He comes from a humble family. He was trained to teach Agriculture at secondary schools, but he quit his job to take a risk in business.
Today, his transport company is on the right path to take the courier business by storm. For almost eight (8) years, Ndiye Smith has been at the helm of his transport business.
He talks to MMIKA SOLOMON about his company.
Q: What kind of business do you run?
I am in the transport business.
Normally it is referred to as a Courier business.
Q: What is the name of this business?
It is called KTU Couriers services. We are based here in Gaborone.
Q: Is it a sole proprietorship or a company?
It is a company. I own it with my wife Naledi.
Q: How did the business start?
It is a very interesting story. As you know, I was an Agriculture teacher.
I quit my job to pursue my dream of owning a business.
My wife and I used our personal savings to buy a small car that kick-started our business.
As a result, I had to quit my teaching job to focus fully on our project.
We were lucky to be contracted to one business which was doing the same business as ours, but that company was winding up because the owner felt she was now old.
As they say, the rest is history.
Q: How was the journey?
It was tough. I had to drive that vehicle between Gaborone and Francistown daily.
We later invested more money into the business as it grew.
Now we boast of a fleet of about 24 vehicles.
We have contacts in over 220 countries that we are servicing.
We have grown since the establishment of this business in 2005.
Q: Serving 220 countries must be a huge challenge. Don’t you think?
In business, we have what we call partners.
In all these countries, we have contracts with certain courier service companies.
For instance, if our customer needs their goods to be delivered say in the United Kingdom, we do that on their behalf through our partners in that country.
It is a challenge of course to deal with so many countries, but it is business, we have to go through that process.
Q: Don’t you sometimes get your customers’ goods lost on the way?
We do sometimes have reports of misplaced goods.
However, all the goods are insured if a customer’s goods are misplaced we refund them.
It doesn’t happen often because we have systems that avert the loss of goods.
There is traceability right from the office to the customer.
So far we are doing well in ensuring that we take good care of customers’ goods.
Q: This kind of business you are in is high risk, as it involves transporting of goods across countries. How do you ensure that transportation of your goods is legal?
Our parcels or goods are weighed and scanned before they are taken from the customers. We try by all means to do the right thing.
In terms of the laws or policies, how is the industry?
The laws in Botswana are too lax, anybody can come from outside the country and deliver the goods right to the customer’s door step.
For example, you need to have a partner who delivers goods on your behalf.
Here citizens are not protected. Our territory is open to abuse.
There should be laws that regulate the industry.
We can’t have companies coming from South Africa to dominate our markets.
We can’t do the same in South Africa.
Q: How is competition in the industry?
In our business we don’t compete as such. Rather we work with each other.
For instance, if I have a delivery and I am unable to deliver it, I just contact Sprint Couriers to do that on my behalf.
We work together. We have a healthy relationship in our industry.
Thank you for your time and God bless you.
Thank you my brother, and God bless you too