Riaz Qazi spent 11 years managing factories for an asphalt and ready-mix company internationally, but his move to Canada proved time to examine business ownership.
Buying an existing Minuteman Press franchise was the furthest thing from the mind of the new resident of Mississauga, but he felt the climate in the workforce was not making much sense.
“I was new to the country and though I was highly qualified with two degrees, one as a civil engineer and the other an MBA with a major in marketing, it was a barricade to success, actually,” he explained. “People kept telling me not to put both degrees on my resume and I decided to look for something totally new, but still technical that would challenge me and let me use my skills.”
“That’s why I looked for and found Minuteman Press International,” he said.
In his opinion, it was the only tech-oriented franchise opportunity that appealed to his standard, so he bought a pre-existing franchise for two reasons.
“One, I was new to being self-employed in a new country and two, I was new to the printing industry,” Qazi states. “I felt with those things ‘against’ me, it would have been difficult to open a shop independently. I needed the support of a franchise.”
After 14 years as a franchisee, Qazi has seen his share of challenges but nothing at the level of last few months.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Minuteman Press has remained open as an essential business. As other businesses begin to reopen, Qazi and his team are here to help with everything from printing of in-demand items such as social distancing products and marketing services to let customers know updated hours of operation, new menus, and guidelines. The goal is to support all local businesses by helping clients rebuild local in an effective manner.
“I give my customers the best they can possibly hope to get in marketing and I do it by over-achieving and trying to beat their deadlines,” he said.
Going forward, Qazi joins his fellow Minuteman Press franchise owners to say they are part of the modern printing industry.
Keeping with that notion, he has made sure the technology he uses has evolved appropriately. “We are an all-digital print operation today, though when I took it over we did have a few offset presses. The time came to replace them and we are fully capable of just about anything print-related,” he said. “I offer wide-format printing and a great deal of promotional products. Also, we take care of branded signs of all kinds.”
Now that Canada has proven to be a fertile ground for his career as a Minuteman Press franchise owner, Qazi feels his future is bright and he is “excited for more.”