Disciplined, goal-driven Prishen takes dealer to the top

To turn the ship around, so to speak, was no easy task for Prishen Ghandhi (photo), Dealer Principal (DP) at Hyundai Umhlanga, winner of 2023 Dealer of the Year (DOTY) title.

24 Prishen1

To pilot a ship that was not going in the right direction back on a winning path took some serious intervention from a leader with the know-how of the automotive industry and who is goal- and outcome-driven.

That man is Prishen Ghandhi. He took the Hyundai Umhlanga dealership since becoming the DP to the top in a mere nine months, winning not only the much sought-after DOTY title, but also the top spot in category A (large dealerships), and 2nd and 3rd places for service and sales dealer in category A, respectively.

Dealerfloor asked Prishen what it took to turn the tide. “I believe in discipline and processes to be in place regulating the way we function. It meant that I had to lay down the rules from being on time for work and to adhere to all procedures, policies and systems that were put in place.

The team leading the way at Umhlanga are: Serisha Chetty (F&I Manager), Atish Sooklall (Workshop Foreman), Akash Sooklall (Service Manager), Sham Dharamraj (Service Manager), Prishen Ghandhi (Dealer Principal), Dhiren Devanand (Parts Manager), Deon Maharaj (Pre-owned Vehicle Sales Manager ), Jaco Venter (New Vehicle Sales Manager) and Samantha Naidoo (F&I Manager).

“I am goal driven and because of my financial background and past experience in the Motor Industry over the last 20 years, I know where we need to be in all aspects of the business. To reach your goals, you need a vision and a plan on how to get there.

“My priority was to get the staff on board with my vision and follow the method to get there. There were some who would not adapt to the new way of operating and chose to leave. That gave me the opportunity to employ motivated people, who shared in our vision,” Prishen says.

“I also looked at the complete salary and commission structures of every employee. Earning an income is what gets us out of bed because money is a key driver in our lives. Better remuneration is a huge motivator and even if we had to spend more on salaries, the return on that investment made it all the more worthwhile.”

Hyundai Umhlanga, Dealer of the Year.

Prishen says another crucial aspect is to invest in your staff’s training and creating growth opportunities. “I created a ‘second in charge system’ not only preparing employees for a next step but opening a pathway for junior personnel to grow in their careers.”

“Personally, I believe that a Dealer Principal should know every aspect of the business and to get involved, know your staff and be willing to interact at all levels with customers from the show room floor to the workshop,” he tells Dealerfloor.

Prishen’s personal road to success started at a young age and life told him to work hard, use very opportunity to learn and be driven by a desire to reach the top.

He lost both his parents at a young age with no opportunity to further his studies after school. A bursary at Engen’s refinery in Durban gave him the opportunity to acquire a skill as a mechanical fitter, and he was also acknowledged as the student of the year.

The accolades for the winning Hyundai dealership.

From there his career progressed into the banking sector, working for the then NBS, starting off as a teller, and he quickly worked himself up through the ranks to become an assistant bank manager at Nedbank which later took over NBS and its successor, People’s Bank.

With technical skills and now a broad financial experience under his belt after two and a half years in the banking sector, he joined the Key Motor Group at KEY Pinetown in KwaZulu-Natal. Here he trained as a Finance & Insurance Manager (F&I) and in the process oversaw five different departments of Key Pinetown such as Key Trucks, Key Commercial, Key Hire, Key Premium and Key Passenger Vehicles. In his five years at Key, he also won numerous awards.

In 2010, he joined Hyundai Pinetown as F&I manager and during his period there, he won the Finance and Insurance Management Solutions’ (FAIMS, a division of the Motus Corporation) top National F&I award. He took the 3rd spot at the annual national awards in his first year, 2nd place in year two and in his third year he walked away with the top gold award.

He was then appointed as the regional F&I manager of Hyundai in KZN and later also looked after Hyundai in the Eastern Cape for a period of time. In 2020, he was appointed to the executive board of FAIMS where he stayed for three years before being appointed DP at Hyundai Umhlanga last year.

And what are his immediate goals? “I want to take the top title as DOTY again with a full year of my leadership in place. There are also two categories where we were on the podium but not in the top spot. Watch this space.”

Prishen obtained a bachelor’s degree in business administration (BBA) in 2020 and more recently completed his four-year theology studies. He concludes with his motto in life that is very important to him: “God is my source, and I cannot fail.”

More Dealer News stories

Success part of GWM Alpina Springs repertoire

Success part of GWM Alpina Springs repertoire

A veteran in the automotive world with a proven track record over many decades is at the heart of GWM/HAVAL Springs’ success in the latest Dealer of the Year contest for the Chinese vehicle brand.

  • 12 April 2024
Stellantis expands offering with CFAO Mobility, Westvaal

Stellantis expands offering with CFAO Mobility, Westvaal

Stellantis continues its drive to make brands easily accessible to customers through its multi-franchise dealer network with the addition of Jeep and Fait brands to Williams Hunt Fourways in Johannesburg, part of CFAO Mobility, and the same addition applies to the Westvaal Motor Group in Menlyn, Pretoria.

  • 10 April 2024
BMW Midrand DP tells us how it’s done

BMW Midrand DP tells us how it’s done

BMW Midrand won the much sought-after Retailer of the Year award for the first time in 2021, and on the MINI side it has been awarded the top retailer title twice consecutively, in 2018 and 2019. Now the dealership has won both brands' top award for 2023.

  • 9 April 2024