My journey from front office to top post at DHL

One evening in early 2000s Victoria Wambui Kagai was, as usual, walking home from her then workplace-Consumer Insight where she worked as a brand executive for Adtrack, a segment that was responsible for monitoring advertisements placed on Television.

While she was waiting to cross the Road around the Bunyala Road-Uhuru Highway roundabout, a guy stopped by to talk to her in what would turn out to be her career turnaround. The man, a then staff member at DHL Express’s credit control thought that Wambui worked for the same company and so he continued with the conversation.

“The guy thought that I worked for the DHL customer service and was wondering why I had left work so early. Little did he know that I had always wished to work for the company, although I was still at my fourth year at the consumer Insight,” explains Wambui. She adds: “At the time, I had wanted something different from my work. And I admired the staff from DHL. They always looked like air hostesses.”

Wambui would later drop her CV at the DHL office which was located close to where she then worked. And her efforts rewarded and she landed her first job at the company’s front office in Kijabe Street. Today she is the Commercial Sales Manager for East Africa at DHL. In her current position, Wambui receives reports from 21 people including sales executives. She is also responsible for driving revenue for the country. This is in terms of account customers, walk-in customers, retailers and agents. She is also required to be an interface between other departments such as commercial and operations or commercial and finance, customer service to ensure that customers are well served.

Victoria Wambui Kagai Commercial Sales Manager for East Africa at DHL

Victoria Wambui Kagai Commercial Sales Manager for East Africa at DHL

To Wambui, every day is different. For instance, Monday starts at 7am with meetings to analyse the previous week and see if there are any gaps and how to deal with them as well as plan for the week ahead. “On Tuesday and Wednesdays, I support the sales team by doing customer visits, especially our top 20 customers. This is because I need to be in touch with them. To me, this is about coaching the sales executives, ensuring that the sales people are doing it right, asking the right questions and that they are looking for the right opportunities.”

Besides, she spends the rest of the week on conference calls.

Despite the fact that Wambui had pursued a Diploma in Hotel Management in Utalii College she did not work in the hotel industry as many would have imagined. The mother of one son traces her interest in sales back t 1995 just after she had completed her Form Four course at Chinga Girls High School o Nyeri. “When I completed Form Four, I was working at an Indian shop where they sold clothes. In a day, I tried selling the clothes and I would go back with an empty bag. This was another hint to my capability to do sales.”

At DHL, 37-year-old Wambui rose ranks from the front office, to the switch board and a sales executive. “From there I felt I could do management. I was then promoted to the Sales Development Manager for East Africa in 2012. I handled nine countries at the time, something I did for a year.” Wambui adds: “I wasn’t quite managing people because this was more of a support role where I supported the sales managers. But I wanted to have a people management experience in order to advance my career. So I came to Kenya to take care of the sales team here as an Area Sales Manager, which I did for 11 months before getting another job as the Head of Sales, East Africa .

Did you know?

  • Wambui is a blogger on natural hair matters. During weekends, she plaits hair and advises winn on matters hair
  • She was a headgirl in high school
  • She has a passion for fitness
  • She has read over 25 books cover to cover on fitness on health

My best moment

When I met Ken Allan the President of DHL express in Germany in February this year in his office during a Train the Trainer session of sales managers in Germany

My worst moment

When I got pregnant at 19 when in college. I thought I was to be a housegirl he rest of my life. But this would later turn out to be my drive and source of passion in life because I had no time to be free. I was responsible at a young age.

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