AUTONEWS maker : Meet Jonathan Dzirutwe the Body Repair Centre(BRC) Manager
Meet Jonathan Dzirutwe the Body Repair Centre(BRC) Manager
1. In a few words describe who Jonathan Dzirutwe is?
Corporate Strategist, Auto Industry Specialist & Accounting Professional with experience in financial and management accounting, knowledge of auditing principles, corporate secretarial-ship, and general business administration. -Body Repair Centre Manager at ZIMOCO
2. We know you as an accountant, please describe the journey you took to become the Body Repair Centre Manager at Zimoco?
Mr Dzirutwe possesses vast experience in Finance, Administration, Corporate Secretarial-ship and Auditing having worked for CFI Holdings an Agro based Company as a Group Internal Auditor for 4 years to September of 2004, ART Corporation again as a Group Internal Auditor for another 4 years before being promoted to the position of Group Audit Manager in October 2007. During his tenure as the Internal Auditor at Art Corporation, his duties included conducting local as well as regional (RSA, Zambia, Malawi and Botswana) audits. Upon his promotion to Group Audit Manager his duties included board secretarial functions and managing the audit department. He then moved to Fleximail, a printing division of ART Corporation as an Accounting Manager Finance in 2009 where he worked for a year. He joined Premier Auto Services a supplier and distributor of the Jaguar Land Rover brand of automobiles as Finance and Administration Manager and he set up the Finance Department in April of 2010 until he was elevated to the position of acting Dealer Principal/ General Manager in October of 2012. His roles and duties included general management of the dealership, financial management, reporting, budgeting, and corporate administration.
He held the general manager position until June of 2013, when he was transferred back to finance and administration as the Group Finance & Administration Manager for Croco Holdings Limited a diversified group and a holding company of Croco Motors, Premier Auto Services and Croco Properties.
Mr. Dzirutwe was transferred to Croco Toyota in 2015 to assume the Dealer Principal- General Manager position and he was responsible for the Toyota Brand. In 2017 he was moved to Auto Body Centre, a Jaguar Land Rover approved Panel Shop and took over the reins as a General Manager until December 2019 when he resigned to join Zimoco.
3. DRIVEtorque interviewed you 2 years ago just after your joined BRC and you said you would turn around the business. Have you achieved this? If so how did you do it?

As I look back at the last 2 years and the progress that we have made, the challenges that we have conquered, the lessons that we have learnt, I am happy share this that to a very large extent the business has turned around from the days of “holding the walls” to the current times for being productive. Budgets are being cracked and KPI have significantly improved. Customer confidence continues to grow from strength to strength and its very encouraging. The department is now contributing positively to the company’s profitability. All Glory be to God!

The BRC team has worked very hard to rebuild this amazing brand and a cocktail of strategies have been implemented to date and more strategies are yet to be implemented. Chief among them, we worked on rebuilding mutual relationships with the key stakeholders such as the insurance brokers, assessors and claim managers, worked on our parts supply turn around times, repair turnaround times, smart work processes etc

Team BRC- “Together we started the journey to transform BRC and so it is my wish that we continue with the mantra into 2023 and beyond”

4. What do you feel is the biggest strength of Zimoco’s BRC at the moment?

It is the Brand itself, the facility, and an agile team!

5. Who do you look up to for inspiration or mentorship?

Our CEO, Mr Crossley who has a sterling reputation in this industry

6. As the BRC Manager what is one decision you wish you didn’t have to make?

Happy with most if not all of the decisions I have had to make to date because I consult far and wide before making a decision and above all I pray first for God’s guidance and direction.

