Cus­tomers just like fam­ily for Su­nil


‘‘If you look af­ter the cus­tomer as fam­ily, they will look af­ter you as fam­ily’’

Su­nil Ku­mar has be­come a wellloved mem­ber of the Te Kauwhata com­mu­nity.

As man­ager of Te Kauwhata Au­to­mo­tive Ser­vices, he can point out all of his cus­tomers by name, even be­fore they get out of the car.

He’s only been in the job for about 18 months but the 32-yearold has prac­ti­cally be­come a lo­cal.

The site was pur­chased by Auck­land busi­ness owner Man­jit Singh and re­mained as a gas sta­tion ini­tially.

Since then, Ku­mar has been part of tran­si­tion­ing Te Kauwhata’s only petrol sta­tion in a one-stop-shop.

It started with bread and milk, then the cof­fee ma­chine came in.

And it didn’t take long to of­fer the town some fast food op­tions.

Pizza was brought into the equa­tion and now Ku­mar is sell­ing up to 70 daily.

It’s be­come a place where one can fill your car, buy gro­ceries, pizza, cof­fee and do your wash­ing with the ad­di­tion of a laun­dro­mat.

And soon, there will be the choice of In­dian cui­sine and fish and chips.

But it seems it’s not just the ser­vices which keep peo­ple com­ing back.

Ku­mar’s made a name for him­self with his ap­proach to cus­tomer ser­vice.

‘‘If you look af­ter the cus­tomer as fam­ily, they will look af­ter you as fam­ily,’’ he said.

He’s al­ways will­ing to help out lo­cals with IOUs - most of which are paid back.

The front shop win­dows have also be­come a no­tice board of sorts.

With Singh’s ad­di­tion of weekly in­spi­ra­tional quotes on the fore­court, Ku­mar said it can brighten up peo­ple’s day.

‘‘Peo­ple are al­ways feel­ing stressed and work­ing hard.’’

Town res­i­dents have proven they care just as much though af­ter the shop was robbed at gun­point in July last year.

A man en­tered the sta­tion with a pis­tol and de­manded cash.

‘‘It’s a small town so news goes around quickly and every­one sup­ported us.’’

In just this short time, Ku­mar has come come to the con­clu­sion that leav­ing the hus­tle and bus­tle of Auck­land life be­hind is pos­si­bly the best thing he’s ever done.

Grow­ing up in In­dia, he’s al­ways lived in busy town. While it’s taken some get­ting used to, the town has be­come his home and it doesn’t ap­pear that will be chang­ing.


Su­nil Ku­mar, Te Kauwhata Au­to­mo­tive Ser­vices Ltd.

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