Book Review: JuaKali-MBA – My Journey from Medicine to Business by Dr Torooti Mwirigi

Juakali MBA is about the love for hard work, perseverance and above all, the need to see changes happen through the sweat of one’s brow.

The author of this book is a learned man.

I’ve not met him but he comes across as very engaging and interesting chap.

The book, Juakali-MBA, is a mini autobiography of Dr Torooti Mwirigi. It starts with him explaining that he wanted to become a civil engineer, ‘to build things’ because that’s what runs in his blood.

However, he was forced by the family consensus to study to be a medical doctor. He obliged, spent those years at the university and competed.

He didn’t forget his first love, building things. 

Having studied as a medic, he wasn’t going to sit down lamenting how he misses civil engineering and such. He began to build businesses. He takes us through his upbringing, seeing his parents toy with different business ideas, some failing, others successful.

In his observations, he learnt the values of first principles, which he sums up as, great product+great systems = happy customer. There are more lessons and examples to this. Buy the book.

Moving on, Dr Torooti emphasizes that the key foundation for oneself is knowledge of self. What are your weaknesses, and what are your strengths? Always play to win.

As luck would have it, he joined a very exciting insurance startup as a top executive, I think due to his medical background. He wasn’t comfortable with this, he left the high-paying job. He felt that he was a man meant for the streets. To build things from scratch.

Months in, he got broke and had to find a new salaried job.

But the beauty of his streets endeavour, and flip-flopping between jobs and the streets, was that some great Kenyan inventions were born. AskADoc and M-TIBA.

Dr Torooti speaks about the need to know the basics before venturing into something. He calls this first principles.

A true hustler as fate would have it, he is also among the founders of the famous Kenya meet-up – Blankets and Wines.

There are lessons we learn from him. Valuable lessons from a man who was forced t study what he didn’t fancy, but got that degree anyway. Got a well-paying job with perks, quick it to follow his dream of building things from the ground up.

Succeeded to give us great lessons and inventions in such an amazing product as M-Tiba

The author exemplifies the saying, ‘success is advancing from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm’.

There is a list of valuable lessons he gives at the end of each chapter that is easy to read.

From the book, one can pull from practical lessons, the importance of education, respect for basic principles before venturing into any business, systems are more important than people (put good systems in place and the business will thrive even when you are not around), your past doesn’t determine your future, learn from successful people, and focus less on your weakness, put more effort in your strengths etc.

The book explains the complex things about building a business, in a simple way.

It makes the phrase, ‘NEVER GIVE UP’ look new. And it is indeed.

Never fear walking away from money to follow your dream – Dr Torooti Mwirigi

The book is recommended for those who have finished high school, university students and those who are running a start-up or planning to.

Master of Business Administration, the Juakali way.

I enjoyed this book, I hope you will too.