Why I Quit My 210K Job With East African Breweries Limited

By Tabitha Makumi,

At the young age of 28, Fredrick Mwangi had a good job at the East African Breweries Limited when he decided to do what most Kenyans would deem unthinkable.  

“I always had a plan to quit employment after three years of dipping my feet in it. My goal was to get in, gain experience, create networks, get exposure and then get out.” says Mr Mwangi who is now 31 years old.

He quit a well paying job with East African Breweries Limited where he used to work as a Trade Marketing Manager in the Western Region. “I had a nice car, I had this job title with this big company, a medical cover and everything that most people wish for but staying in employment was not my initial plan.”

For a period of three years, Mr Mwangi was one of the Customer Relationship Representatives for the beer maker in the coastal region and having made a subconscious decision to quit after the set three years, something he had not planned for happened. He got promoted to become a Trade
Marketing Manager. “Of course I went against my plans and took the job. The rewards of the new job were just too enticing to let go,” admits My Mwangi.

But he didn’t stick around for long. Six months into the new job, he decided he had had enough and hung the employment coat.

“My colleagues thought I was out of my mind . I recall my wife being expectant at the time with our first born and she kept questioning why I was abandoning the ‘good life’ which we were used to then to venture into the unknown. She stills asks the same when we are going through some difficult times,” Mr Mwangi chuckles at this.

The unknown for Mr Mwangi turned out to be not in one venture but several ventures or as they are commonly known, side hustles. “My late father was into real estate industry an interest which was instilled in me since I was young. Staying true to his interests, today, he runs Golden Gate Housing Company a real estate company which sources its clients from the UK. “We advertise our properties on this popular community website dubbed misterseed where you will get all sort of services mainly directed to Kenyans living abroad.

The doting father of one explains that “Initially I was just into selling plots but everyone is doing that nowadays and I had to think outside the box and see how I could add value to them hence the idea of property development.”

Optimistic about the future of the company which is able to rake in an estimate of 800K to 2 M in profits monthly, he adds “We are currently developing structures in Kamulu along Kangundo road which will cost around Sh4.5 M which we are building with the Kenyan middle income earners in mind. He adds that, “We are also looking on how we can partner with banks to help offer affordable mortgages.”

And if you think that’s the only side hustle he has under his belt, think again. Ambitious and declaring that he hates the comfort of being on employment where employees become too comfortable with end of month salaries, he is also into executive car hire business.

“The name of the company which I co-own with my older brother is called Bubbly Limousines where we offer executive car hire services to corporate and also to individuals attending special events such as weddings and birthdays and most recently to Tusker Project Fame Project.”

He reveals that the company was able to make over Sh1M last year from the East African Breweries Limited annual event. “I had made good connections and networks while working at the company and having left the company on good terms, someone who knew I had ventured into the car hire service contacted me and the deal was on.”

And that’s not just it for this 31-year-old, “I am also into Mitumba where I import clothes from the UK which are sold at the famous Gikomba Market. And having established that I have several side hustles, I am a small time farmer and also own a hotel in Ruiru dubbed Ruiru Plains View which I run with the help of my older brother.”

Raised up by parents who were both into self employment, Fredrick Mwangi is sure as hell he made the right choice by quitting employment. “It’s not like the time when I had this nudge to join politics and failed.”

He talks of his little stint with politics last year when he decided to vie for a councilor’s seat in Ruiru and lost during the nominations, “I ended up losing millions through campaigning and I don’t think I will ever try to get into politics again. There are just too many people fighting for the same position where all this contestants have they own hidden agendas ,” says Mr Mwangi who quickly adds that if the thought of joining politics crosses his mind again, “It will be as a campaign manager, but never again as a politician.”

But don’t get him wrong if you are reading this and thinking he is against employment, he clarifies that, “Employment is good, I am not going to lie to you since I have been employed before but while you are at it, try to engage yourself with the little money you have and see what you can do to grow and resist from harboring into that comfort zone which envelops employed people who know they will be getting salary at the end of the month.

He adds, "Put some money into your ideas or invest in some else’s ideas like what business mogul Donald Trump does. You might not be Donald Trump but you’ve got to start somewhere. And always remember to associate yourself with positive thinking people who will encourage you along the way.”

The father of one who says he would love to see his 2 years daughter  follow in his entrepreneurship footsteps, has advice for people who are contemplating to quit their jobs, he says, “While there are those who do it blindly without a plan, having one will save you a lot of headaches. Also don’t be a slave of employment. Ask yourself this, if that company you work for is paying you for your talents and once in a while upgrades your salary, what kind of magic would you be able to work out if you had the freedom to expound that talent outside employment?” he poses

And his last words? “A lot of Kenyans want to quit their jobs on Monday, start their businesses on Tuesday and on Wednesday buy a Range Rover, that will never happen.”