Jamie Pujara is the founder and CEO of Buy Rent Kenya, the country’s top real estate portal.
“I noticed there is a need in the market,” he told How We Made It in Africa. “[Apartment searching is] quite difficult in Kenya. You can’t get the information you need. I wanted to create a space where we could put all agents and developers’ properties online.
Within six months of launching, the company was nominated at the 2013 CIO 100 Annual Awards and was considered to be one of the country’s the top 50 most innovative Kenyan startups by 2014.
“Our job is to provide leads; the agent’s job is to make the sale,” he explained. “We don’t think the service is expensive. The cost per lead is much cheaper and agents get access to the diaspora market where a lot of real estate funding in this country comes from. It is worthwhile.”
Buy Rent Kenya was also honoured with the Best Internet Marketing Portal of the Year award from the East African Property Awards in 2014.
“We want to consolidate the Kenyan market and then branch it out,” he continued. “We want to have Buy Rent in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Zambia, Somalia, South Sudan and other markets in Africa. This is a long-term goal for us. It is going to grow really big.”
Jamie is also a respected figure in Kenya’s restaurant industry. He’s the director of Tin Tin Restaurant, one of the largest and oldest restaurants in the country, and was a co-owner of Four Cafe Bistro.
“I juggle two businesses and towards the end of the year as I said, we were getting complacent on one. I realised I have to work double the time to make sure they are both successful.”
The multifaceted business owner is a member of Entrepreneurs Organization and serves as the regional chair for the Middle East, Pakistan and Africa Region. He was president of the Kenya chapter from 2017 to 2018.Tags: Africa, Entrepreneurship, food and drink, housing, Kenya, renting, restaurants