January 21st, 2013
Frederick, 36, started off with a cultural tour expedition through the township of Kuisebmond in Walvis Bay, which he described as “not an easy task to coordinate”.
He started with this in October 2002, at the age of 26 years. After leaving his footprint in the cultural part of the industry, Frederick decided to take a leap of faith and add boat cruises to his portfolio late in 2011.
“In the beginning it was not easy because there were many problems, mainly mechanical. It was also difficult to acquire customers, as you are struggling to build a client base when you are the new kid on the block,” he said.
He said the business did not take off immediately and it took a year before he steadily started gaining clients in 2012. “After a year of struggling, the business took a turn for the better in November 2012. My goal of succeeding as a young entrepreneur was starting to take flight when different companies started to approach me for cruises, and to cater for their year-end functions,” said Frederick.
His business suffered a dry spell during the first two weeks of December 2012 but by the third week of December, business was booming again as holidaymakers flocked to the coast. After the dry period, Frederick said 48 people a day went on his boat trips.
“Things which we did not achieved in a month, we started to achieve in a week during this festive period,” he said. Frederick acknowledged that emerging entrepreneurs encounter many obstacles, but he said young people are their own worst obstacle because most of them have a mentality of waiting for handouts and expect people to feel sorry for them.
The driving force behind him seeking to expand his business was to create jobs and not to look for a job as many of his peers did. “I sacrificed a lot to leap after my goal, which was to become successful no matter what obstacles I was met with. I have been pursuing my dream since finishing school in 1997 and it all came down to perseverance. I identified what I wanted to do and the people who would assist me, and then took the necessary risks as is the nature of any good businessman,” Frederick said.
He stated that one of these risks was acquiring the boat for the cruises.
The former managing director of Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC), Bengt Strenge, who was a passenger on the boat cruise supporting the young entrepreneur on Saturday, indicated that the tourism industry in Walvis Bay has developed a lot in the past five years.
“Along the coast, tourism has grown a lot, especially around the port area known as the Waterfront, where there has been a fantastic development progress,” he told Nampa.
One of these developments include the expansion of the Namibia Ports Authority (Namport) towards the Waterfront area.
Meanwhile, with regards to the expansion, Frederick indicated that they were warned that they might be asked to vacate the premises.
He explained that they were asked to build their establishments from materials which could be easily removed so that moving would be easy. Frederick said the only problem he has with moving would be if the land Namport wants to expand to stays the same for years without any development taking place.
“Namport has given us and the other business establishments in the area a year to vacate before they are expanding. This Waterfront placed Walvis Bay on the map and became a popular attraction for tourists and locals alike. “So I would not like to see development taking place and for it not to stay dormant,” he said.