By Yinka Olatunbosun
Victoria Adeyemi, the CEO Bovicaria Consulting, has good reasons to smile to bed every night. First, she dreamt of starting a travel service company that takes care of peopleâ€™s travel needs. Now, she makes othersâ€™ dreams of exploring other climes for work, study or leisure a reality. Sometimes, in her bedroom, sheâ€™d work all night securing flights schedules, hotel accommodation, international schools and work opportunities in select companies. For her growing knowledge of the travel industry, she has earned some clientâ€™s confidence but not all. For the new clients who didnâ€™t see a physical office for Bovicaria Consulting, it was difficult to convince quite a number of that the company exists as a legal entity.
Recently, Adeyemi opened her office along Lekki-Epe expressway after running the company effectively for five years. Literarily, she built the business and the office from the scratch, plowing her earnings into the permanent office space.
A recent tour of her office was an eye-opener on the dream she had for travel services. Asides the enchanting coffee-room, the office has a seminar room that accommodates international schoolsâ€™ representatives who facilitate seminars to educate potential applicants.
After hosting one in the series of seminars, this reporter sought out Adeyemi who began her story with why it became imperative to have a physical presence for a business that thrives on the virtual world.
â€œDue to the fraudulent people we have around these days, itâ€™s difficult for people to entrust others with their money. The office gives us the chance to interact with our customers and the client base is getting bigger,â€ said Adeyemi who did not meet some of her clients face-to-face until they were ready to leave the Nigerian shore.
Adeyemi puts a personal touch to how she attends to some younger clients. On several occasions, she had assisted some clients in pre-travel shopping, follow-ups, pre- departure briefing, post-arrival monitoring till the client arrives safely at the actual destination. This is how she has carved her niche.
â€œPeople are scared of using agents when it comes to travelling. I have received great testimonials from those who have gone abroad for their studies. For us, the service we render to each client depends on the package. We run study, work and visit,â€ she said.
Adeyemi started off with this travel services in River State shortly after her post-graduate programme at the University of Port-Harcourt. She got her first set of clients from the region and through referrals, her clientele extends to different parts of the country including Lagos where she was born and bred.
The seminar she organised in June was initiated by one of the companyâ€™s partner institutions in Canada, specifically North West Community College to educate people more about the course they are offering and the benefits of studying in Canada.
One of the drawbacks for a travel agency is the devaluation of naira. It reduced the number of international students that apply for travel documents but recently, the narrative is changing for good.
The graduate of Microbiology surmounted the fear of running a start-up, determined to make the best use of her various work experiences.
She advised intending entrepreneurs not to be narrow-minded in making career choices. She cited her vacation jobs in her undergraduate years as very pivotal in her later life as a travel resource person.