Disillusioned with the profession he studied for, Baoliki Letlole opted for an unusual career move, quitting his glamorous job as a Graphic Designer for the grimy world of pest and termite control.
Having set up Termax in 2017, the 32-year-old Manyana native remains content in his switch.
“I quit Graphic Design three years ago to venture into the business of pest control or management. Before starting the business I did a short course on Agrochemical management at the Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (BUAN),” states Letlole, explaining that before one can venture into pest control they must be certified in handling pesticides.
Outlining the motivation behind starting his business, Letlole told Voice Money that as a child he experienced the struggle of living in a house infested with bedbugs.
“Even cockroaches and termites are everywhere too. They affect everyone and can even destroy structures, so this inspired me to go into pest control.”
Another equally important motivating factor was falling out of love with his profession. Thus he felt it was time for a fresh start and so used his personal savings to start Termax.
“I think I was born to do this and it is where I belong!” he reflects, proudly adding the business has received ‘a significant reception’.
Letlole is confident there will always be a steady demand for his line of work, noting vermin will always be around and termites will never cease posing a risk to building structures.
His company offers services such as termite control for pre and post-construction treatment, mice and rat control, cockroach control, and ant control among others.
“Although the company is still at its infancy stage, I think we are on the right track because most of the clients we get are referrals,” reveals Letlole.
With a current workforce consisting of three permanent employees, the Exterminator plans to hire more staff as the enterprise grows.
However, he ruefully admits Covid-19 has halted any immediate expansion plans.
“We could be far had it not been for Covid-19. Even now it is a challenge because clients don’t want visitors for fear of the virus.”
Letlole also notes the pandemic has affected most people’s spending power, meaning many are now unwilling – and some unable – to splash out on pest control.
“Not only that, even chemical prices have gone up which affects us because we are also forced to increase our prices. But it becomes a bit difficult because our clients’ pockets have also been affected!”
Not one to lose hope easily, the resilient businessman expects the nation will eventually learn how to live with Coronavirus. When that happens, he is adamant ‘everything else will fall into place’.
Before Covid-19 struck, changing the world forever, Letlole was focused on marketing his company to improve its profile, in line with his vision of seeing Termax compete with the best in Botswana.
“Before the outbreak of the virus, it was a bit tough in that a lot of people were not aware of the company and what we do. Many clients would like to engage someone who has a trail.”
And a trail is exactly what Termax is slowly creating, having serviced over 500 clients countrywide since setting up shop three years ago. An appearance in The Voice can surely only add to that!