The near monopoly on motor trimming has been broken, and it took a business built through the tradition of family heritage to do it. Rubin Ramguthy’s Rubin’s Motor Trimmers and Upholstery is the Geduld monopoly breaker.
Rubin’s trande school was the family home. His father, Baboolall, was in the motor trimming business and Rubin’s Durban youth was spent playing among sofas in the process of being upholsterd. After moving to Springs, where he and his family are now happily based, he began work at the Second Street company. And stayed for 23 years. Then came the move to the creation of Rubin’s Motor Trimmers.
Undaunted by a straight jacketed economy which has been thrown into sinking sand, it was in the unlikely location of Geduld that Rubin’s optimism paid off. “Look,” he admits, “without the capital it wouldn’t have been possible, but Geduld has it, I think we will improve the area.”
The most important of these improvements is that Rubin has created employment opportunities for three others and, with plans for expansion within the next year, possibly more.
During the first two weeks of business, it was slow going Rubin tells, but then they had no phone (it eventually arrived a month after the application). It is this third week which has just passed which saw the business come into its own.
“You can see, the garage is full now,” he says pointing to a Golf which has been brought in for a soft-top. This conversion to convertable process takes Rubin about two days and was his field of specialisation during his earlier Springs days.
Another motor-trimming love of Rubin’s is the vintage vehicle. At the back of his Geduld workshop is a 39 Chevrolet panel van which looks like it stopped running in 1940. A mere shell at present, it will take a full month of Rubin’s skills to transform it.
“In my time I’ve done between 50 and 60 vintage cars. We do the complete re-furbishing and it takes a lot of work. I have to consult the manuals and do a lot of research to make certain that all the details are correct,” he says.
The Geduld business line continues down to his wife, Jane. Just a few blocks away, she runs a fast-food business. Just as he followed in the footsteps of his father, so Rubin hopes that his sons will follow in his.
Dellesh is currently studying electrical engineering at Springs Technical College while Yammesh is busy complting his BSc degree at Durban’s Westville University. He also has a Daughter, Asmita (10).