In 2008, two brothers, Ash Sadique and Wayne Fernandes, invested Sh4.5 million in an eight-metre Isuzu Trooper which could comfortably accommodate 15 people for a classy ride.
Mr Fernandes said their business was so successful that an additional limousine was inevitable, eventually giving rise to what has become the Limo Ã¢â‚¬ËœRÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Us business empire.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The demand was very high in the first three months. We had to introduce another limo, and another one, and we are still a growing business,Ã¢â‚¬Â says the co-proprietor of the luxury car company.
The Isuzu Trooper was a locally assembled vehicle which has been the basic reference point for the six limousines that the firm owns, save for one which was imported.
The Trooper was a cut-up of three similar vehicles and was assembled at Mash Auto, a workshop the two traders started to fit cars with extra accessories or customise them for specific purposes.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We ensure that the chassis and propeller shaft are extended and balanced for stability and control. It is something done with utmost care and by professionals,Ã¢â‚¬Â says Mr Fernandes.
The interior is then fitted with consumer delights like sofas, a mini bar, fridge, flatscreen television, and neon lights. The purpose is to induce deluxe relaxation for a consumer for short trips, especially around Nairobi.
Three months after customising their first limo, the two entrepreneurs commissioned a six-seater Mercedes E200, followed closely by a 12-seater Toyota VX and an eight-seater Opel Astria convertible.
Five years down the line and Limo Ã¢â‚¬ËœRÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Us boasts six limousines in their yard.
The biggest ride is the double-axle, six-wheel Isuzu Bighorn which is 10 metres long and can accommodate 20 passengers.
The smallest limo is an imported two-seater Lincoln. It was brought into the country last year specifically to serve the high-end business executives market segment.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We spotted this vehicle being traded with a deal that was too sweet to ignore, so we purchased it. We have never regretted the decision,Ã¢â‚¬Â adds Mr Fernandes.
However, a limo ride does not come cheap. The hiring charges for the high-capacity vehicles are Sh15,000 per hour for a minimum of five hours and the cheapest goes for Sh8,000 per hour with a minimum time of five hour.
Restaurants and hotels
Despite the high charges, the two businessmen receive dozens of fully-paid bookings and other unconfirmed requests for a dayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s escapade.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The requests are enormous all days long. Saturdays and Sundays are even crazier,Ã¢â‚¬Â says Mr Fernandes.
Limousine travel services are big business in Kenya, with an increasing number of restaurants and hotels buying their own fleets to ferry top-tier customers from the airport.
Car hiring companies like Royal Hometown and Executive Limos have joined the fray and introduced limousines in their fleets, thereby creating a competitive environment for travel-in-style services.