A commitment to true gender diversity has elevated the tyre fitment centre group Supa Quick to reach 50% female representation on its top management team in a traditionally male-dominated environment.
Out of eight senior managers at Supa Quick, four are women, including business development manager Adeshni Sewbaran, national fleet manager Gugu Kwinda, regional operations manager Sharon Pretorius and brand manager Yolandi Grundeling.
“The tyre fitment industry similar to many of the organizations within the Mining sector for example, are perceived as being a male dominated industry in South Africa,” Sewbaran says. “Supa Quick recognizes and appreciates that building a foundation to diversity across every aspect of its operations is vital to business success and competitive edge.
“As we continue to grow and strengthen the Supa Quick network, it has become evident that there is a step change in the market in that there is further interest shown amongst women with regards to the franchise business and it is our strategy to ensure that they are afforded equal opportunities to own a Supa Quick fitment centre. Creating a culture of diversity in the workplace, we believe that women can introduce and contribute to new ways of thinking in problem solving that may have been perplexed in the industry for a long time. The recently new look and feel concept across the Supa Quick fitment centers is evident of innovative thinking of a diverse management team consisting of males and females. Women in the team attribute to the nurturing, warm, inviting, comfort and more friendly element as well as a multifaceted environment which accommodates all people, being a childrens play corner, a quick coffee, catch up on emails, pensioners, etc and this has been reflected in the rebranding of our franchise stores that kicked off in 2021,” says Mrs Sewbaran. The environment offers a superior customer experience, one that does not make you feel like you are in a workshop whilst waiting for your vehicle.
Launched in May 2021, Supa Quick announced its repositioning from “Tyre Experts Closer to You” to “More Than Tyre Experts”, Supa Quick large network of fitment centres began revamping their premises to incorporate the brand’s new look-and-feel, from in-store design, corporate assets, processes and philosophy.
In order to enhance a more female-friendly environment, each store has committed to offering cleaner, more modern and less intimidating spaces, utilizing more neutral colours in waiting areas, where premium coffee and comfortable working areas are provided.
“In this new era, there has also been a paradigm shift in many households and businesses, whereby women have become more independent which in many instances translate to more and more women driving their vehicles to fitment centres, our newly revamped look also encourages or entices females to become owners of fitment centres like ours, she says. We want to optimize on this opportunity in show casing a clear value proposition to potential women applicants. “When we assess and process applications for franchisors, we have made a concerted effort to accommodate female applicants, and with a strong female leadership team, we understand exactly how to support them through the process.”
Sewbaran says that while women-owned stores are still a minority of the franchise network, they are becoming increasingly successful and are valued for their diverse contribution. The evolution to the new “look and feel” by women-owned stores, makes the transition easier to embrace the rebranding.
“Although our focus is on empowering women, we recognise the importance of the support from our male colleagues and partners in the industry, who have been very welcoming,” she adds. “Ultimately, diversity is not about elevating one gender over another, but ensuring that both males and females can work together harmoniously, with equal opportunity and respect.”