Q: Please tell our reader about Lion Tutoring. What products and services does your company offer?
A: Lion Tutoring is a fully owned company that provides Tutorial services to students either at our centres or in the comfort of their homes. We also provide online tutoring and are based in three countries so far. We offer tutoring in all subjects and curricula. We assist students who are being home-schooled to meet their learning targets and register for examinations locally and internationally, and do well in those examinations.
Q: What was the inspiration behind starting Lion Tutoring?
A: The inspiration behind starting Lion Tutoring was the low and deteriorating pass rates in our country, the difficulty parents and students have in accessing good tutors and the high unemployment problem. Lion Tutoring maintains a 98.8 percent pass rate across all levels and subjects. The company employs close 300 employees full time and in independent contractor agreements. Lion Tutoring has employees in Sandton in Johannesburg, South Africa and a few now starting in Nairobi, Kenya.
Q: From starting with only 30 students to tutoring over 1000 students and employing over 300 people now, how did you reach these milestones?
A: We managed to reach our milestone of hiring and expanding through vigorously servicing our market. We make sure that we meet as many parents and students at their schools at malls, through social media and radio interviews and these methods increase the number of our clients.
By so doing, the demand for quality tutors in our industry grows and we ensure we recruit the necessary talent, train and deploy them to our students. We also collaborate with amazing HR partners in Botswana, among them Careerpool and Staffwise. In South Africa, we have collaborated with Dots360 and PNET to recruit tutors who are qualified, vetted and screened.
Q: Your business has expanded into South Africa and is now looking into penetrating global markets. What advice can you give local Batswana businesses looking to scale globally?
A: Scaling globally for Lion Tutoring has been very easy because of the use and advantage of technology. We have a mobile app that works like Uber but for tutors. It is being used fully right now on Google Play store. We are able to have tutors in any country. If a client wants a tutor in a particular city, they tell the app which subjects they would like help with and the app shows them our tutors. The client books a tutor and pays on the app and we then send the tutor to their home.
My advice for companies that would like to scale is, just do it! Find ways that you can export your products or services, find a market abroad and service the market. Home is always a good place to start and learn, then replicate abroad.
Q: How has Lion Tutoring implemented the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) in its daily business?
A: Lion Tutoring has developed a mobile app that is like Uber for tutors. This advantage of technology allows us to match the right tutors to the right students everywhere, which is our mission and mandate. Our app also helps us identify countries that would like us to expand to by tracking traffic. We invest heavily in technology such as our website, our e-commerce site and the app for which we have collaborated with a local tech company called Afro Agile Soft.
Q: How did Lion Tutoring take advantage of the soaring demand for online tutoring during the COVID-19 lockdowns?
A: Lion Tutoring was well-positioned for the lockdowns and online tutorials, seeing how we were already conducting them even before the pandemic. We immediately had to transfer our students from in-person tutoring to online tutoring during the lockdowns, and this really saw our revenue growth as we could now tutor students in other countries through Zoom and Skype.
Q: What are the future growth prospects for the company?
A: Lion Tutoring is on track to enter six different markets internationally in the current financial year. We have prospects in the UK, Kenya, Australia and other countries. Our sales revenues have seen double growth figures year-on-year from 2017 to-date and we are planning to hire 1 000 new local employees to manage and support the international staff.
Q: You were recently part of the Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 list. How did that come about and how did the publicity benefit your business?
A: In 2020 I made the Forbes Under 30 list and I am the first Motswana my age to make it on the cover of Forbes Magazine, a status I still hold today. The number of doors this opportunity has opened for me has been overwhelming. Already on the African continent I have been invited to a multitude of United Nations Economic Commission engagements, availing networking opportunities to expand to countries such as Senegal, Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya. With the recent Forbes Under 30 Summit in Botswana, networking opportunities have allowed us to position our brand further for the international market.
Q: How do you think the Forbes 30 Under 30 Summit being held in Botswana will help the economy and young entrepreneurs?
A: In my opinion, the Forbes Under 30 Summit will benefit the young person that came to the summit with a game plan. As for Lion Tutoring, we were able to benefit through the networking with international brands and fellow Under 30 listers. Local companies expanding to the international arena will benefit the country immensely due to foreign currency coming into Botswana and employment of Batswana to build these brands locally and internationally.