U’hage cell shop wins national award

2019-03-07 06:02
=Shaheen Soomar, owner of Star Light Cellular, was named one of the four top Vodacom dealers in South Africa. He owns the Vodacom shop in Caledon Street as well as Star Light Cellular in Market Street, Uitenhage.              Photo:HEILIE COMBRINCK

=Shaheen Soomar, owner of Star Light Cellular, was named one of the four top Vodacom dealers in South Africa. He owns the Vodacom shop in Caledon Street as well as Star Light Cellular in Market Street, Uitenhage. Photo:HEILIE COMBRINCK

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AT the age of 18 Shaheen Soomar started his first business, a clothing business, which he later transformed into a cellular shop. Today, 22 years down the line, this shop in Uitenhage has won a national award.

Starlight Cellular, with branches in Market and Caledon Streets, has received an Award of Distinction from Vodacom South Africa for being one of the top Vodacom dealers in the country.

Soomar has been in the cellular industry as it took off from the beginning in 1998, when data, fibre, Facebook and Whatsapp were not even thought of as things society could not live without.

“I took cellular by the wings and it took off and I went with it all the way and have not looked back since then. I have had this Vodacom store for 22 years and this is the first time that I’ve received a national award,” said Soomar.

Vodacom sets targets for categorized dealers across the country where they look at various aspects like the number of contracts you do, upgrades, the store itself and customer service surveys.

“I’ve been attending the Vodacom SA Conference annually for 22 years and I sat there every year watching people win these awards. I really did not expect it.”

Initially his main business was prepaid, for which during 2005 his store was nominated as Best Pre Paid regional store for being the highest selling distributor in the Eastern Cape.

“In those early days of cellphones, my brother and I, who has a MTN shop in Port Elizabeth, went to China to import accessories and cellphone spares and we started with cellphone repairs.

“The cellphone industry keeps on evolving and there constantly are new things. It is up to us to keep up with trends in a very tough market with all the different networks out there.

“With targets set, in a world where most people have cellphones, it is difficult to find somebody who does not have a cellphone or sim card to grow the network. Therefore we have to be creative to find ways and means for customers to spend more on a network,” said Soomar.

He thanked his team of professional staff and consultants for their dedicated service dealing with customers on a day to day basis.

“If it was not for them,having to give the service that there are, we would not have achieved what we have achieved today - a national award,” said Soomar.

As part of his winning prize, Soomar will during April be travelling to Mexico to enjoy a fully paid ten-day holiday.

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