Getting a job as a fresh graduate has always been a tough task for many Kenyans. A few are lucky to secure an attachment that leads to employment, a factor that maximize the rate of unemployment in the country.
But as a graduate, have you ever wondered why the first job you get is often unrelated to your professional education?
We had a chat with Victor Anangwe, Director and CEO at KAREPS property Marketing and Consultancy Ltd. With a degree in Bachelor of Arts (Linguistics, Media and Communication), Anangwe ended up becoming a marketing agent.
How did you come up with KAREPS as a property marketing and consultancy firm?
After being fired from the bank, I looked for a job for a year in vain. I decided to come up with my own company and grow it. But I lacked experience in some sections.
I joined insurance as an agent for one year just to learn marketing skills, then I resigned after a year. The next year, I voluntarily joined my uncle's hospital as an administrator, I needed to learn some management skills. I also set some Targets on figures and promised myself to leave only if I achieve the targets. After 8 months, I achieved the target and resigned.
I was ready to launch my small company. I left the hospital in 2019 and launched my company in 2020, we are now one-year-old, we are doing great. KAREPS is the new home
I didn't get a job, I created the job. For me and others. Now we are a great team and growing strong.
Tell us your experience as a direct sales person at Family Bank?
I earned Ksh. 20,000, and Ksh. 16,000 after deductions. But one thing for clear. I enjoyed every bit of my work.
The job was simple, bring new accounts, bring new loans.
I strategized and packaged myself as a financial and entrepreneurship teacher in the villages to Target accounts and in schools to Target loans from teachers. I specialized in organizing women groups to teach them on financial and investment issues. they liked me, and I enjoyed the job.
I specialized in teaching teachers in schools on how to qualify for a loan, the importance of "a third rule" & how to work within your loan limits to feel the benefits. I also booked appointments just to answer teachers on questions about loans. They enjoyed it.
By the end of every session, I got back my targets without any struggle. Many chamas invited me to teach them as they opened more accounts, more teachers invited me for clarifications on loan deductions, and in return, I got more loans
It's about strategy, nothing is hard. If you find it not moving, ask those who went through it. Don't give up, don't say it's impossible. Don't say I didn't study it. Learn as you do it. Sometimes it's not about money, it's about enjoying what u are doing.
What came into your mind the moment you lost your job?
At this time, I had even contemplated suicide. I had lost about 19kgs of weight. From 72 to 53.
One day I rose up, picked up my college laptop, which was still in good shape, placed it on the table in my small house in the village and started marketing houses through Facebook. I started getting some confidence. My mum started buying me bundles. More requests started coming in. It started growing.
KAREPS was born. We are growing. We have a great story to tell.
Fresh from school, how did you secure a job at Family bank?
The first job interview in my life was in March 2014. Family bank towers Nairobi CBD, 7th floor. Fresh from college.
I arrived at 9.00am only to find more than 200 people waiting for the same interview. I forgot everything I had researched for a week. I wondered if I would get a chance. Only 40 people were needed
While waiting, I saw an advert on the HR door explaining a number of bank accounts. I got interested in the kids account and read it thoroughly. I didn't know anyone, I had blindly applied for the job and got the invite
Thirty minutes later, I was called in, I was smiling, the panel started laughing and wondering what was amusing me. After several questions, finally came the question I was waiting. "Why do you think we should hire you?
I vividly explained how I am going to grow the bank through deposits and new accounts from children savings... The energy and verbal cues I used to explain my points left them in stitches every time.
"In fact the person who introduced this Mdosi junior account knew that I will be joining family bank soon" They all laughed
The man in charge of the panel "Leon Kiptum, laughed and said, Victor, I will be on your neck if you don't bring in 'Mdosi Junior Accounts.
My interview took 45 minutes instead of 15. I left smiling. I got the job
Did you regret having taken a degree course in Bachelor of Arts?
When I was in college, I frequently saw my colleagues discussing why getting a job for our course will be hell.
Our course "Bachelor of Arts, Linguistics Media and Communication" was new course in the school. We were among the pioneers. My fellow classmates kept on saying that we can't get jobs, I didn't understand why they were so negative yet pursuing the same course.
One day I walked straight to my HOD, Dr. Jerry Agalo, who happened to be the founder of the course, and I asked him to clarify which fields or sectors that we were likely to get internships and job opportunities once we graduate.
He gave me a very beautiful answer that sunk deep into my soul. He said, "When I founded this course, I had two things in mind;
i) To train you to be entrepreneurs and employers.
ii) We designed this course in a way that you can fit in any sector of employment. No limits.
The two statements changed my way of thinking for good. I promised myself to look for a job in any sector and work for ONLY five years, then go into entrepreneurship after gaining some experience.
Indeed, after college I went into polytechnic teaching(journalism), then banking, then insurance and lastly I finished in the hospital.
While in the job market, what strategies and objectives had crossed your mind for a better future?
Though I took six years in employment instead of five as I had projected, I lived to keep my own promise.
Now, am in my early stages of entrepreneurship, am still in baby steps, but am enjoying the journey, the challenges and the growth. KAREPS is almost two years old now.
What keeps you going?
It's about settings goals, keeping the discipline, asking where you need clarification and using challenges to learn as you grow.
What happens at KAREPS?
Our main services at Kareps include
I) Marketing Modern apartments for rent or for sale.
II) Construction of residential houses for busy clients.
We started off by marketing modern apartments. Then came the need to relocate our clients. Our clients trusted us and requested we help them in relocation logistics as well. Well, we introduced KAREPS Movers. We are so far doing good. We have maintained the movers services at low scale, mainly targeting clients seeking our home-related services.
Kareps Movers is now a functional mini-department under KAREPS.
After sometime, we introduced house arrangements as well. Our clients are happy. Our clients tell us what they want. We serve them according to their needs. In the same spirit, we create more indirect jobs. We may not have the capacity to permanently employ people at the moment, but we are trying to create opportunities. The future is bright.
Western is still our main center of operation as we gradually expand. Today We move you and we settle you. You can visit our website www.kareps.co.ke for more details about our services.