Ferose Oaten is Managing Director of AVTS Roadworthy Stations and she is also the CEO of the South African branch of the German multinational testing, inspection and certification company TÜV SÜD. She was the winner of South Africa’s Most Influential Woman in Business and Government Award in the Services Sector.
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She was a previous National Vice-President of the Businesswomen’s Association as well as the previous President of the Retail Motor Industry and she has previously served on two government boards.
“Treading where no woman has” is what best describes Ferose Oaten. She grew up in a family involved in the passenger transport business and who also started the first testing station in South Africa.
Ferose studied librarianship, worked in a variety of positions and got a business school qualification under her belt before deciding to join AVTS as test station manager at the end of 1992.
Five years later, she bought the business and grew AVTS from one to seven branches in the greater Cape Town, opening a new station almost every year. She also consults to the local industry as well as internationally, helping to set up and commission a vehicle-testing company in Mauritius among other projects.
Her success is attributed to her individualism: “When you look at the businesses that are thriving, they were started by people who make their own space. They swim a little upstream when others swim downstream,” she says.
Her unusual journey has taught her an important truth: no matter what you do, no matter how menial the job, the insights you gain will help you in your own life one day. “Even if it bores you, it will stand you in good stead. They are all stepping stones,” she says.
She takes pride in whatever she is involved in. She is on her chosen journey and gets satisfaction in achieving ordinary and extraordinary things.
Ferose’s purpose is to make a difference. Her greatest accomplishment is her children first and second the professional respect and integrity she enjoys by becoming a major player in a very male dominated industry. She will be remembered as a trailblazer and for giving people a break and a chance to excel.
Her message to Inspiringwomen readers is: “Lift as you rise”. Pay it forward and be willing to uplift those around you.
The future? Ferose is thinking about future grandchildren, less stress and more peace of mind . . .
Ferose, we salute you!