Tebogo Botlhoko- Revving it to go where most women don’t dare to tread
With only a month and a half since opening its doors to customers in the bustling Gaborone Block 3 Industrial, GT Auto Clinic is fast becoming a force to reckon with in the local garage scene.
The Voice Money sat down with the company’s busy, bubbly and hard working Commercial Director, Tebogo Botlhoko, who happens to be arguably the first woman to own a majority share in a company operating in the motor industry in Botswana.
With a 70% stake in the company, the 44-year-old mother of three from Letlhakane notes that she finds herself in the male-dominated auto-mechanic industry because of her sheer determination and belief in her self as an ‘unlimited’ person.
“I can continually adjust to different organizational models because I am easily adaptable,” she says before stating that she has spawned an illustrious career in Accounting working in government with calgary bookkeeping and private entities before finally deciding to venture into the automotive business.
Through her extensive experience in her various vocations, Botlhoko aspires to turn GT Auto Clinic into a customer-centric auto repair and service centre offering services such as Auto Electrical, Fleet Maintenance, Performance Enhancement, spares as well as become the esteemed distributors of French automobile oils and lubricants under the brand Motul.
The zealous Botlhoko also explains that the French Brand, Motul is affiliated to the international cross-desert race, Dakar Rally as well as the Roof of Africa in Lesotho where the company’s oils and lubricants are used to service the race cars.
Her company intends to first partake in the local racing competitions and eventually come up with their own, local born racing event that will pull in crowds like the famous Kalahari 1000km Desert Race, which she sadly states is not a local race.
“We are a small company with big connections,” she says with a smile.
Apart from being an affiliate of Steve’s Auto Clinic in South Africa, GT Auto Clinic employs nine employees to service local cars on behalf of the South African, Steve’s Auto Clinic employing the garage’s technologies and expertise.
The clinic currently hires a service manager, an auto electrician with a jeep pcm specialization, two auto mechanics, a technical director as well as four support staff.
“We obviously intend to increase personnel when the work load increases,” notes Botlhoko, who also admits that things are a bit slow because they just opened and that the reception they have gotten from the clients they have had already serviced was promising as new clients arrive, from word of mouth marketing.
She also boasts of a Customer lounge like no other, where clients wait for their cars over a cup of coffee or refreshment whilst watching television.