Global Entrepreneurship Month: Creating Generational Wealth
Ms Grace Kelly Dlamini is a businesswoman and minibus taxi operator who grew up around the taxi industry. Her taxi business was started by her father who passed it onto his wife when he died. In 2007,Ms. Dlamini took the reins from her mother. She says that it was difﬁcult coming from the corporate world and taking over the family business, but says she is managing so far.
Ms Dlamini, who owns a fleet of four taxis – one of which is financed through SA Taxi – details the difficulties of being a woman in the taxi industry. “The industry can be challenging, especially because it has always been a male-dominated industry, but I’m outspoken and say what I think needs to happen, especially for women in the industry,” says Ms Dlamini. She believes that some women ﬁnd it very difﬁcult to succeed in the industry because they were never involved in the business before being in charge of it, “To succeed [in the taxi industry], you need to be hands-on.”
She came to hear about SA Taxi through the chairperson of a taxi association, and after seeing that SANTACO is a 25% shareholder in the business, realised that being a part of the SA Taxi family “is a beneﬁt for everyone, including my children.”
Ms Dlamini says that her teenage daughter wants to take over the family business. “She’s turning 20 soon and told me that she wants to look after her grandfather’s business. Even at school, she tells her classmates that taxis get her to school every day – so she’s proud and outspoken about the taxi industry”. She is supportive of her daughter’s intentions and is already getting her involved in aspects of the business. “We often talk about the business at home, and sometimes we don’t use my car. When we visit my grandmother, we take a taxi so my daughter has the feel and knowhow to understand what’s happening out there,” she explains.
She shares some advice for her daughter who wants to go into the industry. “She must never be submissive, she must know what is right and wrong, and she must operate as a businesswoman – she should have a SWOT analysis to know the risks and opportunities, and apply it all the time,” she says.
In conclusion, Ms. Dlamini says, “the industry has so much potential. It caters to the poorest of the poor to young upcoming teenagers. We need to bring in new ideas, replicate working systems and form working relationships amongst each other, and exchange ideas and learn. I can be critical about it and speak my mind about the industry, but I love it – I will do anything for the taxi industry. Without it, I wouldn’t be who I am today.”