Verjee knows being rich and poor.
His family were in business for generations. He always pictured himself increasing the family legacy but, in 2010, tragedy struck.
“While I was undertaking my second year of university in the United Kingdom, some unforeseen circumstances forced the family business into receivership. My life and all the future plans I made for myself and my professional future fell apart but I had to stay strong, find the courage and the strength to survive,” says Verjee.
In his bleak future, he saw entrepreneurship.
“I wanted to come up with something innovative. I was not going to settle for a good job. I wanted more. But of course the situation was not favorable, my family needed money.”
With the £400 he saved at university, Verjee founded Studio AZ, an interior and exterior design firm based in Nairobi, in 2012.
“I walked around the streets looking for clients. It was very hard at the time as the human psychology would question if I was credible or not,” he says.
Almost five years later, Verjee claims the company turned over just shy of $500,000 last year, has 11 full-time staff and employed 75 subcontractors. Verjee was named as one of Kenya’s top 40 under 40 in 2016 by Business Daily Africa, won the international property awards for best residential design firm Africa and came highly recommended for office space.
Now, he adds the FORBES AFRICA 30 under 30 title to the list.