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“Barloworld: Equipping SMEs for the future.”


“Out of all of the insights shared today, the importance of change is what stood out the most for me,” says Shane Dorkin, MD and co-founder of Selective Auto Panel & Paint.  

“We need a serious change of culture within the automotive industry” he insists. “More black businesses need access to opportunity.”

His comments came immediately following Barloworld’s latest supplier development workshop, held in Durban by the group’s Automotive Division. Under the theme “Change makes a world of difference – Partnering for progress”, the event targeted SME service providers linked to Barloworld’s value chain.

Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment and Transformation were among key topics addressed by the panellists, which included Barloworld executives, Standard Bank, the South African Supplier Diversity Council, Empowerdex and the Department of Trade & Industry.

Other themes highlighted during the event include the Revised B-BBEE Codes, supplier finance, procurement opportunities and the power of partnerships.

Since founding his Durban-based company in 1992, Dorkin has seen his company rise from a small, two-man operation to a business which now employees 25 people. Housed on a 2000 square metre facility, Selective Auto services a vast array of clientele including Santam, Old Mutual & Federal and Outsurance, as well as Avis Fleet and Avis Budget.

He is especially proud of his relationship with Barloworld, which spans 20 years.

“Barloworld has been one of our major clients for quite a long time” Dorkin confirms. “Their support has played a big role in our longevity.”

“They’ve really ‘put their money where their mouth is’ in terms of supporting black businesses.”

Yet, Dorkin says that, as a black-owned auto-repair company, getting access to corporate contracts remains a difficult task, a sentiment echoed by many emerging enterprises in recent years, including many who have attended Barloworld supplier days. 

Matthew Govender, one of the guest speakers at the event, says that Barloworld is well-aware of these challenges and is working to address them. As MD for Siyakhula, Barloworld’s supplier & enterprise development division, he is responsible for crafting initiatives and policies that drive transformation within the group.

Siyakhula was one of the co-hosts of the supplier event.

“Initiatives such as today’s workshop reflect Barloworld’s commitment to creating more opportunities for black businesses” says Govender.

“We’re implementing a comprehensive programmes aimed not only at promoting access to opportunities, but at helping businesses to be sustainable.

“At Barloworld, we believe that empowerment has to be driven not only by passion – but by clear strategies that equip SMEs for the future.”