LOVE THE RIDE DRIV­ING SCHOOL EN­JOYS TOP BUSI­NESS

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - CAREER ONE - Laura Tri­este

FIND­ING out a stu­dent has passed their driv­ing test is just as ex­cit­ing for Ronak Shah as it is for them.

He runs On­road Driv­ing School with his wife Sapna Shah and loves teach­ing peo­ple to be safe on the road.

“We have peo­ple from 16 up to any age (and) we get peo­ple from all over the world,” Mr Shah said.

The busi­ness started seven years ago, when Mr Shah de­cided to leave a ca­reer in cus­tomer ser­vice man­age­ment be­hind.

“The first driver I taught had never driven in her life be­fore,” Mr Shah said.

“I was ner­vous for the first 15 to 20 min­utes but af­ter that I was com­fort­able.”

To­day, the Shahs have grown their busi­ness to more than 20 driv­ing in- struc­tors con­duct­ing lessons around Syd­ney, and driv­ing ed­u­ca­tion pro­grams at lo­cal schools.

“The beauty of our busi­ness is that it’s 100 per cent flex­i­ble,” Mr Shah said.

“We have some in­struc­tors that start at 6am and other peo­ple fin­ish at 9pm.”

Mr Shah said it was im­por­tant for a driv­ing in­struc­tor to be pa­tient and un­der­stand that ev­ery per­son was dif­fer­ent.

“Some peo­ple call and say ‘I’ve got my driv­ing test next week’ and you go for a drive with them and you know there’s no way in the world they will pass,” he said.

Good com­mu­ni­ca­tion is a key to teach­ing peo­ple who do not speak English well.

“We’ve had con­tracts with the refugee gov­ern­ment agen­cies,” Mr Shah said.

An iPad with vis­ual demon­stra­tions be­come an im­por­tant tool in these cases.

“We use hand sig­nals and stop and ex­plain things be­fore they do them,” he said.

Mr Shah said there were many op­por­tu­ni­ties for self­mo­ti­vated peo­ple look­ing to be­come a driv­ing in­struc­tor.

“The jobs are there. A lot of learn­ers are look­ing for driv­ing lessons so we never have any prob­lems,” he said.

Pic­ture: CARMELA ROCHE

Ronak Shah runs On­road Driv­ing School with his wife Sapna Shah.

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