JASMEENA SHIBA is a director at Royal Tyres, which is a leading tyre fitment centre and part of the Bestdrive franchise. Royal Tyres is a family run business that was started by Jasmeena’ s grandfather in 1939 and celebrates its 83rd anniversary in 2022. The company is South Africa’s oldest tyre dealer.
Jasmeena was born in the heart of the Indian casbah in Victoria Street, Durban and later moved to Reservoir Hills.
She studied Business Administration through ML Sultan Technikon, which led to her being exposed to many industries over the years where she also garnered international experience. Jasmeena lived in London, United Kingdom for 13 years between 1998 and 2011 where she worked as an IT Analyst for investment banks (Alexander Forbes, Deutsche Borse Bank), Media (Sky News), and Health Care (NHSU).
Jasmeena joined the family business in 2011 as the first female director at Royal Tyres, which is predominantly male-orientated. This, together with Jasmeena’ s international business administration experience, has brought a new dimension to the business.
She says, “Being the first female director in the history of the business is a difference in itself. I have added some female qualities to the business and always look at the female aspect. “Consequently, Jasmeena has been able to contribute to the business and the client experience, from a female perspective, bringing into the equation what a female client would like to experience when having her vehicle fitted with tyres, and has made these types of changes.
Jasmeena has also implemented company policies and processes to assist staff in working efficiently and effectively. Her goal being to build a strong workforce and create an inclusive company culture.
MOTIVATED AND ACCOUNTABLE
For Jasmeena, her motivation comes from knowing the responsibilities she has as a director and employer. This motivation includes the responsibility she has for the livelihood of all the employees relying and depending on her. Her motivation extends to the responsibility she has for the sustainability and success of the business. “Being accountable for the business and its people, keeps me motivated and on track,” she commented.
Her inspiration has been her father and mother who, she says, have gone through so many challenges with the business over the years. They have been her mentors and inspired her and her fellow directors. Jasmeena says, “They have definitely inspired us to take the business to the next level, they guide us if they see us making a wrong decision that could cost us.”
Her father, who is CEO, is still actively involved in the business, to provide direction. Jasmeena commented, “We don’t do expensive school fees so to speak – we go to my dad who says, ‘no don’t do that or yes do that. So that has been a huge help.”
TEAMWORK OVERCOMES CHALLENGES
For Jasmeena, the most obvious challenges are being in the motor industry as a female in management. Despite this, she is well supported by the team and management board. Recent challenges, faced by Royal Tyres, as with many businesses, was Covid, and in Durban it was the floods, looting and protesting which broke many Durban businesses who could not recover their losses. “We worked with these challenges collectively as a team and a business. These were not challenges that I personally faced alone, we faced them as a team and this is how we overcame the challenges,” explains Jasmeena. “There were tough decisions that had to be made to survive, and our priority was our staff and the family’s dependent on them. For us working as a team, trusting our team, and constantly adapting to the changing environment, is how we overcame these challenges,” she said.
“My future goals are simple but important,” says Jasmeena, “to be healthy, to be happy, support my team, support my staff, and strive to always do my best in all my endeavours.”
VALUES ARE IMPORTANT
In advising young women who are entering the business world, Jasmeena cautions, “Don’t lose yourself to prove yourself. Stay true to yourself and your values which are so important. Don’t get lost trying to make your mark or make a difference in a space that is not aligned with who you really are. Be humble and always trust your gut when it comes to a big decision. And be consistent, consistency delivers results.”
Jasmeena has been married for 21 years and has three children. The boys are aged 16 and 12 and her daughter is 9, which, she says, means life is pretty busy. To stay balanced, she likes to keep fit and active as this allows her time to recalibrate. As a family they stay active by doing bike rides and going to the gym.
CONSISTENCY IS KEY
Jasmeena concludes by saying: “Sometimes when we start off, we cannot see the finish line. But don’t give up, keep going and the key is to be consistent. You won’t see the results immediately, but just keep going and be consistent as it’s a long-term thing, the results will come.”