How Life’s hardships sparked million shilling business idea for Doctor

September 6, 2018

After finishing medical school in University of Nairobi, Dr Maxwel Okoth,  the CEO and founder of Ruai family hospital and RFH ltd, eagerly awaited to start his internship which ended up being delayed for 3 months. During this period, his mother lost her job as an accountant and his father had already retired. They were staring into the dark. Max was so glad when his internship finally kicked in but he desired more and wanted to find ways of doing more.

As he talks, he finds humor in his situation as government doctors used to earn Ksh. 43,000/- net and you would have to wait for 3 months before your first salary made it to your account because of delays of being put on the payroll. The beauty of that is the first salary would be Ksh. 98,000/- but this would be washed away as to the outside world he was a doctor and  people assumed he was already very successful. “You’re a doctor and everybody in town is calling you daktari and you have this title. You go for drinks with police men, they buy the drinks and they are also calling you daktari.” Dr Maxwel Okoth said implying the ego inflation.

However, he has always had the belief in doing your best and he knew he would have to be very aggressive in obtaining his goals. He started with doing obstetrics (a branch of medicine and surgery concerned with child birth and midwifery) rotations. He would do around 6 to 8 Cesarean sections (C-section) in one night. During this time he noted that there were quite a number of C sections to be done and some patients had to be put on a waiting list that could take up to 3yrs in order for them to have a particular surgery. This was because of limited facilities.

His engagement in the practice opened his eyes to this possibilities coupled with the fact that quality, affordable and accessible healthcare is something Kenya needed. The idea to start a hospital was off to a roaring start.

Dr. Maxwel Okoth, Founder of Ruai family hospital and RFH ltd, was a guest at Founders Drink-up in August 2018. To get access to the full podcast, please email

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