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Zimbabwean man shares how he grew from being a van driver to owning 37 trucks in the UK

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A United Kingdom-based Zimbabwean man, Elias Chiguvi, has narrated how he rose from being a van driver delivering eggs to owning a fleet of 37 trucks.

Chiguvi, from Harare, left Zimbabwe, his country of birth to the United Kingdom in 2007 and settled in Leeds.

He began working as a van driver, delivering eggs and baked goods to hotels in London, Leeds Live reports.

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Elias Chiguvi
Elias Chiguvi, Wilsford Transport Owner.

On good days, Elias would deliver cargo or luggage at Heathrow Airport in his small van. It was one of those trips that Elias got up close and personal with a Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV).

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He said:

There was a time I was going to do deliveries to Heathrow airport for airline food. I saw trucks and said to myself ‘why can’t I drive these trucks? When I enquired with the training company that trained to drive trucks, they said they were giving a package for learning to drive and CPC management. I didn’t know what it was and then I said I want the whole package.

They sent me some books to study and at the same time I went for lessons to drive to which I passed. I then realised what it was that I have just passed and the responsibilities that lay with this.

He later decided to own a company with a huge fleet that rivalled some of the world’s best. He named it Wilsford Transport Ltd. But before that, he decided to go to university and study for two degrees to gain some real-world experience. He said:

When I passed my CPC management and HGV Licence, I thought about doing a degree on this and went to study my BSC in transport and logistics at Huddersfield University because I wanted to do it perfectly when I started my own business. I did my master’s in business and science at the same university.

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After he concluded his master’s degree, Mr Chiguvi worked for Amazon for two-and-a-half years and bought three trucks and started his own business.

In a short space of time, Elias Chiguvi’s fleet has risen from three to a massive 37 HGV trucks.

Wilsford Transport fleet Elias Chiguvi
Wilsford Transport Fleet

He said:

We started with three trucks, which then quickly doubled and doubled again to the point we are now running closer to 37.

This has not always been easy and has taken a tremendous amount of hard work and dedication. Blood, sweat and tears have gone into the success of this company and with a strong team behind Wilsford Transport Ltd we are eager to see the future growth of the business.

Although he is now an affluent businessman with a portfolio to show for it, Mr Chiguvi says his company still reflects his Southern African roots, and he thanks his family for inspiring him.

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He added that going to the UK is one of the biggest yet hardest decisions of his life, “but I was ready to start over and embrace the new adventure and challenge myself for a better life.”

Mr Chiguvi says running a business is not easy and told Yorkshire Live he has considered quitting several times. He said:

It has been up and down, sometimes I would consider selling or closing the business due to the day-to-day pressures and then I remember how many people rely on the business as we now employ over 50 employees.

Then there are times which make the bad times seem worth it to see the growth and what those bad times have pushed us to improve. Running a business is a lot more than what most realise, people around you only see the tip of the iceberg and not all the work done underneath it but in the end it is all worthwhile and will continue to be in the years ahead.

He says he wants to expand the business in different avenues, all still related to the logistics and transport sector but with the progression and growth of Wilsford Transport Ltd.

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