 2016. Posted some ideas which I didn't get good feed but. I eventually decided to join an existing business in Rwanda. I become a partner in this business. I just got interested into this business because of how this young man was working hard with very limited capital. I decided to put small amount of money just to start with since many people warned me not to trust anyone since I am not physically there. I made it clear to this young guy that if he works hard we will expand it even more since I had few friends and family members who were ready to join this company to eventually expand it a big factory. Unfortunately, the young guy started bringing so many excuses of having family problems etc...yet he has been going for so many exhibition within the country and getting awards. To make a long story short, the guy is not responding to me anymore. I am planing to contact the embassy here. Any advice as to who I should contact in Rwanda would be appreciated. Not only do I want to recover that money that I provided hìm but would like to know which ministry is responsible for foreign investors in Rwanda. Thanks

Any help will be much appreciated. Whether I recover my money or not but i think people should know that not everyone is to be trusted out there, though the contract was signed.

Hi Salmanahdy,

Not sure what sort of recourse might be available to you in terms of recovering your investment, but my advice would be to count it as a bad loss and move forward. Business involves risk and unfortunately in this instance you have come up short, however don't let it hold you back, I'm sure you still have wonderful ideas that can one day develop into good businesses.
Going back to your original question, firstly I will say, do not let people's comments hold you back. When you post on a public forum, you will recieve responses from various people, with different experiences and motivation. My advice would be to use the responses as part of the factors in your decision making rather than totally base your final decision on other people's opinion. One thing I always point out to people seeking to invest in the service industry in developing parts of the world is the availabilty of cheap labour, whilst this can be an advantage to some employers it can be a disadvantage in sectors such as commercial cleaning, landscaping, domestic agencies etc. The reason being that, because labour is so cheap, individuals and companies can afford to directly employ staff and keep them permanently on their payroll, regardless of the level of productivity they are generating. Compare this to the developed countries where menial labour is not cheap and people would rather contract out the service and pay for whatever they use. Having said that, like some people have already advised, do not rule out the idea completely, language might be an issue but that can be overcome by recruiting supervisors who are educated, can speak english and can act as the go between for you (this could actually be amotivation for you to pick the local language, which would be an advatage to you in the long run). Final advice, if you are able to, visit Kigali again, look around, speak to potential customers, competitors who are alraedy doing what you want to. You'll be surprised what you can pick up on the ground for free. Good luck.

Thank you very much for your wonderful advice and the encouragement.

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