From washing cars to multimillion rand panel shop owner

Cape Town - Thembi Sithole, owner of G&T Auto panel beating business started washing cars before being promoted to receptionist at her former employer's panel beating shop.

She excelled in her new position and was soon promoted to office administrator and shortly thereafter as manager for administrators.

It was during this time and after often being asked by customers if she was the company's owner, that she started questioning whether she in fact can be a boss.

"I started asking myself 'what’s going on, what do they see in me? ... this gave me the strength to go ahead and start a business," she recalls.

G&T Auto was registered towards the end of 2009 and started trading in January 2010. The business currently shows an annual turnover of R6.5m and Sithole 15 people.

Sithole lists big moments as when she first opened shop and when she signed her first contract with an insurance company to do work as part of their panel of preferred service providers.

She said the journey was and still is not easy, but to stay in the game you need to stay strong. "If you know what you want you’ll get it. The only thing that stops many people from going after what they want is fear. They need to conquer that fear," Sithole said.

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