Why I Quit High Paying Job to Sell Avocados on WhatsApp - Expert

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    Joan Ruto, a communication's coach in an interview with Capital FM in July 2020
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  • Joan Ruto, a communication expert based in Nairobi shared an inspirational story on how Kenyans can start businesses and raise cash during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

    Ruto quit her job at a communication firm where she reportedly earned close to a six-figure salary per month to sell avocados on WhatsApp. 

    The University of Nairobi alumnus stated that she took a loan to finance the business after she hatched the idea from a Whatsapp status of a close relative.

    "I was minding my business and saw my aunt sharing her avocados on her status. She was selling on wholesale and retail in Embakasi after getting them from our home in Nakuru and I wanted to get some for myself," she recalled in an interview with Capital FM on Friday, July 10. 

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    Joan Ruto (left) delivers avocados to a customer in Nairobi in July 2020
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    The two met at Nairobi's Central Business District one evening and together with her sister, Ruto sold over 500 avocados. Her customers purchased the avocados in bulk after she marketed them on her Whatsapp status.

    Due to transport costs associated with the delivery to several residential estates, she decided to charge on deliveries and chose one day in a week to deliver the goods. 

    She later quit her job as a communication's coach to focus on selling avocados as a full time job. She dubbed her avocado's 'green gold' after her customers fell in love with them.

    She says her business grew on referrals as more friends connected her with other customers. 

    "Whatever I gained as an expert, from customer experience and marketing is what I implemented in my new business. I realised that all I did at work was sharing knowledge but I now had the opportunity to put it into practice," she stated. 

    Ruto disclosed that she had ample time to start her business during the Covid-19 pandemic. She exploited the crisis to hatch the idea which was not convincing at first. 

    However, she dedicated her time and set expectations for herself. According to her, she decided to take a leap of faith and promised to share her knowledge and help other people to step out of their comfort zones. 

    "Whatever situation you are in be grateful for it as it may be your chance. My idea wasn't easy but I strived. We are masters of our own destiny," she stated.

    For her, she debated between setting up a stall or selling from her boot or going digital. WhatsApp offered her an easier platform as she had the products, the channel and the customers at hand. 

    Video: Capital FM