OFW in Dubai: From Tricycle Driver to Desert Safari Tour Owner
Most schools in the Philippines produce graduates meant to enter the workforce but train them less as entrepreneurs. No wonder Filipinos are more popular as the world’s workers but few are known as business owners.
But sometimes becoming a business owner comes out of necessity rather than passion for the trade. One Filipino who used to drive tricycle in the Philippines to support his family just took this route.
In a report by ABS-CBN News, Godi Olis first took to the streets in the Philippines ferrying passengers with his auto rickshaw. To augment his income, he tried his hand at boxing as means to support his large family. Despite his efforts, Olis could barely make enough money to survive.
“I drove auto rickshaws. During that time, I only had enough money to ensure that me and my family would have a meal every day,” Olis said.
Like many Filipinos who find life in the Philippines difficult, going abroad is a gamble that they are willing to take.
Olis moved to the Middle East in 1991 and worked at a tedious and demanding job in landscaping and irrigation.
“Napakahirap dahil nasa gitna po kami ng disyerto. Kapag inabot kayo ng break sa trabaho halos dumudugo na po ang ilong namin kung hindi mo kakayanin ang init. But then, ‘yan ang trabaho namin eh,” said Olis.
But life abroad is indeed a gamble — you win some, you lose some — he lost his job in 2001. Instead of returning home dispirited, Olis used this experience to motivate him to enter the tourism industry.
Using loaned money, he purchased a 4×4 vehicle and established Off Road Adventures.
From that one vehicle, Olis now has now at least 15 units for his company.
Hopefully, the story of Godi Olis will help inspire Filipinos to venture into entrepreneurship.