KOVINI GOVENDER: Assistant General Manager – Chemicals Department at Toyota Tsusho Africa (Pty) Ltd

#AutomotiveAllies: Kovini Govender, nominated by Shivani Singh, is the Assistant General Manager for the Chemicals Department at Toyota Tsusho Africa.

After completing university and attaining her BCom degree in Financial Accounting and Management Accounting, Kovini didn’t know what was next, the most obvious avenue was to secure a job and accumulate experience to complement her academics. Kovini has always seen herself as a passionate individual and whatever she sets out to do, she does with as much passion as possible, or else she wouldn’t do it at all. So, when Kovini landed her first ever “real job” at Toyota Tsusho Africa (Pty) Ltd, she was excited for the opportunities to learn, grow, develop and just be part of the bigger picture.

Reflecting on what in August will be 13 years since she started this journey, Kovini recalls being so green yet so eager to take on more – something she believes to be her greatest strength. In the last 10 years Kovini has been overseeing the Chemicals SBU at Toyota Tsusho Africa, whose core function is the supply of Automotive Raw material – Chemical products to several OEM’s and their respective Tier 1, 2 and 3 suppliers. A highlight of this job is the relationships she’s been able to develop over these 13 years with customers and suppliers – these solid partnerships she has formed make sustaining and developing the business much simpler.

Reflecting on her journey in the automotive industry, Kovini says, “I am extremely grateful to Toyota Tsusho Africa and the management that saw my potential so many years ago, I have always been guided and supported to becoming my best self.” Kovini’s future aspirations are to pioneer forward with localization strategies, that will have several benefits to South Africa and its Automotive Sector.

As a woman within the automotive industry, Kovini recognises the opportunity for her to be a role model for aspiring women and to lead with integrity. Offering advice for fellow women wanting to make a change in the industry, Kovini says, “in order to be impactful, you must have unwavering strength and belief in yourself, if you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will.