My typical day starts with me heading straight for my Blackberry, which is certainly both the best and worst thing in my life! The office is less than 10 minutes drive from home, which is incredibly convenient on what seem to be the rare occasions that I am there!
I always start the day with breakfast together with my parents and younger siblings (on the odd occasion they are up in the morning), all of whom are my greatest support. Working with my family is certainly the most interesting part of my life. I have learnt everything I know by spending time with my dad Sailesh and uncles Hasmukh and Kamlesh Thakrar, who started the business just over 26 years ago.
Although I joined just four years ago, I have been involved for many years and love every aspect of it. Sometimes I think the only way to describe it is that I must have petrol running through my veins! I also work with my eldest sister Khusbu, which is great fun. She certainly is my life saver. I seem to always be running around so can always rely on her to be in the office when I need someone. She’s the sensible one who does all the really hard work.
Once the day starts I usually check through my emails, read the news and check the markets. My role within the company is really doing a bit of everything. I try and get involved in as many areas as I can so that I can have a true understanding. And, more importantly, try and take away a little stress from the three brothers, who have worked incredibly hard to grow the business to a group of 23 successful sites and other family interests.
If I was to describe my main role, it involves the shop from setting the promotional activity each month through to all new development plans. I also get involved with the fuel pricing, general financials and legal dealings for the company. My official title is ’head of business development’, however the three brothers often call me the ’executive spender’ I like to call it ’lifestyle management’.
I usually do a quick check on Price Viewer each morning and analyse the previous day’s sales. I have a great passion for figures and like to react as quickly as possible to see how we can continually improve on the previous day. I like to think we have a comprehensive reporting system that always keeps us on top and allows us to track all sales across the group.
We have a strong mix of offers across the company including BP Connect, Costcutter, Mace and other shop offers. Our fuel activities are predominantly with BP as we have 15 sites with the brand. We also have a strong relationship with Jet and have a network of four Jet sites complemented by two Shell and two Texaco sites. Dealing with the oil companies, being involved with the Jet Dealer Council and the RMIP certainly keeps me busy.
Along with all of this I also have a film production company. Called Just Spot Films, it specialises in TV commercials, animations and architectural visualisations. Having partnered recently with a firm in Dubai and India keeps me out of the country quite frequently and quite often I’m rushing from one office to another.
I’m also getting married in four months to my very patient fiancé Risha. Plus we’re building a house with the family. I don’t think anyone can keep track of my diary most of the time I don’t think I can.
All this is only possible because of the great team we have from our office team, field team, managers and CSA’s we never thank them enough. But they make it possible for us to concentrate on the many activities that keep us both active and incredibly happy. We have a new operations manager who is certainly helping with some of the workload.
I love every minute of being involved in the petrol and convenience retailing industry, yet above all the real highlight is working in a family business working with three of the strongest and most inspirational characters: Hasmukh, Kamlesh and Sailesh.
Company: HKS Retail Limited
Job title: Head of business development
Career history: Four years officially from birth 26 years ago in reality!
Greatest achievement: Overcoming a major health problem against many odds; graduating and fulfilling my childhood dream of joining the family business.
Tips for business success: Understand every aspect of your business, work with people you trust and always work from the heart!
Most likely to say: "Don’t worry"
Least likely to say: "I can’t do it"
Other interests: Formula 1, cars, travelling, media production, house building and, most importantly, spending time with friends and family.