For my interview I decided to choose the owner of 6 different Subway Restaurants in Maryland. It was an honor to interview my friend “Mr. Sharad Doshi”. He has been in this industry for past five years. I chose him because he has been an inspiration to everyone. Looking at his accomplishments, makes us feel very proud and I knew for sure, for me, the best person to interview would be him.
Subway is an American Restaurant Franchise that primarily sells Sandwiches (Subs) and Salads. It is owned and operated by Doctor’s Associates, Inc. (DAI). Subway is one of the fastest growing franchises in the world. For the second year in a row, the SUBWAY® Restaurant chain has been awarded the Number One ranking in the Franchise Direct Top 100 Global Franchises Rankings, (MILFORD, Conn., May 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ CT-SUBWAY-Franchise)
Mr. Doshi was always inspired by Subway as it offered healthy life style at a very affordable price. Subway offers healthy meal options at a very affordable price to the people. Also, he was looking for strong, proven franchise business. According to Subway’s official website, Subway was second largest franchise in 2007. The growth of the company was significantly higher than QSR (Quick Service Restaurant) industry. DAI has developed a very good system to Franchise their locations. He completed online application process and then finished the written examination. After that he successfully completed business plan and reviewed with Subway executives. The whole process took about 3 to 6 Months. Finally, he opened his first Subway store in Frederick, Maryland in 2007.
Mr. Doshi’s organization has several corporatizations formats, such as “S” Corporation and LLC formats. As per there specific requirement at that time, his attorney and his accountant guided him to open “S” Corporation or LLC format. It’s not a Partnership or Sole Proprietorship. The advantages of having a corporate structure were very clear. He said that they are protected through any lawsuits and many legal aspects. Secondly, there is Limited liability for stockholders. Thirdly he says; it is good to have structure which is used for as per IRS codes and State regulations. Operating as an S corporation gives owners of the company legal and taxation benefits.
When I asked him about Business Rewards and Challenges, he said that every business comes with lots of challenges and rewards. It is a very difficult question to answer in a narrow spectrum. You are working for yourself, so all success and reward goes to you and at the same time any failure is yours too. It is risk v/s reward situation. In the business every moment is a challenge, such as finance, marketing, human resources, customer relations, legal and many more. Dealing with several aspect of business itself is a challenge. Reward is yours, success is yours and every day you feel good about playing a game to win. Also, he says it meets his needs with a demanding, but flexible schedule. The reward for him; is knowing that his business is a success and it’s very hard to build a successful business during this tough economical time.
Subway has a set of standards when it comes to the product they serve in the store. They know that it takes more than just good food to nourish strong people and build a vibrant community. It can only be done by taking care of people, the heart and soul of the SUBWAY experience. Subway is dedicated to building strong business relationships through open communication, respect and by with each other as well as by serving their customers and neighborhoods; much like we do within our own families. In there business, all employees throughout the SUBWAY® system adhere to ethical principles and employment standards to ensure that all workers are valued, treated fairly and with respect. One more thing which he said was interesting that each year; the SUBWAY brand supports charities and philanthropic organizations through corporate donations and sponsorships to encourage healthy, active lifestyles and help make the world a better place. This year Subway owners collected $330,000.00 and donated to American Diabetic Association to prevent and educate people about Diabetes (Subway.com)
He says I strongly believe that my store has a positive impact on the economy. Since the economy is in recession, people don’t want to spend lot of money on expensive restaurants. As mentioned earlier, subway provides healthy meal options at a very affordable price to the people. We started offering $5 foot long subs in order for our customers to get healthy food at a very low cost. People can eat fast food and lose weight. Our classic example is of Jared, who lost 180 pounds just by eating Subways’ healthy sandwiches.
According to the Subway official website, Subway has impacted the environmental issue by switching to napkins that use 100% recycled materials, of which 60% is post-consumer recyclable material. Recycled material can include material such as wood chips; while post-consumer recycled material is paper that has already been used by consumers. Subway estimates it will save about 147,000 trees a year. The company also switched to cutlery and plastic drinking cups made of polypropylene instead of polystyrene, which it estimates will save 13,000 barrels of oil annually. Subway sandwiches are extremely popular in different parts of the world and in some places, it has reached iconic status. There are more SUBWAY® restaurants in the world than any other restaurant chain, making us a leader in the global development of the quick service restaurant industry.
Mr. Doshi explained to me that his strategy for gaining and maintaining new business opportunities is the customers. He says, “For me, it is all about making my customers happy”. Everyone that comes through my door, are welcomed with open arms. “I’ve put my heart and soul into all the stores I own.” said Mr. Doshi. If a customer seems unhappy with their meal, they are immediately given a replacement and/or the item is taken off the bill. We set our goals, and derive specifically on how to achieve those goals. We hire consultants to help and support our system. We invest money in technology. Review our strength and weaknesses; put every effort to make it better.
According to Mr. Doshi, the Key to his success is the Team work. The best way to describe our success is by giving you an example. Honestly, we are blessed to have a team of best captain and coach. Sonal; my wife is the” Captain” of our team and I am the “Coach”. I Coach and she plays the game with the best players. She is very patient and handles the situation very easily. Unfortunately, there are times when things do not go as planned and she manages it very nicely. She knows how to build the team. She understands that every player is not best in all position, so put the best player in the right place at a right time. At the end of the day, she wins every game and I am the happy coach of the winning team. Another reason for the success is we have a transparent relationship in our organization. We are very transparent to our employees and to our customers. People often say in order to succeed you have to be diplomatic and unethical in business, but I do not agree to that at all. I think unethical behavior results in bad reputation and a loss of customers and employees. This can ruin a business eventually. I think if you are honest and faithful to your customers and employees, then they will come back to you and will appreciate your work by giving good business. Lastly, I feel helping others is the key to success, hiding and playing unnecessary games take away lots of your positive energy and strength.
When asked what he would do differently if you had to do it all over again, he said “Absolutely nothing,” because I am convinced we all learn lessons when we need to and not a moment before. I have been very fortunate in my journey, and the one thing that still keeps me going is that each day I get to learn something new and different. I believe that we did everything right in order to succeed in business and in our life.
He concluded by saying that anyone in business must absolutely take care of their existing clientele. If we give our customers a royal treatment, they will respond and reward you. He also said that retaining one customer is far more cost effective and rewarding than seeking out one new customer.
Finally, I applaud Mr. Doshi for the way he and his wife run their business. They really do put a lot of effort into their Subway stores. They do believe in ethical behavior and try to give their best service and quality to their customers. I noticed that when I was at the store interviewing Mr. Doshi, lot of customers come into the store and Sharad would greet each one of them with hospitality. In fact he even knew the names of few customers who would walk in for food. The thing which I was little surprised and happy was that he would give free cookies to the kids and would even ask how the day at school went. He was truly amazing. After this interview, I have more respect for him and I wish I could be like him in future.
During this whole process of interview and the time I spent with Mr. Doshi, I realized that it takes lot of hard work for any business to go smoothly. Subway has been growing throughout the world rapidly. I would definitely invest in Subway because it is the fastest growing franchise in the world. Lot of people love the taste they provide. They serve nutritious food at low cost. It is a proven business with a low investment.
Doshi, S. (2012) Interview with a Business Owner (Conducted in person). Analysis of a small business for BMGT110, Interview by Nilima Rawal, September 15, 2012 Boone, Gene, Kurtz, David. (2012 update) Contemporary Business, 14th ed. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley & Sons.
MILFORD, Conn., May 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ CT-SUBWAY-Franchise
Subway (n.d). Retrieved from http://www.subway.com