A bad experience with local cab drivers has inspired a young Motswana lady to start a company called Rosewell Chauffeurs to drive her clients around town in style.
For 29-year-old Sukoluhle Mafika, being driven in a dirty old cab with loud music isn’t good value for the money.
Operating from the luxurious Lansmore Masa Hotel in Gaborone, Rosewell Chauffeurs started operating in October 2012.
Mafika, a graduate from University of Leeds in England where she studied her Master’s Degree, she said her experience with the British transport system taught her that no matter how small a client pays, they must get value for their money.
Rosewell chauffeurs operate luxurious cars like Mercedes Benz, BMWs, Range Rovers, Toyota, Chevrolets and other makes of clients’ choice.
Asked what inspired her to venture into this niche market, Mafika said, “When I arrived from London in 2011, I worked at Geoflux in Gaborone.
At one point I phoned a cab to take me somewhere and had to wait for more than an hour beforeit arrived. That wasn’t a good experience at all.
When he arrived to take me to my destiny, his cab looked old and dirty.
The windows were not working. The Aircon was down and it was blazing hot.
There was this loud noise from his radio communication system and at the same time playing loud music. He did not have that etiquette.
This is not what clients are looking for.
So I thought it would be fantastic to offer luxury chauffeured services where clients could go wherever they want, be waited for and have their doors opened when they alight from the car and enter.”
Not only are clients driven in luxury cars around town; the fleet is brand new and insured.
“This gives a sense of security and comfort to our clients. You wouldn’t want to drive in an uninsured car that can stop in the middle of the road or get involved in a car accident and have no claim,” she said.
At the moment, Mafika focuses on corporate clients and hotel guests, but that does not stop her from offering the services to anyone who desires to be driven in style.
“Our Chauffeur drive is a tailor made transport service with in-car refreshments, newspaper in the car, our drivers open the door for you and we wait until your business is done all day.
Anyone can engage us even for shopping sprees. Apart from transporting hotel guests, we also do corporate events.
A few months back, we were engaged by the Canadian government for their state visit to Botswana and this was an honour and a milestone for the company as it showcased our capacity and the quality of our service.
Our first experience with events was with the ALN conference which was held end of last year,” she said with a bright smile.
Despite being turned down by financial institutions for this business, this enterprising diva says she is determined to see her business growing from leaps and bounds.
“It is sad that our financial institutions cannot see beyond and allow for change and new businesses in the market.
The take on this is that there is no market for chauffeur business, but surprisingly we have work on a daily basis and the business is growing very fast.
If we are to count the number of flights that come into the country everyday and the people alighting from them are all foreigners.
The question then becomes who is providing them with a good transport service?
Botswana is a growing economy and it is booming at a very high speed. I don’t want to catch up when it’s too late,” she said with determination.
Rosewell Chauffeurs employs six (6) drivers and a manager. “This means I am responsible for six families.
They are all Batswana. I have trained them and ensured they have the right etiquette. I always make sure they are happy,” she revealed.