GABORONE, Botswana, May 2020/ — After being listed in the Forbes 30 under 30 class of 2020, Thobo Khathola’s brainchild and school homework brand, Lion Tutoring is vigorously expanding into Africa. The business model showed signs of success when it consecutively won the Best Youth owned business in Botswana at the Botswana Youth Awards in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
Amused by learning, he studied BComm Economics and Management at the University of Pretoria in South Africa where he tutored at the institution during his 2nd year until finishing his studies and since then he has never looked back.
In a candid interview with Botswana Unplugged recently, Khathola who has also embraced the use of technology through mobile applications to reach more students to enrol into his business said the mandate of Lion Tutoring is to match the right tutor to every student, everywhere.
“Through the help of our Mobile App which works like Uber but for tutors, we are able to match tutors all over the world with students on our platforms. Due to Covid-19 lockdown, we have introduced Online Tutoring which allows students to continue with their school work with the help of a qualified tutor at the comfort of their homes.”
The 28-year-old said the tutorials they offer range from primary school to tertiary’s masters level. He further said they launched their services to far countries like Canada and Zimbabwe.
“We offer private tutorials to students from Primary School to Masters Level for all subjects and courses. Before covid19, we would have our tutors go to students’ homes or students come to our centres countrywide; however for now we only offer Online Tutoring which has allowed us to tutor students in other countries such as South Africa, Zimbabwe and recently Canada.
Roaring for success, Khathola is gradually expanding into Africa, and currently have an office in South Africa’s Sandton and Botswana’s Gaborone CBD respectively. He is however thankful for the opportunity by Forbes as his networking opened more markets.
“We have clients in South Africa and Zimbabwe who request us to deliver tutors to their homes and they pay on our Mobile Application. At the end of 2020, Lion Tutoring will be operating in SADC countries including Nigeria. We have made strong connections through the Forbes 30 under 30 which we were recently awarded,” he acknowledged.
Quizzed on the challenges faced by a tech business, Khathola points at the speed and availability of the internet as one of the setbacks to running his business.
“Locally, the challenges are high data costs and slow internet speeds. Especially during Covid19 where all tutorials take place online, these challenges have reduced our market share. However, in countries such as Kenya and Rwanda, we see middle class clients being able to enrol for online tutoring which is good. We remain hopeful that this pandemic will pass and return to normal routines.”
Lion Tutoring has hired 30 Full time workers and 260+ Part time tutors. With the declining pass rates, and limitation of having huge classes in schools sharing one teacher, Lion Tutoring saw the need of providing one on one tutorials which assist students improve their academics at the comfort of their homes. Their Mobile App is the first in Botswana of its kind, where a client can locate a tutor at a 10km radius and pay on the Application for lessons to take place.