Women driving success at Dunlop tyre dealerships

Women are increasingly taking the wheel and shattering stereotypes in the traditionally male-dominated tyre retail and fitment industry.

23 Dun1

Dunlop’s independent franchise programme has seen an uptick in interest from aspiring women dealers, with Katlego Khambane, Petra Els, Lorette Grobbelaar, Daisy Govender and Shahnaaz Moola among those heading up or managing successful Dunlop franchises.

Katlego Khambane fell in love with the Dunlop Business in a Box concept when a bright yellow container selling tyres caught her eye in the township of Atteridgeville. She stopped to ask the owner about the concept, and the rest is history.

Motivated by her mum and partner, she and her brother soon set up a Dunlop Container business called K&K Tyres on the R71 in Mentz, Polokwane. Katlego was able to add a Dunlop Express operation later.

She also expanded her original container space into a mini complex that includes a salon, a café, a printing shop, a car wash, and more. Her dream is to have three more centres, including one in Mpumalanga.

Katlego Khambane

Elsewhere, in Kimberley, Petra Els is the owner of three Dunlop Zone tyre dealerships, including Trevor's Wheel & Tyre, which won the Dunlop Zone Platinum Dealer of the Year award at a national and regional level for the year 2022.

As a woman, she places a high value on safety, regularly investing in safety training for her staff, so that they are aware of the risks involved in working with tyres. She believes that women have a unique approach to business that can be beneficial to everyone.

It’s a sentiment shared by Lorette Grobbelaar, Branch Manager at Dunlop Zone Oliver Treads in Mossel Bay. Lorette firmly believes in supporting women-led businesses, recognising the challenges that women often face in achieving equality in the workplace. She believes they bring unique strengths to the table, such as their inherent ability to multitask and be adaptable in stressful work environments.

Lorette Grobbelaa

Daisy Govender left her well-established career in the real estate industry for unfamiliar terrain in tyre fitment, after her beloved husband passed away, leaving her to take over his tyre store. Today, she is the owner of the Dunlop Zone Tyre Track and co-owner of Simunye Tyres, both in Ballito.

“It was a new journey for me, and while it was a challenge getting to grips with the industry, I soon found a rhythm and looked towards setting a new challenge,” she recalls.

A year and a half into her journey, Daisy has now taken another bold step with the launch of Simunye Tyres, a strategic alliance between her and the local taxi association. After an unexpected foray into the industry, she is forging ahead with determination and foresight, providing innovative tyre services and creating local employment as a successful woman in the industry.

Daisy Govender

For Shahnaaz Moola, learning the family’s tyre business was her first university, with her father her first teacher. Originally from Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal, she was still at school when she started working for her father, Mahomed Khan, who ran Khan’s Fitment Centre in the town.

She has now worked in the tyre industry for more than 25 years and owns multiple tyre fitment centres. She recently opened Khan’s Auto-Quip in Welkom – the fifth store and second flagship Dunlop Zone in the family-owned and -managed Khan’s Fitment Group. Their Kroonstad store, Khan’s Drivestyle, is now a Dunlop Zone, operating from much bigger and better premises. This one-stop shop has now been handed over to the next generation – the Moolas’ sons – Nabeel and Ridhwaan. Khan’s Fitment Group also purchased a sixth store, Tyremart Ficksburg, which it plans to convert into a Dunlop Zone, and which will be managed by Moola’s sister, Miriam Bibi Ashraf.

Shahnaaz Moola

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