Award-winning woman at the helm in Bethlehem

Confidence is the remembrance of success. If you know what you are doing, you change preconceived ideas and stereotypes that people may hold of you.

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This philosophy keeps Noorhana Sheik, the new Dealer Principal of Suzuki Bethlehem, heading for her true North. Suzuki Bethlehem is part of the Docrat Group, which includes Volkswagen, Audi and Suzuki dealers in Bethlehem, Newcastle, Ermelo and Vryheid.

Noorhana is no stranger to success. Her career kicked off in 2010 at the Volkswagen Dealership in Bethlehem. As a hard worker and quick learner, she made her way up to the top in all the different portfolios at the dealership, including in the service and parts departments where she got the hang of the technical side the motor trade.

The Suzuki Dealership in Bethlehem.
The Suzuki Dealership in Bethlehem.

And Noorhana wasn’t simply coping in her new, more technical role for in 2019 she won the prestigious national accolade as Volkswagen South Africa’s Best Service Advisor in the country, which is no easy feat.

Today, Noorhana is the Dealer Principal at Suzuki in Bethlehem. Both VW and Suzuki dealerships are part of the Docrat Group in the town.

“We moved from Newcastle to Bethlehem in 2006. My husband, Ameen, is the Sales Manager at our Volkswagen Dealership. It took dedication and hard work, especially given the challenge of doing business during these times. My husband is incredibly supportive of me and encourages me a lot.

“You get men who prefer to deal with a man, especially when it comes to the technical side of a vehicle. It is a small group who quickly becomes more open-minded and receptive once they realise you know your field of expertise,” she tells Dealerfloor.

“I want to encourage women to take up career opportunities in the motor trade. It is a wonderful business and a woman inspires unique confidence that is important for good customer relations.”

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Asked about her management style, Noorhana says she is a firm believer in honesty, integrity and teamwork. “I do believe that this approach is already making a difference. Suzuki is doing very well so far, taking the effects of COVID-19 into account. I believe we also operate in a good price-band with our product range,” she says.

She reckons some models are difficult to get hold of at the moment, because of stock shortages owing to different lockdown measures from the countries they are imported from. “We do, however, sell a lot of S-Pressos as well as Jimnys at our dealership.”

And what does the family do when they are not busy selling new cars? “Bethlehem is a quiet town with lovely surroundings. We enjoy the region and exceptional landscape of the Eastern Free State. We have two boys who also keeps us quite busy,” she concludes.

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