Woman power drives Freshstop Doncaster Motors' success
Nov 15th, 08:46
For most residents of the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town, the Caltex garage located on the corner of Doncaster Road and Punters Way in Kenilworth (opposite Kenilworth Centre) is a regular stop. It has recently reopened its doors as the 142nd FreshStop at Caltex store and is sure to become an even more popular stop for commuters and local residents.
FreshStop Doncaster Motors has been successfully operated and managed by Yasmin Desai-Chilwan for the past 13 years, with Imraan Chand joining the business as a Partner in March this year.
Yasmin is one of the few female owners and operators of fuel forecourts in this mainly male-dominated business. She bucked this trend when she applied for the site more than 14 years ago and specifically selected the industry because of it being ‘a good business opportunity’. As Yasmin has discovered, it takes discipline, determination and tenacity to make it. “Success in this industry depends on many factors such as fiscal discipline, dedication, teamwork, having good management tools in place, and most of all, good leadership. Setting a positive example from the top is key and success in this business keeps me motivated,” explains Yasmin.
Yasmin, however, advises women who are thinking of entering the industry for the first time to be sure to do their research and speak to as many people as possible in the business so as to make an informed decision. “With fuel being a necessary commodity, the upside of the business is its financial viability, but it is also an industry with many challenges. It is preferable to have a strong team or family to support you in the business as it is a 24/7 operation and you deal with business issues at all hours. The other downside is the fact that fuel prices are constantly increasing,” advises Yasmin.
The site reopened after an upgrade of the fuel forecourt and a complete renovation and development of the previous StarMart into a modern FreshStop store, which offers an extended range of fresh fruit and vegetables, snacks and grocery items. In addition, an expanded Grab ‘n Go offering, a selection of hot meals and baked goods will complement the new full service Lavazza coffee station.
“Old and new customers are sure to welcome our full 24/7 convenience offering and we continue to cater for the office parks that surround us with our convenience meals and coffee options. As always, we provide good customer service and we’ll be keeping our clients informed about specials and promotions that will benefit them,” says Yasmin.
The 28 staff members who make up the current employee structure have remained in place and efforts to upskill and develop the team are on-going.
Imraan sums up their feelings, “There is an all-round excitement about our reopening and we look forward to providing the community and our customers with a convenient shopping experience”.
We wish Yasmin, Imraan and their team all the best for the opening of this 142nd FreshStop at Caltex Doncaster Motors.
FreshStop, named International Convenience Retailer of the Year 2013, is South Africa’s fastest growing 24-hour convenience store brand and has a network of 142 stores countrywide.
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