VULKAN RUINE, YOUR BUSINESS-CLASS SERVICE PROVIDER
(NAMPA FEATURES SERVICE)
By Pearl Coetzee
WINDHOEK, 25 JAN (NAMPA) - The advice that patience, perseverance and hard work are the main ingredients for an entrepreneur and his business to grow, is exactly what tour and transfer operator, Julius Gaweseb took from his peers.
With little money in his pocket and no experience of the tourism industry, Gaweseb, who is now the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Vulkan Ruine Tours and Transfers, received blessings from his mother, who also gave him start-up capital for his business, about five years ago.
He has not looked back since.
Today, Gaweseb has a fleet of 20 vehicles and a staff component of 25 workers.
The company specialises mainly in staff transportation for hotels, but recently, introduced a business-class service in a bus from the Hosea Kutako International Airport to the capital.
Being a registered member and actively involved with the Namibia Tourism Board (NTB), Gaweseb had the opportunity to take part in various international road shows and trade fairs in countries such as the United Kingdom, Germany, the United States of America (USA), China, Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, Finland, and South Africa.
The business-class service was an idea that was born after he visited Toronto, Canada, and made use of the Toronto Air Express, which provides business-class services not in the air, but in motorcoaches from the airport to various destinations in the city.
?Our rates are very favourable compared to the cost of using a taxi or luxury vehicle, and we offer comfortable reclining seats with generous legroom, Wi-Fi capability and lap top plug-ins, all to ensure your time on our service is as productive and comfortable as possible,? he said.
With this business idea, he acquired a N.dollars 2,3million loan from the Development Bank of Namibia, and could then expand his business by buying three luxury vehicles with these specific features and benefits.
These vehicles are fully accessible for the physically challenged, have air conditioning, drop-down television screens, debit and credit card facilities, as well as public announcement systems.
The company also pays a great deal of attention to safety, and utilises a fully-integrated safety management plan as well as individual seat restraints.
Vulkan Ruine Tours and Transfers takes its name from the ancient volcanic activity on the Brandberg Mountain in Damaraland in the Erongo Region, and it refers to the remains found on the Brandberg Mountain.
The company was founded in August 2008 with only two vehicles - a Toyota Tazz and a Volkswagen Kombi.
Gaweseb said the initial aim of the company was to become a tour operator. However, he says, over time he realised that one can only participate and benefit from that industry if one forges good relationships with various stakeholders in the industry.
In a competitive industry such as the tourism market, Gaweseb advises small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to look at alternative opportunities in the industry.
During the early days of the business, he knocked on the doors of various hotels in the capital for business ventures, and later became a transport service-provider to Air Namibia, and also a staff transport provider for the Windhoek Country Club Resort and Casino, Kalahari Sands Hotel and Casino, Bank of Namibia, Motor-Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund and the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ).
Today, staff transportation contributes to more than 80 per cent of the company?s revenue.
Gaweseb said the company is still growing as the demand for transport services in Namibia increases on a daily basis.
In 2010, Gaweseb was one of the best scorers in a comprehensive training programme leading to a Certificate of Competence in Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation for Tourism SMEs offered by the NTB in collaboration with the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa.
In the years to come, Gaweseb sees his company as a job provider for many Namibians, and would like the company to trade on the Namibia Stock Exchange (NSX).