7. How do you keep your team motivated despite conflicts, obstacles and economic challenges?
Employees are important to the organisation; we always avoid making hostile decisions that affect the morale of employees. Despite the difficult economic times the organisation need to keep its best talent around. It is therefore our responsibility as leaders and managers to make sure our employees remain motivated and more productive. Here are the four strategies that we have employed to keep our employees motivated and productive;

1. Recognise, appreciate and reward their effort
2. Ensure psychological safety
3. Keep employees in the loop
4. Train and develop

8. What are the most important attributes of successful leaders today?

Successful leaders are the power and intellect behind their organizations. They are the visionaries charged with steering their brand around pitfalls. They must know when to seize opportunities and how to rally employees to work hard toward their company’s goals.

So a successful leader today must have the following attributes;

1. Self Managing
2. Act Strategically
3. Must be an effective communicator
4. Must be accountable and responsible
5. Must have a vision for the future
6. Must be a problem solver in other words must be able to manage complexity
7. Must be able to build teams and promote teamwork
8. Must be able to create lasting relationships
9. Must continuously learn agility
10. A good leader should have integrity

9. What’s the most important risk you ever took in your life and why?

"One of the biggest risks I've ever taken was to move from accounting and finance to mainstream operations” this was after I realised that I had spent 12 years of my life being a historian-reviewing processes, procedures, financials and trends. I felt it was time for me to take up the challenge of being in the front, being involved in the processes and preparing the information that would be reviewed by someone else. Operations is more fun in my humble opinion, every day is different and there are not routines.

10. How do you continue to grow and develop as a manager?

Here are seven things you can start doing today to improve as a manager.
1. Get to know your employees.
2. Communication is key.
3. Develop your emotional intelligence.
4. Lead by example.
5. Build an inclusive and positive work environment.
6. Be a leader as well as a manager.
7. Don't stop learning.
8. Read a book

11. How do you align and balance BRC’s business objectives with your personal vision and goals?

This is not easy at all, however I thrive to achieve this alignment by;

1. Getting buy-in from the company leadership
2. Aligning my goals with my manager’s goals
3. Establishing the baseline for each of my personal goals
4. Being open to change when my goals no longer align with the company's goals.
5. Praying to God for guidance and direction

12. What do you love about the Zimoco’s BRC brand?

The products that we distribute are of superior craftsmanship. Every detail of the cars is well-thought-out and implemented. The brands makes it clear that they are concerned about the in-cabin experience as much as they are about the driving experience.

13. What would be your message to the child in school who wants to become an expert in your area like you one day?

“If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door.” Dare to be different, think for yourselves and not just follow other people or what other people have done.

14. How are you coping as a Dad who is a widower concidering that you are expected to deliver on both fronts and without a spouse to assist you on the home front

“She was not only my wife. She was also the one who would tell me if my socks matched; if my tie was straight, or if my hair was combed. She was able to tell me with one look if I was talking too much or saying something stupid ha ha ha. She was the one who would remember all the birthdays and special occasions, and all I had to do was wait for her signal. She was good at all the things I am not good at. So she complemented me and made me more whole. Lord I miss her so much. Its never easy, everything is too much effort.

But the Lord has been faithful, and the Holy Spirit has been there for me. I am holding up! There is of course no definite point at which the grieving process is complete. Can we ever say, “I have completely healed from the loss of my spouse”? Who knows!

15. What is your message to other Dads who might be in your shoes?

“The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not 'get over' the loss of a loved one; you'll learn to live with it.
Be that as it may, In Christ, you can survive grief and loneliness. Your greatest source of comfort and hope is Christ Jesus. And that hope can propel you into a spirit of praise and thanksgiving.

16. What’s your favourite car and why?

It will be the GLE Mercedes, did you know the meaning of GLE?
The "G" is for Geländewagen (German for off land wagon or off-road vehicle) and alludes the long-running G-Wagen. This is followed by the letter "L" that acts as a linkage with the letter "E"—the GLE being the SUV equivalent to the E-Class.

This vehicle is a great luxury SUV by just about every measure. It has a sumptuous cabin with roomy seating and cargo space, many advanced safety features, and a sleek yet intuitive infotainment system. I love it!