One-on-one with new dealer principal

2018-05-31 06:01
PHOTO: suppliedViresh Ramballey.

PHOTO: suppliedViresh Ramballey.

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FORMER Tongaat resident Viresh Ramballey (VR) was appointed dealer principal at McCarthy Toyota Durban-Kingsmead recently.

Weekly reporter Andile Sithole (AS) interviewed him about his new responsibilities in the company.

AS: I hear that you were appointed dealer principal at McCarthy Toyota Durban-Kingsmead, take me through your journey in sales; what motivated you to work in the sales department?

VR: I finished my matric in 1980, after which I enrolled at the University of Durban-Westville. My first job was a locum school teacher in Tongaat. I started my sales career in the furniture industry working at Peerless Furnishers in Tongaat, where I grew up.

I applied for a driving job at a Toyota franchise called Whitehouse Toyota and hence my career in the motor industry was born on December 17, 1987.

I got involved in administration, parts and services, and was promoted to salesperson. I was driven by providing excellent service delivery to my clients which gave me great inner satisfaction. It was all about keeping happy customers.

AS: How long have you been working as a sales manager?

VR: I joined McCarthy Toyota Smith Street as a salesperson in 2002 and have been with them ever since. In 2006, McCarthy Toyota Durban- Kingsmead was opened and the entire Smith Street operation migrated to Kingsmead.

My average sales were 16 units per month and I handled the major fleet business accounts.

AS: Tell me about your new responsibilities; how does it feel to be a dealer principal? How is it different from being a sales manager?

VR: In October 2008 I was promoted to Automark manager at our Pinetown branch.

In July 2015, I was promoted to new car sales manager at McCarthy Toyota Durban-Kingsmead and it was like coming back home.

So I have been a sales manager for approximately 10 years with 30 years’ experience with Toyota.

I was promoted to dealer principal in February.

Being a dealer principal, the duties are more administrative than managerial. I love to engage with all the staff, from the cleaners to the managers, promoting a sense of mutual respect and a fun vibe throughout the dealership.

AS: Tell me about your academic qualifications, what are some of the main requirements in your new job?

VR: I have been a Toyota Knight for 17 years, since 2000. I completed the Toyota Way in sales and marketing at the Global Knowledge Centre in Los Angeles in 2003. I completed marketing management with Unisa, and Toyota Marketing, in 2011. I completed Disney’s Approach to Quality Service in Orlando at the Disney Institute in 2012. I also completed an innovative customer excellence programme in Munich, Germany, in 2015.

AS: Let’s talk about a way going forward, you have been appointed to a senior position, what are you promising your clients?

VR: I am promising my clients a transparent, open-door policy with a guarantee of customer satisfaction.

AS: What would your message be to the youth who want to pursue a career in sales?

VR: If you want to pursue a career in sales, the primary driving force has to be passion.

The career of a salesperson is highly rewarding if you are honest and passionate about keeping your customers happy and delivering service of exceptional quality.

The rest will be history.

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