Doing the shuttle shuffle
When it was announced that South Africa would be hosting the 2010 World Cup, many big- name companies saw dollar signs – and so did numerous “little guys” looking for a gap in the market to make it big. MARCEL TROUT meets an enthusiastic post-tournament entrepreneur.
Euan Borah started out as a salesman. In 2003, while still working in sales, he began his own car wash. The business flourished and he decided to resign to become a full-time entrepreneur, operating the car wash while buying and selling cars as a sideline.
In 2007, he opened a second facility – appropriately named Euie’s Car Wash – which he sold after two years. He then opened a third and sold it at a remarkable 100% profit only two months later.
Fast forward to the present day and he has moved up a notch, inspired by close friend Wayne Jones, who runs a shuttle service. Borah worked alongside Jones before branching out and starting his own shuttle service.
Initially using the family car and running things from home, the business grew rapidly. However, with the soccer World Cup fast approaching, he decided he needed a bigger vehicle to broaden his capacity, and a Toyota Quantum was purchased to transport tourists between the airport, their hotels and the soccer stadiums. Today the fleet consists of three vehicles: two Nissan Primastars and a Toyota Avanza.
Being a family business, he thought it fitting to name it Borah’s Transport. “My family help me a lot,” he explains. “My wife and children are my pillars of strength as far the running of the businesses is concerned. They always step in to help and make sure that everything runs smoothly.”
Francis Maselwa, the only driver employed by the business, is trained by Borah himself. But, if things get sticky, he can count on his wife and daughter to help out.
Borah says it’s challenging to ensure that pick-ups and drop-offs are carried out on time and correctly. But he believes customers should be kept happy and his philosophy is to do whatever it takes to achieve this. “We believe in ongoing excellent service and I make sure that my vehicles are always clean and on time. We always try to help and do not believe in turning business away. This is what makes us better that our competitors.”
But there’s more to running a shuttle service than first meets the eye, and Borah says it can be extremely challenging at times. “You have to get used to working long and uncomfortable hours, you need a lot of patience when dealing with fussy customers and, most importantly, you must deliver a quality services at reasonable prices.”
Every business has its rewards. Borah hasn’t had his yet, but remains optimistic that one day he will secure a large corporate contract. As the saying goes: “Good things come to those who wait.”