Poligny Desravines was just like other boys he knew: obsessed with the excitement of heavy six-wheeled trucks. What made him different though, right from the start, was that while his friends wanted to drive the trucks for fun, he wanted to go to college to study mechanical engineering.
In 1992, right after his studies, Desravines began working for a truck rental business. He got on well with the boss, and after a time was made manager. As with so many budding entrepreneurs, having seen how the businesses worked, he wanted to go out on his own – which he did in 1997.
Today, Poligny Truck Service Transport et Location has a workforce of 28, with 25 trucks, seven tractors, and one six-wheeled truck among the main vehicles he rents to clients. Over the years, he’s built an impressive portfolio of customers, including the Haitian government, USAID and big local businesses.
However, Desravines makes no secret of the impact the political climate in Haiti has on his business and its ability to function. “When the country is politically stable, business improves and projects go ahead as normal. Unfortunately, the opposite is also the case – and times at the moment are tough.”
Desravines’ son is currently in Florida following in his father’s footsteps by studying mechanical engineering. When he returns, the plan is that together they will drive the business on to new heights. “The business and its future will certainly be stronger with both of us”, he says.