Riaz Patel, Managing Director, tells us all about his business and why he feels his chosen category is particularly important.
In this next interview in our series of sponsor blogs about the forthcoming AFA Awards, taking place on 19th September, we speak to Riaz Patel, Managing Director of 4×4 Vehicle Hire. 4×4 Vehicle Hire is an AFA Member and the proud sponsor of the Supplier of the Year Award.
Question: Please can you tell us about your business and the products and services you provide?
Riaz: We are a franchise organisation that hires out mainly Land Rovers and Range Rovers to all kinds of clients. The business was franchised in 2012. Previously, the owners, Kirsty and John, had been hiring cars out since 2007, generally in the Aylesbury area. They were extremely busy and quickly realised that, as they were getting enquiries from all over the country, franchising was the next logical step.
I came on board as a franchisee in 2016 and became the master franchisor in 2017. We currently have about thirty franchisees across the UK and Ireland and cover about 90% of the area. Our objective is to have 100% coverage by 2020.
Question: What is your involvement with the AFA? How do you plan to support the AFA moving forward and why?
Riaz: We joined the AFA three months ago. We were looking for a franchise association to join and obviously came across the larger ones, for example, the BFA, but I think one of the reasons we went with the AFA was due to the excellent communication I had with them, especially Sarah Canny. She was very forthcoming and I spoke to her a number of times before becoming a member and attending one of their regional meetings.
I would very much like to become a Regional Chair and have put my name forward to work alongside Jacqui Frost from the Office Genie in Northampton. Once Jacqui and I start organising our regional meetings, I will be a lot more actively involved but, as I only came on board three months ago, it’s all still fairly new to me.
Question: What influenced your decision to join the AFA?
Riaz: Aside from the excellent communication I received from the AFA, I think it was because it’s a smaller association and I preferred to spend my hard-earned money to become a member of an organisation that will take my views on board. With no disrespect to larger franchise associations, had I joined one of them, I would probably not have the opportunity to become a Regional Chair or take control of organising meetings etc. The size of the AFA, as it is now, suits my current requirements perfectly.
Question: Why did you decide to sponsor the AFA Awards?
Riaz: Primarily to raise our brand awareness. Apart from working with 4×4 Vehicle Hire, I was also a franchisee in a former life, when I was about twenty-three, and found there wasn’t much going on in the franchising industry at that time. I wanted my franchisees to see we are growing as a network, by working with the AFA, but also by taking care of growing our brand and raising its profile within the industry. It makes perfect sense!
Question: Which Award are you sponsoring and what particularly excites you about this category?
Riaz: When I became a 4×4 Vehicle Hire franchisee, I was actually shocked by the lack of suppliers who specialised in the supply of products and services to the franchising industry. So, when I became a franchisor, my first aim was to get as many worthy suppliers on board for my franchisees as I could, such as car dealers, accountants and online marketing experts, so that they would have a wider choice of suppliers to work with. I believe this is a very influential category as decent suppliers are definitely the key to a franchisee’s success.
Question: What are you most looking forward to on the night?
Riaz: Hopefully one of my franchisees winning an Award – that would be nice! Sunny Mandeer, my franchisee for the Cotswolds and Birmingham, has been nominated for the Franchisee of the Year Award, which is great and it will be fantastic if he wins.
However, for me, personally, I’ve booked a table of ten and am taking nine franchisees with me. I want us to have the chance to speak to other franchise companies to find out more about what they’re doing and where they are, progress-wise. We’re a relatively young franchise business, coming up to our seventh year, whereas some of the attendees will have been in the industry for years and, therefore, will be highly experienced, so it will be so useful to pick their brains!
It will be great to see everyone under one roof and have the chance to network with and get to know other organisations within our industry.
Our sincere thanks go to 4×4 Vehicle Hire for their support of the AFA Awards and we look forward to welcoming them to the event on the night.
To find out more about 4×4 Vehicle Hire, please click here:
If you’re interested in sponsoring the AFA Awards, it’s not too late to get involved! Please contact Sarah Canny, Business Development Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To book your Awards tickets, please click here: