Women Take on The Supa Quick Network

Women Take on The Supa Quick Network

Written by Staff Writer

Oct 19, 2021

Supplied by Supa Quick

 

A growing number of Supa Quick franchises are owned and run by women 

 

As the tyre fitment centre group Supa Quick rolls out a refreshed brand over the coming years, women-led franchises are emerging and will be key drivers to the transformation of the tyre, automotive and mobility sector.

Out of over 200 stores around the country, 11 of these are female owned and managed, and while this is still in the minority, it is growing rapidly as the network transforms in all areas.

Three of these remarkable trailblazers are setting a new path for women looking to enter the industry.

 
Sharing the motivation with staff

Rene Baker, the 61 year-old owner of Super Quick Tyre Experts George, is one of the longest serving and respected franchisees. In 2014, she moved to the Western Cape town to start a new life, with the hopes of retiring.

“Things didn’t work out as planned, and my business partner left the business after just a year, and I had to take over,” she says. “Although I didn’t have any experience in tyres, I was fortunate that the store manager, Divan Du Rand was there to support me with all the technical aspects while I managed the business and administration side of the fitment centre.”

Baker’s rich and long experience in Johannesburg’s manufacturing industry, running a factory that produced high-end picture frames for oil paintings and mirrors, prepared her for the pressures of running a business. 

“When things didn’t work out in the early days, I could have retired comfortably, but I had made a promise to staff, so I stayed on,” she says. “The community has been supportive, and the staff has come to respect the changes I’ve made to the business. Even customers have said that they prefer the level of service, as well as the positive atmosphere here in the shop.”

 

A new adventure

Miriam Bibi Khan embraced a new adventure for herself and her family when she opened Supa Quick Ficksburg in February 2021. Raised in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal, 44-year-old has been in the business since her teenage years when she worked in her father’s tyre fitment centre.

Over the years, she has gone from working for family members to roles in some of the leading tyre producers in the country, before striking out on her own this year.

“Opening up a Supa Quick franchise has become a dream of mine in recent years, having grown up in the tyre business from a young age, working with my sister in her newly opened Supa Quick, and seeing the amazing growth of the network in the country,” she says. “I have realised that working in a very male-dominated industry, you can’t just sit quietly behind the counter – you need to make your voice heard.

“I often have men come in and they would rather speak to my son, who is only getting started in the business. He always sends them back to me because of my experience, and they are starting to gain respect for me. I’ve had a very tough life, so I’m used to obstacles, they’ve made me strong,” she says with a chuckle.

 

Empowering women 

Joy Oldale, who launched her own Supa Quick franchise in the Cape Town southern suburb of Constantia in early 2021, has over 20 years’ experience working at the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI), the industry body representing employers in the motor industry. She served in a dual role, as regional manager of the RMI Western Cape and as Transformation Director.

In addition to growing the business, she sees a critical part of her role as creating opportunities for women to flourish in the historically male-dominated industry.

“Out of a staff of eight people, we have two ladies working with us,” she says. “The first lady, a wife and mother of two, is one of our top salespeople, and her knowledge about tyres is amazing. When male customers walk in, they are initially apprehensive to listen to her, but they are soon blown away and even say they would rather talk to her when they return. 

“The second lady started out as a domestic, but her ambition is so much that she now has a drivers’ license, and she has started learning sales, how to put on tyres and some of the admin work in the office.

They both have a great future. 

Whenever we have a job vacancy, most of the applications are from men due to the space we operate in as a fitment centre. If a suitable female candidate applies, I’ll take her in a heartbeat,” Oldale says.

 

 

*For more, check out our bumper 16th edition of the Standard Bank Top Women Leaders publication on Issuu – Digital Publishing Platform – here

*Stay up to date with all the latest on Top Women in SA, by signing up to the Standard Bank Top Women newsletter – here

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