•Edgar quit banking to hawk pencils after changes in the banking sector
•Did you know hawking pencils could fetch more money than a banking job
•Edgar says he’s not a DCI (spy agent)
Banking is a most revered job and quitting the occupation to hawk is unexpected. Edgar Otieno started as a hawker went into banking and quit going back to hawking pencils.
Road To Banking
Armed with a diploma in social work from the University of Eldoret, Edgar’s first job was hawking which he did diligently.
It was during his stint as a hawker that he was spotted as a potential salesman and later joined the banking industry as a direct sales representative at Barclays bank.
“Initially I went from hawking then because of people who saw me, identified that I could make a good salesman. I was approached and joined Barclays bank of Kenya as a ‘DSR’-Direct Sales Representatives” Stated Edgar
At first, the pay was handsome but a raft of changes were soon effected due to the economic meltdown, inflation and the 2007 post election violence. This led to pay cuts and change in mode of payment being reversed to commissions with a monthly retainer of 15k.
Earning a commission became an uphill task remaining with only 15k to survive.
“Barclays initially walikuwa wanalipa vizuri then there’s a time ilifika waka reduce mshahara wakasema tu earn commission, there was a small retainer of 15k” He narrated partly
Hawking Pencils Fetched More Money Than Banking
After soul searching, Edgar opted to bid farewell to the banking industry as hawking proved to be much more lucrative.
Even his first wife who walked out on him
had attested to this, furthermore Edgar’s sister who had seen him in his last days as a banker adviced him to quit upon seeing his faded suits and second hand shoes.
“Nilijaribu ku compare ile hawking na pale nilikuwa Barclays nikaona what I can get from kuuza pencils ilikuwa better than ile nilikuwa napata Barclays nikarudi nikaanza kuendelea na something that i know better” He explained partly
One might ask,Why hawk pencils and not any other commodity? Edgar reveals that pencils are fast moving with a higher market demand and mark up.
Venturing into the pencil business requires as low as one hundred shillings with daily earnings going upto three thousand shillings.
On a bad day, Edgar takes home a thousand shillings, what’s key is the zeal and thirst for success,waking up early and of course dressing smart is the icing on the cake.
Am Not A DCI (Spy Agent)
Edgar dresses impeccably in a well ironed suit, a tie and a matching pocket lapel, a clean shaven head with high end shoes making him stand out as a no ordinary hawker.
Though the impression has led to his business booming, it has also led him to the suspicion that he’s an undercover cop unearthing undercover deals something which he vehemently refutes.
There’s an instance when to his surprise, an unidentified undercover cop approached him asking Edgar to lay low on his ‘suit’ dress code.
“Kuna jamaa jana aliniambia ati ‘usivae hivi suti unajua we ni DCI, you’re my colleague usivae hivi’ ati niji disguise so nikashindwa mpaka hao wenyewe wananishuku” He explained furthe