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Hotseat - Tariq Amjad

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Who is Tariq Amjad?

I am the son of Imran McSood and Farina Amjad and currently the Managing Director of the Motorworld Group of Companies which comprises Motorworld, Caribbean Auto, Audi St. Maarten and Dollar/Thrifty Car Rental.

Education?

Primary and high school were in St. Maarten. I studied finance at a college in the US. I wanted to study some form of business and finance as this appealed to me.

Fond memories growing up?

Growing up in St. Maarten in the late 80s and 90s was a lovely ‎time. Things were simpler. Had a great group of friends and we still maintain our circle up to this day and a great brother with very loving and nurturing parents.

What is it that you like about being in the motor vehicle industry?

I love cars! That's the most important thing. Doing what you love is something I tell everyone to try to do if they have that opportunity.

How were you groomed to take the helm of the family businesses?

Well, my parents did a lot of the grooming and I learned most of what I know from them. I read many management books and focused on starting from the grassroots level (washing cars for example) to have total comprehension of the businesses.

What’s your personal management style?

Democratic mostly – although I am strong when needed. I focus a lot on motivating, training and making my staff happy and satisfied with their job. If someone is happy, it's amazing how productive and loyal they will be. I care about people and believe empowerment is a very powerful and effective tool.

What differentiates you from other managing directors?

Many MDs only recognise the bad. I focus more on genuine praising and showing ‎appreciation for one's efforts. Money is always a good incentive, but feeling appreciated and valued is far more powerful. We stand out from the crowd simply for one reason: our team. We have a fantastic and extremely hardworking staff. If you have a bad staff, you will most likely have a bad company. If you have a good staff, you will most likely have a good company. It's really that simple I think. It all comes down to people at the end of the day.

How do you juggle your various interests?

It certainly is not easy. Prioritisation of tasks and regular meetings are key. My phone is my office. Everything is done through there, from hundreds of daily emails, to my calendar and to-do lists.

Challenges encountered in this field?

There are always numerous challenges ranging from staff when they are unable to come to work due to sickness, combined with other team members out on vacation, to some warranty vehicle issues‎ that obviously put our clients at an inconvenience and to do everything in our power to make them satisfied‎, to coming up with creative ways to stimulate sales when it's on a downtrend.

What’s your all-time personal favourite vehicle? What do you drive?

My personal all-time favourite vehicle is the Audi R8. I currently admittedly drive a Mercedes Benz CLS, but will have to give it up soon as we now have gone all in with the great Audi brand.

Dream holiday venue?

India or Australia.

What message do you have for youngsters who want to follow in your footsteps?

Success is not a birth right. It is earned. Work hard, give your all, love what you do and do it with a passion!

What else are you involved in outside of business?

Although I thrive off it, business consumes all of my time. I've been asked so many times to join so many organisations. I'm very happy to contribute financially; but sadly do not have the time to do much else at this moment to actually be involved.

 

How do you relax and unwind?

TV! Watching TV shows (Game of Thrones, Homeland, Walking Dead, House of Cards, Breaking Bad) with my wife Manisha brings me great‎ peace of mind and happiness. I love to watch and play sports, primarily basketball and tennis.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

On the personal side, as a dedicated father of at least two kids (my first child is currently on the way and I cannot wait!); on the business side, having achieved a more macro than micro method of management.

Pet peeve?

When people lie or are dishonest. I am an extremely straightforward and direct person and I hope for people to be genuine and real with me in return.

Favourite quote?

The customer is not an interruption to the business; they are the purpose of it. ~Ghandi

What’s your favourite type of music; what artistes do you listen to?

I listen to everything: 80s and 90s pop are my all-time favourites, plus 90s hip hop – Brian Adams, Michael Bolton, for the slow style, plus several current reggae/dancehall artistes such as Jah Cure and Busy Signal.

If you could ask any three people (dead or alive) to a dinner party, who would they be and what would you cook for them?

Obama: I think he has been a very good president and the US has improved remarkably from when he took over in 2008 and the country was freefalling. I love his calm demeanour style of leadership.

My grandfather, who died in 1986 – I never had the opportunity to meet him really, I was only two. He was a wonderful man from all accounts I've heard.

And my maternal grandmother; she is currently in her last years and has been on the decline for many years. I would love to eat with her when she was younger again. ‎Very sweet lady! I would cook my staple dish: Pan fried rib-eye steak with mushroom cream sauce!