Friends, former colleagues and now business partners, Faraz Ahmad and Osman Ahmed have scooped the coveted “Franchisee of the year award for 2010” from their franchisor, Mail Boxes Etc.
Still in their 20s and franchisees for less than two years, Faraz and Osman already own five central London MBE stores and have ambitious plans for the future.
“Winning the award was an amazing and totally unexpected surprise,” Faraz said. “We had no idea whatsoever so naturally we are delighted.”
Osman met Faraz 10 years earlier when he joined Faraz’s family business in North London. When they discovered courier franchise MBE, they were keen to buy a store together and move out of the original business.
“We had been researching a variety of businesses, including franchises in the UK and master licences for other parts of Europe. We got advice from our close relations and recognised all that Mail Boxes Etc. has to offer as a successful international business with a strong brand and huge potential for the future,” Faraz explained.
They opened their first store in Belgravia and were off to a flying start. “We saw immediately how well the model works, its strength in a niche market and the benefit of having a well known name. We are confident that Mail Boxes Etc. is going to be huge in the UK," Osman said.
Faraz and Osman attribute their success to following MBE’s system, leaving their well trained and experienced staff to look after the day to day running of the stores and keeping areas of responsibility separate from each other with what Faraz calls their own “to do” lists.
“Part of our surprise in winning the award was that we really didn’t think we deserved it,” they commented. “There was an excellent system in place, we listened to all the advice we were given by our franchisor and then just followed the system. We employ a brilliant team who do a fantastic job, enabling us to take a broad overview and concentrate on growing our business.
“With five stores to look after, we can only be as good as our staff so we are fortunate in employing hard working and reliable people. Their contribution was recognised when our stores were appointed as training centres for new franchisees,” Faraz and Osman added.
“We’re learning new things every day, the demands and demographics of each store are quite different from each other, we meet interesting people – celebrities, politicians, sports stars – which makes this a fun business to be in. I can’t see myself ever getting bored with it – in fact we love Mail Boxes Etc.,” Faraz enthused.
MBE measures franchisee achievements and successes in a variety of ways, including their “mystery shopper surveys” which very accurately access all elements of the customer experience. Faraz and Osman’s stores all achieved the highest scores, contributing to their accolade as the most outstanding franchisees in MBE’s UK network of 125 stores.
Chris Gillam, who heads MBE’s franchisee recruitment, said: “Faraz and Osman have worked extremely hard to get their business on such a sound footing, so quickly. We recognise and admire their drive and enthusiasm and their “can do” attitude. They really deserve their success.”