By AILEEN KAWAGARU
A FAMOUS author once said “the most successful entrepreneurs I know are optimistic”.
Arisen Wakendui is one who can be regarded as an optimistic entrepreneur. She operates a taxi business called the Waken Taxi Service in Port Moresby and drives one of the two cars.
Arisen, 34, is the only female taxi driver in the capital city. She loves running her own business and wants to expand it more.
She is a single mother of six children – three girls and three boys. She wants to do her best to raise them up in a stable family environment and provide the best education she can afford for them.
Her parents are from Gulf and Central. She spent most of her life in Gulf.
She completed Grade 10 at the Port Moresby Grammar School in 2002. In 2003 she started working at the club as a senior bar cashier.
In 2014, while working, she managed to complete a short business course at the Hohola Community College.
That same year, she got a job with a company as a sales consultant. She was later promoted to become the human resource manager.
In 2018, she resigned because of personal reasons. She decided to start a taxi business.
She has two taxis operating in the city. Arisen had taxi meters installed in the cars.
“When I bought my taxis, I had two drivers. I never allowed them to drive around in the night. We have taxi meters and our service is from 6am to 6pm.”
“ I had to drive my own taxi because I wanted to find out myself how well this business can go.”
She initially employed two drivers. But in September last year, Arisen suspected that one of drivers had been playing up with the fares and confronted him about it.
“I guess the driver was cheating. He probably stole money from me. He removed the taxi meter and was collecting money from passengers for himself.”
Arisen had no option but to send him home. It taught her a lesson the drivers to employ to properly run the taxi business.
Arisen decided to drive one of the cars.
“I had to drive my own taxi because I wanted to find out how well this business can go.”
She remembers that on her first week of driving, she made more than K1,000 from one taxi alone.
“It was more than what I usually get from the previous driver.”
She now has a very good idea how much a driver should be making in a week. The drivers cannot fool her.
Arisen is quickly becoming a successful businesswoman. Her hard work, optimism, determination and resolve are driving her to be on par with others in providing an important public service.
She is turning out and proving herself to be an optimistic entrepreneur who is on the ground building up a business not many women would ever thought of venturing into.
She is confident of being regarded one day as a successful PNG woman.
“So far, it has been very good.”