Meet Ms. Moola Shuwanga, Regional parts Manager for Kitwe branch, who lives by Henry David Thoreau quote that” Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it”.
Historically, the automotive industry has been driven by men both on local and international level with a perception of women failing to balance the when given a parts role or to head a service or parts department.
Recently, women have turned this perception into an opportunity by making their mark in the motor industry by either- owning workshops or playing leading roles on the workshop floor and the vehicle parts departments.
We are so excited to share todays article about our female employee heading parts division at a regional level. Ms. Moola’s interview was short and unique in its own way. This is what she had to say about her experience at Toyota Zambia.
“I joined Toyota Zambia in 2005 as Copperbelt parts manager with so much willingness to learn and continue to improve myself and those around me. I attribute my successes to hard work, dedication and the support from my family, friends and colleagues. I’ve been blessed with amazing people who have cheered me on and continue to be my strength in my career progress. Faith, you must realize that working in parts department on a management level for a decade requires you to be responsible for supplying and replacing of genuine while ensuring front line staff utilizes sales and marketing skills to increase revenue by selling parts to customers. Targets were met and was promoted to my current role, Regional Parts Manager-North, in 2015.
One of my strengths that I pride in, is that I’m a people person, which has worked well for me in my interactions with both customers and staff. In a market such as this, you cannot depend on walk-in customers to build the business. The strength of the relationships that you build determines your longevity in the business, you well know that fact Faith (she smiles).
I’ve always been a self-drive and result oriented person, and at times I tend to want to rush into achieving our targets by demanding a lot from myself and from the team. I expect my team members to always pull together as one and endeavour to lift each other up.
Regarding having a balance in life, here is my take Faith, I’m still trying to find the perfect balance, which is a bit of a challenge most of the time. I’m learning to plan my work within working hours so that I can leave the office on time and have time for “life outside Toyota”.
I live a very active lifestyle, so gym is a big part of my life. I must admit COVID did manage to derail me a little though, I’m still trying to get my discipline back. I find that workouts help me manage my stress better. It’s a bonus in that it keeps me in shape as well. Over the years, I have come to believe that indeed success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it, as Henry put it. Knowing that my hard work and perseverance will help me achieve greater professional and personal success is what keeps me going, and I believe I have inspired a number people that look up to me, staff under my leadership, as well as the customers that I serve… it encourages me to push more. That’s exactly what motivates me to even work harder. I am trying to dodge your question about my hobbies Faith (she smiles). In any case, I like to travel and experience the world and passionate about music, as it speaks to my soul in a way that nothing else does. I’m a singer and I believe I got the moves too.
Did I mention the fact that my first job was in an automotive company straight out of college in 1998? At that point I knew nothing about vehicles except that I enjoyed riding in them. It eventually became an interesting challenge as I was determined to learn as much as I could to be the best at what I do. The fact that there were very few females in management positions at the time was an even greater push for me. My work experience has been with 3 Companies, all automotive and spans over 22 years. This is a point I get to advise female aspiring to take a leap of faith and join parts department, ‘don’t be afraid of hard work, as a female you will have to work 3 times harder than your male counterparts to gain the respect and recognition that you deserve. Push on and never give up’.
It’s been a great journey, filled with learning, growing and developing both personally and professionally”.
These articles are shared to inspire and motivate anyone thinking impossibilities disrupt you from achieving your dreams. Look out for another encouraging piece as we decide to either drive all the way to Solwezi, North-Western, or Livingstone, Southern provinces. Stay Tuned!!