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Mabopane Auto Center – Building township economies

Meet the Absa Small Business Friday featured Small Business of the week Mabopane Auto Center.

Mabopane Auto Center is a one-stop automotive after-market service centre. They do vehicle services, repairs, tyre fitments, windscreen fitments, motor spares, and will soon start to add panel beating and spray painting.

Kguagelo Modise had the objective of bringing a world-class facility with professional services into the township. Mabopane Auto Center meets industry standards and is currently accredited by the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI). This auto centre has a unique proposition in that it offers most car-related services under one roof which saves the customers time and money.

Kguagelo Modise’s entrepreneurial journey started with selling chickens. She only had one supplier, and soon realised that when the supplier’s business was struggling it had a direct impact on her business and she lost many loyal customers. The lesson she learnt was to do her research into the market and source more than one supplier. She opened a beauty salon and a print shop, and each taught her valuable lessons. She finally returned to corporate until one day her husband asked if she would like to partner with him and create Mabopane Auto Center.

The automotive industry is a male-dominated industry which added a challenge but through courage, resilience, strength, tears, late nights, sacrifices, and the willingness to learn to be in business Kguagelo Modise has managed to see her dream come to fruition. The two forces that drive her during challenging times are her passion for youth development and building township economies.

One way in which Kguagelo actively impacts youth development is by pairing experienced staff members with youths with qualifications but no experience. They are mentored by experienced staff members and when the young engineers have one to two years of experience, they can move on to other companies to see how they operate and grow into their potential.

Mobapne Auto Center has faced the challenge of penetrating the market and building trust in the industry, but it is getting better every year. Another challenge was a storm which took the roof off when they had only been in business for a year. But they were insured and with the pay-out, they managed to fix the roof and extend the building. When faced with challenges they see it as a time to rethink their strategy and improve what they had.

In the future, Mobapane Auto Center hopes to have more auto centres in townships in all nine provinces. They would also like to partner with OEMs to provide services for cars under warranty and partner with insurances to do repairs on insured cars. One of the bigger visions is to start MAC insurance which will include car services, repairs, and changes of motor vehicle consumables.

Mabopane Auto Center was chosen to receive a Top 20 Award at the 2022 South African Small Business Awards.

Absa is a proud Platinum Partner of the NSBC.