In 2012 Waleed Mahmoud (31), nicknamed Gaseer, moved from Egypt to Norway to study business management and marketing. Speaking six languages he landed a side job at one of Oslo’s largest hotels while studying. Read the exciting story of how he became the best little fishmonger in Oslo.
Being a Muslim, he didn’t like the wild life and alcohol served at a big capital hotel, so he looked for another job to finance his studies, and began as a street salesman for a telephone company. By coincidence, the boss of that company passed the sales boot one day and noticed the talented salesman Gaseer and offered him a position at the tele-sales office. In short time, he became one of their best salespersons.
An enthusiastic fish lover
He had rented an apartment in the suburbs of Oslo and being an enthusiastic fish lover, he often visited his local fishmonger. He got to know the owner, and one day he said to him, “I see the way you are running this business. I am sure I can increase your turnover considerably if you give me a part time job in your shop.”
He started to work there for 3 hours every day and was soon offered the position to manage the shop. After one year, alongside his studies, and with only vicars as staff, he increased the turnover by almost 90 percent. He also helped another little fish-shop in Oslo from time to time to have fresh fish delivered from the best suppliers in Norway.
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Earnings from his part-time jobs and from being a football-judge in the week-ends, he had earned enough money to buy the shop from the old owner who wanted to sell. However, he preferred to sell it to his brother, who also was a fishmonger.
The Best Little Fishmonger in Oslo, Norway is an Egyptian
Being a seafood connisseur and with new knowledge of running a fish-shop, he was now eager to enter into the business full time. When the owner of the other little shop he sporadically had assisted had a serious health condition, the shop was offered for sale and Gaseer acquired it. The shop is situated just beside the hotel he started to work in, Radisson Blue by the Central Railway Station and the name is Flyvefisken (In English: The Flying Fish).
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Being a businessman – and an Egyptian – Gaseer has exciting plans for the future.
Today, with his new business knowledge, his personal network of fishermen and distributers, he sells the freshest and best seafood in the whole of Oslo. I know, for I am one of his customers.
All photos: Tor Kjølberg/Flyvefisken
The animation by Benedict Hickson at CZA Studios
The Best Little Fishmonger in Oslo, Norway is an Egyptian, written by Tor Kjolberg