Set yourself a work strategy and discipline that will keep you focused. If you do it, you will see your projects getting done efficiently and on time. Your team is watching you, remember that you’re a leader.
Augustin Ndikuriyo, entrepreneur and tourism promoter, is CEO of Augustine Tours, which offers private travel services to Africa. He is passionate about promoting Africa tourism sector to the world and has a wealth of local knowledge that he happily shares. He speaks frequently English, French, German and Swahili.
His company serves individuals and companies with an interest in Leisure and Corporate Trips.
Prior to founding his company in 2010 at the age of 26, Augustin spent nearly half a decade as hotel front office manager in Burundi where he acquired a taste of the hospitality industry. After 8 years running his company, he has recently opened a new office in Germany, Augustine Tours-Europe.
Augustin lives in Luneburg in Lower Saxony in Germany. In his free time, you can find him reading articles and books about business trends and entrepreneurship.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
I’m the founder of Augustine Tours, a travel company founded with an aim to provide Private Tours & Corporate Travels to Africa. Inspired by St. Augustine” The World is a book and those who don’t travel only ready one page”, I believe that travel can be a great channel for both educational, cultural and business exchange. Whether we travel for business or vacation, there is always a sense of socio-economic or cultural exchange in one way or another- this is where a travel company like ours plays a big role.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My typical day starts with checking emails from clients, employees and partners.
Following up on completed trips helps me keep a track of the customer service the company offers. Dividing my workday into segments enables me to have an organized plan, and I can assess my productivity on a regular basis.
How do you bring ideas to life?
If a new idea comes into my mind, I pencil it down in my notebook which I simply call daily guidebook and ask the point of view from my team. The same applies the other way, if any team member has a new idea, we welcome it and go through it until we come to a conclusion. We see Augustine Tours as a united a family and that’s what guides us throughout our daily operations.
What’s one trend that excites you?
If we look at nowadays consumer behavior, the customer is l more than ever interested into knowing about the management of companies they intend to do business with. There is so much need of transparency from companies, for customers and partners to accurately make decisions. We really like working on the best value experience enhancing our company reputation. We have a platform where our clients express themselves in reviewing our service.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Improvement is a continuous work. I don’t take pride in my past performance to rest my opportunities to create a better future. If anything goes wrong today, I try to look at it with a positive eye and learn from that mistake.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Beside having a vision, set yourself a work strategy and discipline that will keep you focused. If you do it, you will see your projects getting done efficiently and on time. Your team is watching you, remember that you’re a leader.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Starting a conversation, keeping it candid and convivial can be a big challenge for many entrepreneurs. For instance, the choice of certain phrases can open a door to business opportunities or do the opposite.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Never stop networking. Business networks are a great door for short or long term opportunities.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Public relations are a great way of getting your voice heard. A year after I started my company, I met many entrepreneurs who had success in their businesses, and communication was a word that kept coming in our different conversations. For instance, one German travel consultant told me in 2013 the importance of joining trade fairs and travel associations. Since then, I have managed to get deals from companies that I met during business meetings or via recommendations from past customers.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Having a mentor in business is a good thing but having a right one is much more valuable.
I had wasted a few chances while relying on just one person who seemed to have good insights to share about my business, until I finally realized there was a need of using diverse sources of information. From my experience, I understood the benefits of learning from everyone, and coming to a conclusion after checking facts. This has helped me know which facts match with my industry and as a result increased the company profitability.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
What motivates you to do what you’re doing today? Knowing what it takes to be who you want to be will keep you committed in tough times and focused in harvest season.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I recently bought a train ticket for a business meeting. I got 2 clients who signed a € 8 000 deal to use my company services to travel to Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi next summer in 2019.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
We use Stripe to collect and track invoices payments on time. It is a safe way to process credit cards payments and most of our clients enjoy this peace of mind.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
“Innovation and Entrepreneurship: practice and principles”- Peter Drucker. This will shape your way of thinking in regard to growth and continued improvement.
What is your favorite quote?
“What’s measured improves” -Peter Drucker
Every success whether expected or unexpected should be looked at with questions like:
• How did we get there?
• Can we turn this into an opportunity?
• Dividing my workday into segments enables me to have an organized plan, and I can assess my productivity on a regular basis.
• Starting a conversation, keeping it candid and convivial can be a big challenge for many entrepreneurs.
• Read “Innovation and Entrepreneurship: practice and principles” to shape your way of thinking in regard to growth and continued improvement.
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.