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In the driver’s seat

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In the driver’s seat
Lesang Sebina

Destiny Car Rentals is a thriving, wholly citizen owned company with operations in Gaborone, Francistown and Maun.

At the helm of the company is Lesang Sebina, a driven woman who together with her husband has steered the company since its inception in 2008, turning the enterprise into the big brand it is today.

In this interview Sebina fields questions from The Voice reporter Kabelo Dipholo.

In the driver’s seat
GO GETTER: Sebina

Q. You are one of the few, if not the only woman involved in the car rental business.

How did you end up in this business?

A. The idea came as a result of some inconvenience during a vacation that me and my husband, Carlos Sebina had taken at the time.

What initially seemed a problem turned out to be an opportunity, which today we are very grateful for.

Q. Did you have a passion for cars before starting in this business?

A. My passion is in working with people. We don’t only deal with cars, we work with people with the hope to develop meaningful and lasting relationships.

One of my greatest joys in life is serving – it is very humbling and rewarding at the same time.

Q. What role do you play in the day-to-day running of Destiny Car Rentals?

A. My function at Destiny Car Rentals is basically to oversee the implementation of company policies, to provide professional leadership to the Destiny Staff, particularly in administration and financial management.

My job involves monitoring performance and supervising day-to-day affairs with the intention of promoting a harmonious relationship between the organisation and its employees by encouraging and supporting teamwork to cultivate creativity and growth of the business and its people.

Q. Talk us through an average working day in the life of Lesang.

A. On a normal day, I wake up and do a 30 minute work out at home.

The I prepare my youngest children (2 girls) for school, have breakfast and start off. We leave our house around 0730hrs drop off the children at school.

Work starts at 8; first I check my emails and respond to correspondences that I need to at the time then I act on issues depending on what my schedule is for that day.

Q. Kindly share with our readers some of the earliest challenges you encountered in your business.

A. The startup phase was the most challenging because at that point you have only an idea, you don’t have any systems and formal planning is not precise a lot of the time.

My husband and I performed all tasks to manage operations and provide direction of the business.

As the business grows past the startup phase you want to see signs that it is a workable business entity.

This presents its own challenges, some of which include market competition and dealing with an increasing clientele.

Carlos and I share the dream to grow this business – the energy and drive we have has allowed us to be open to learn and seek support where we needed.

The team that we have has also had great input; their confidence in the business and their motivation has been incredible.

I want to make special recognition to Mr Thuso Mokgotle, Mr Masole Masupe, Ms Kgathego Makgotwa and Mr Otsile Thomas.

Q. You are a trained Social Worker, how has that helped you to adapt to your new career?

A. I have learnt to respect the inherent worth and dignity of other people, to appreciate the knowledge that whatever I say or do has some impact on other people and if I want to promote peace, I must first respect diversity, I must act kindly to other people and with reason.

I find that I work well with my team. I have been instrumental in developing our operational tools and Customer Service Strategies since the inception of the business.

Q. Why did you leave your job as a social worker?

A. I was blessed to have worked with inspirational men and women from when I started working, to my last position in 2008.

I left my job then to explore the opportunity of doing business.

When I left in 2008 Destiny Car Rentals had been operational for 3 months.

Q. You are also mother and wife, how do you manage to juggle the two?

A. It is very important to maintain a balance, to also manage time otherwise my life would be a mess.

When I am at home I give priority to my family, I have always been a hands on person.

I cook and I am very active with my children.

The youngest is 2 years old so that includes bathing and feeding sometimes.

Work is similarly important so I respect my time in the office.

I have many responsibilities so I try my best to plan and coordinate my work such that I make my contribution in regards to meeting business objectives.

Q. Recently you were honoured by LEA as the only company to have graduated from their mentorship programme. How did that make you feel?

A. We have always had a good relationship with LEA.

They have supported Destiny Car Rentals from its inception to the business it is today.

We are grateful for the mentorship program that they enrolled us in.

We have gained skill and knowledge from our engagement.

The graduation is an achievement for us! We have always been committed to growing the business, we understand that growth is a journey and we are inspired to walk the journey; to discover new opportunities in the process, to demonstrate the level of competency that our clients expect and hopefully even more and to have fulfillment as we do it.

I feel that it is important to also mention that we have had business mentorship from other organisations and individuals, including CEDA, Tokafala, Business Botswana to mention a few.

Q. Francistown businesses have been affected by the closure of Tati mine. How was Destiny Rentals affected?

A. We worked with companies that were subcontracted to the mines and also had a lot of business from the mine’s employees.

Their loss of income has had a negative impact on our performance obviously.

Our focus now is on creating and maintaining favorable attention by maximizing on customer service and paying attention to our business representation in the market.

Q. What kind of cars do you have and how are your rates?

A. In our fleet, we have recently introduced the Move up VW which our clients have received very well.

It is spacious, it is fuel-efficient and for your young and trendy, I think it is current.

We also have Sedans that are easy on the budget and yet comfortable with good luggage space, the Polos and Corollas.

For more adventurous quests, we have off road vehicles, 4×4 double cabs and Single cab Cruisers. We also have Quantums for people travelling in Groups.

As a growing business we are looking to increase our capacity in terms addressing needs of different segments of customers to include executive vehicles for luxurious travel.

Our rates are very competitive, you can contact us at any of our branches in Gaborone, Francistown and Maun to get a quote and enquire more on our services.

Our rates can be obtained online and from our offices.

Q. It must be exhausting running a business how do you relax away from your demanding job?

A. I thank God for the Destiny team, they are very supportive.

We have a team of young people who are passionate about the business.

Work is an exciting challenge; we have come a long way together and we are looking forward to the future with enthusiasm.

At the end of each day I look forward to going home to my children. I love cooking.

Trying new recipes is a hobby of mine, they don’t always come out right but an adventure is exciting nevertheless and my family is kind enough to try them.

Q. And finally, thank God it’s Friday – what do you have planned for this weekend.

A. Thank God indeed. Normally on Fridays I retire from work to go home and I spend the weekend with my children at home.

Sometimes we visit family and on Sunday we wake up early for my little ones to attend Sunday school, at 10 we join the main service.

That is my typical weekend.