Lockdown, new child on the way and a good corporate job? Why not leave it to start your own business!
What do you do if you are 29 years old, work in a marketing position for WesBank, recently had a baby and possess a strong entrepreneurial spirit, combined with a pandemic and lockdown? For Suping Selikane that is easy to answer. You start a new car dealership called Selikane Exclusive Motors in Vereeniging in the midst of the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown.
“When I think back to it, it all seems a bit crazy,” Selikane told Dealerfloor recently. “But somehow the stars aligned and with the necessary support, everything is possible.”
Stars? Yes, according to Selikane one of the main stars in this fairytale is Frikkie Botha, owner of Botha & Deysel Executive Cars, who had a profound influence in the career track of Selikane.
“I was at the WesBank branch office in Vereeniging when the telephone at another desk started to ring. Everyone was busy with a conversation close by, and the phone just kept ringing and ringing,” Selikane explained. “Eventually I decided to answer the call and it changed my life.”
According to Selikane the person calling was Frikkie Botha. “I immediately thought the call had something to do with paperwork from one of my colleagues that needed to go to him, but he started talking to me, asking me how I am and then asking me what my plans for my life are.”
Botha told him they must have a coffee and the opportunity arose shortly after that. “I was in Frikkie’s office and we had a coffee while chatting about the industry and the work in general,” Selikane said. “Then he asked me if I want to own my own dealership and do it with him.”
What amazed Selikane the most is how Botha wrote an agreement on a piece of paper, confirming the deal. “I remember asking him ‘Is that all?’ and he confirmed that his word is his bond.”
Today Selikane is proud to be the co-owner of Selikane Exclusive Motors with Botha not only his partner, but most importantly his mentor. “We opened the dealership on the 4th of May, shortly after the hard lockdown and within the first four months I sold 46 vehicles,” Selikane said.
Since then, this native from Bethlehem in the Free State and UFS graduate, revels in the job as DP and co-owner, doing all the marketing himself. “I have always been interested in brands, the reputation of a brand and how to convey a marketing message that can result into sales,” he said. With his wife Lwando doing all the admin and currently training to be the F&I, they make a formidable team working side-by-side to ensure the continued success of the dealership.
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