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Shivani Pillay: Empowering Women to Step Up

When you realize your passion and discover your purpose, you can achieve the greatest milestones. An embodiment of the above statement is Shivani Pillay, the Managing Director at Wicked Dips.
Combining her passion for the motor industry with her purpose of empowering other women to achieve anything they want, Shivani has set a striking example of Influential Leadership.
In our endeavor to find 40 Influencers Under 40, we caught up with Shivani to know more about her journey and how she has created an impact in her respective industry.
Below are the highlights of the interview:
Brief our audience about your journey as an influential business leader. What challenges you had to overcome to reach where you are today?
My business journey began over a decade ago with very humble beginnings in my mum’s garage. I was only 21 years old, fresh out of school with a toddler. A young female with a passion for an industry dominated by males. My vision for the business was always to grow something from nothing and to show other young women that they could achieve the impossible. I hit the ground running, and I never gave anyone else in the industry the opportunity to forget my brand. I always had a very strong online presence and took advantage of every opportunity to get my name out there.
With every success we had, there was also a fair share of unforeseen setbacks. A few of the challenges that we experienced were things such as logistics and the most common of all business traumas, financial woes. Once we overcame these teething issues and gained momentum, we were lucky enough to have gotten financial assistance to take us to the next level.
I went on to larger premises and became the sole distributor for the entire Kwa-Zulu Natal province.
Tell us something more about your company and its mission and vision.
My company’s mission is to be a household name in the motor industry. My visions lie primarily with empowering young women and previously disadvantaged individuals in business and give them the confidence to believe they can achieve their goals with a touch of hard work and perseverance.
Enlighten us on how you have made an impact in your respective industry through your expertise in the market?
I was the first organization to use a product of this kind, it was innovative and new technology that was never before seen in South Africa. Through tons of research and hours of trial and error, we became the leading company in removable coatings in South Africa. We then went on to provide training to other companies and gave them the skill set and knowledge to open and expand their own brands and businesses.
Describe in detail the values and the work culture that drives your organization.
The values and work culture within my organisation are fairly simple, never say never! Anything is possible in the world today, and by creating a positive work environment we, in turn, drive our staff to achieve the unthinkable.
Undeniably, technology is playing a significant role in almost every sector. How are you leveraging technological advancements to make your company’s solutions resourceful?
Advancements in technology have allowed us to provide our clients with a product that is completely removable, without causing any damages to the original bodywork. Originally the product was rubber-based and did not react well to any chemicals or even fuel spillages that would cause the product to bubble and peel off.
We are now able to provide coatings that not only mimic original paint but can be treated the same way too! You can buff and polish your car the same way you would your original factory paintwork.
If given a chance, what change would you like to bring to your industry?
I would like to create a product that has self-levelling properties, this will alleviate a lot of time spent sanding out uneven surfaces.
Where do you envision yourself to be in the long run and what are your future goals for your company?
Being a franchised company, I see myself expanding across the globe. I would also like to expand fully into the panel beating and major bodywork industry as this would work hand in hand with the products and services we already supply and apply.
What advice would you like to give to budding leaders and entrepreneurs?
The advice I would like to offer to budding leaders and entrepreneurs is to never give up. Start small and grow into your success, having a solid foundation will enable you to build an empire. Success does not happen overnight.