Thobo Khathola, at 28, is founder, Managing Director and CEO of Lion Tutoring, an education technology company in Botswana.
It all began in 2015. After his experience as a university student tutor, Thobo Khathola was keen on improving the pass rates of students in Botswana. So, he started operating from the boot of his car in his parents’ home to offer tutoring services to youth in Botswana.
Starting off as just a tutoring company, as time went on, we merged our tutorials together with technology, together with the 4th industrial revolution we are the first company in Botswana to work as uber for tutors. We are basically matching tutors and students across Botswana, South Africa and soon we will be going to Accra, Ghana. What really sets us apart is our ability to merge technology with our already existing companies.
The way the Lion Tutoring app works is we load tutors onto our platform and if a client would like to secure a tutor, they simply log into our platform, where the app will find their location. The client then punches in the subjects they want and then from there the app will show the available already vetted tutors in their location.
This is another thing that sets us apart, our tutors are vetted; meaning we have done background checks with our HR partners: PNET and dots360 in South Africa and Career Pool in Botswana.
Ours is a love story about Botswana, we really like to brand Botswana as a technology destination, as a group of young people who are really embracing technology and the 4th industrial revolution.
Our company was founded with the mandate of addressing those two problems, high unemployment rates and high failure rates. We provide private tutoring services to students from primary and pre-primary school all the way to university, undergraduate and post-graduate. We also offer tutorials for different curriculum; there is IGCSE, BGCSE, A-LEVELS, Cambridge primary checkpoint, IEB and IB and offer these private tutorial services through the help of our app.
We are the best at what we offer because it takes a very short period of time; which is a day for us to match a tutor to the right student and also have tutors who are teachers, so we normally recruit teachers to be our tutors holding PGDE, bachelors and masters in education.
Our other strength is our App, we are the first company who is operating an uber for tutors in Botswana, and the thing that makes us the best at what we do is our credibility: our clients are very comfortable and very confident in our services which is what makes our brand stick out from the rest.
Lion Tutoring won three awards in 2017, 2018, and 2019 and was named the Best Youth Owned Business in Botswana; at The Botswana Youth Awards and The Palapye Business Awards. Our biggest achievement is that we made it into the Forbes 30 under 30 listing for the year 2020. Mr. Thobo was listed on the Forbes 30 under 30 list of 2020 and also appeared on the cover of the April Forbes Africa magazine, thus being the first Batswana actually to be on the cover of Forbes 30 under 30 magazine. Mr. Thobo was also listed in the Botswana Stock Exchange’s First Publication as one of the Top Youth Entrepreneurs to look out for and The Botswana Youth Mag listed Mr. Thobo as the Top 30 Most influential Youth in Botswana.
The company is based in Botswana with Branches in Gaborone, Phakalane, Palapye and Francistown. They also operate in South Africa; Rustenburg and Johannesburg. Lion Tutoring is looking to take advantage of the 4th Industrial revolution by engaging a worldwide audience through their e-commerce platform and Mobile Application. The Lion Tutoring APP works like UBER but for tutors, and has started gaining tractions from the international markets. Our biggest project is that we are expanding into Africa, we already have an office in Sandton and students all around South Africa and will be branching out to Accra, Ghana.
We have a number of testimonials, for example we have tutored students through the aid of the FNB foundation at Mogoditshane primary school, where the students’ pass rate was increased by a good 10% over a period of only two months. Another testimonial will be the University of Botswana and Botswana Accountancy College (BAC), where we had been invited as guest lecturers for their entrepreneurial courses.
The company’s vision for the future is to concentrate on the African market and by 2025 should be a company that is in all the cities of Africa. By 2030 we would like to see ourselves available to the whole of the world, already we have students who are doing online tutoring as far as Canada and Australia – that is our vision for the future.