Nairobi News


Nairobi Hustle: Mathematician who quit his analytics job to sell mitumba shoes – VIDEO

University graduate George Olang started his career in the corporate sector soon after graduating with a Bachelors of Science in Mathematics, but it only lasted for two months.

Within weeks of being employed his entrepreneurial spirit, nurtured by his shoes hawking mother, caught up with him and he would spend early mornings at Gikomba market.

This saw the birth of his shoe selling side hustle that has grown from three pairs of shoes to thousands of pairs.

“One morning I just went to the market, bought three pairs of shoes then resold them to a shop owner at a profit. Slowly I started supplying shoes to my colleagues and friends and after two months of balancing my side hustle and my analytics job, I quit to start my own shoe shop,” he told Nairobi News Hustle.

That was the birth of Tranquillo Shoes that has since grown its clientele base from 200 to the current 1,000.


Olang buys first camera mitumba shoes from Gikomba, cleans them and resales at his CBD and Westlands shops.

“At the market I ensure every shoe I buy is in a good condition, one that you cannot tell whether it has been worn or not, the ones that are called first camera. We clean them and send the special orders to our customers while for the rest we display at the shop and post photos online,” he says.

The 29 year-old has adopted a business model that starts with him sourcing for the shoes from the market himself so as to deliver exactly what his fashion-conscious customers want.

“Sometimes you get customers who believe mitumba shoes are very cheap and so when you tell them the price they refuse to buy. Some however understand that we stock first camera designer shoes and so they keep buying,” he stated.


Olang has learnt how to deal with dead stock, often giving discounts to shoes that remain unsold for months and in some cases donating to charity.

“Challenges must be there in business because there are high and low seasons so make sure you do your calculations and save for expansion,” he says.

His mathematics degree has enabled him to be able to calculate the profit margins and manage the daily income versus expenses.

“I like working with daily figures, I give myself targets that will ensure I can pay my employees, meet my expenses and make profits that are enough for saving and expansion of the business,” he explains.

His advice to budding entrepreneurs; “Love what you do and you will overcome the challenges.”