On May 21, World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, Maaco celebrated its diverse franchise network.
Independent business ownership can offer an exciting and rewarding for anyone with the desire, work ethic and passion to succeed. Maaco, America’s body shop and the leader in the $38 billion automotive paint and collision industry, celebrated diversity within their family of more than 400 franchisees.
If I Can Do It, Anyone Can
Farhana Naz graduated from Fordham University with a business degree and worked in media research for Nielsen. When her brother-in-law opened his Maaco repair facility in Windsor, New Jersey, she began helping him part-time with managing the office. That eventually led to working full-time, estimating and helping with production. In 2019, with the support and encouragement from her family, she became a Maaco franchisee herself and purchased her own store.
“Ten years ago, I would never have seen myself in the automotive painting and collision repair industry – now, this is my passion,” said Naz. “I absolutely love what I am doing. My favorite part is that every job is different. I love the interaction with the customers, and I enjoy the challenge that each job represents as an opportunity to make someone happy. No two jobs or customers are the same, and the reward comes when the customers are happy and pleased with our service.”
Naz welcomes diversity within her team and notes that there is opportunity for all within the Maaco family – from estimators, production managers and production-line technicians.
“The benefit of having more diversity on your team is that they bring different ideas from the different backgrounds they come from,” said Naz. “In any of the industries where I have worked, I have seen that the more diverse teams are the most successful.”
Naz also encourages other women to consider the opportunity that running a Maaco franchise holds, citing the support that the Maaco team provides to their franchisees.
“The support that I received from the Maaco team was phenomenal,” said Naz. “They are with you every step of the way, with an in-depth training program, in-shop operations support, virtual coaching, whatever you need to be successful. I call it my Maaco family support team.”
Naz is proud of what she has accomplished in just two years. Their shop repairs and paints an average of 118 cars per month.
“Don’t be afraid to try something different, outside your comfort zone,” said Naz. “As long as you have a great training and support team, you will learn the business. If I can do it and be successful at it, anyone can do it.”
A Rewarding Journey
Mohammad Ali came to America from Pakistan in 1977. After completing his high school and college education, he became a petroleum engineer for a major oil company. One day he saw a franchising advertisement for Maaco in USA Today and decided to investigate the opportunity further.
“While working my way through college, I would buy used cars, fix them up and resell them to earn extra money,” said Ali. “I always liked cars, and when looking to become a business owner, Maaco seemed to be a good fit for me.”
Ali became a Maaco franchisee in 1996 in Kenner, Louisiana. Some 25 years later, he reflects on his success and the rewards of becoming an independent business owner with Maaco.
“This has been a great opportunity for me,” said Ali. “I have been a hands-on owner/operator, and that enables me to interact with the customers and the community. We have a diverse workforce and work in a diverse community, and they have been very good to us. We in turn try to give back to the community as much as we can and give every customer a little more than they pay for. That makes for happy customers and a good reputation.”
Ali cites that being a Maaco owner has been a rewarding career that has enabled him to send his children to college and now to contemplate the possibility of retirement.
“Being an owner is not without its challenges, but it comes with many rewards – financial security for me and my family, the ability to provide jobs for others, and of course to make people happy with the results of our work,” said Ali. “All in all, it’s been a very rewarding journey.”
Maaco celebrates diversity and welcomes men and women from all backgrounds interested in becoming business owners with the benefit of almost 50 years of experience that Maaco brings.