Ever since the days of his youth, when he would help out in his parents’ tuck-shop, Kabo ‘Block’ Boitshepi has been in love with the hustle and bustle of business. Back then the youngster made a silent pledge to himself: one day, he too would have his own business.
Though he didn’t do well academically, leaving school after Form Three, Block, as the 33-year-old is popularly known, did not relent.
His first job was a conductor for Volksplek in 2006 but his dream was to one day own his own transport company.
As fate would have it, in 2008 he got a job as a driver for DC Tours, where he would stay for the next 10 years, rising steadily through the ranks to the position Logistics Manager.
Last year, despite owning no vehicles of his own, he decided it was time to fulfill his childhood ambition. And thus, Block Mobile Tours was born.
“Block Mobile Tours is a travel and tour company covering the whole of Southern Africa. I decided to open my own business because I know all the ins and outs of the industry. I was the hardest worker at DC Tours and customers always asked for me personally.
“I always loved work and was eager to learn because I was also inquisitive. I would go on trips and learn so that when someone was not available I could step in. Everywhere the boss went, I went with him. He always encouraged me to come with him so that I could learn,” Block recalls proudly.
Though his business still does not own any transport, Block insists that is not a problem. When he gets jobs, he hires transport from his former employer and other transport operators. By December he intends to have purchased his own mini-bus.
His customers include Orange Botswana, Bank ABC, Botswana Tourism Organisation, African Alliance and other big companies.
“My Customers are happy with my services because I’m patient and always want to learn from others. The companies I work with know about my good customer service and how I handle clients so they trust me and always give me repeat business,” he states with a happy smile.
According to Block, one of the challenges faced by his fledgling business is finance. He says companies pay after the job has been done therefore he sometimes struggles to find money to fund the trips, especially long ones.
Other challenges include the different personalities he has to deal with.
“People have different characters so one has to understand and be accommodating to all, especially if you are driving. Because the safety of your passengers is in your hands, you have to be aware of what’s happening in the vehicle at all times.
“The other challenge is that I’m still new and under-resourced so when I get jobs I have to look for assistance from bigger companies and share my profit with them. Some are very helpful though and I think with their help I will reach my five-year target, which is to have 15 employees!” he revealed, adding he is passionate about creating employment for the youth.
“I would have luxury buses with wi-fi, fitted with laptops for the media and business people. To achieve my goal I’ll also collaborate with big international brands in the business like Inter-Cape and have one or two branches in Southern Africa,” continued the ultra-ambitious entrepreneur.
To those who might want to venture into the same line of business, Block says they have to love the business.
“The tour and travel business can be challenging but if you love your job everything will be easy for you. In business one needs patience because it takes time to get the rewards and any amount you get you have to save. Even if it means you have to pay a bigger company more money, just know you will get there.”