By PrintAction Staff
Riaz Qazi looks back on 14 years of owning a Minuteman Press franchise in Mississauga, Ont.
By PrintAction Staff
Riaz Qazi has owned a Minuteman Press franchise in Mississauga, Ont. for 14 years.
Qazi, a factory manager for an asphalt and ready-mix company internationally, made the purchase after moving to Canada. Having earned two degrees, one in Civil Engineering and the other an MBA with a major in marketing, the highly-skilled Qazi wanted to look for something completely new, but still technical enough to challenge him.
That led him to Minuteman Press International, which he considered the only tech-oriented franchise opportunity that appealed to his standard, with two reasons in mind. “One, I was new to being self-employed in a new country and two, I was new to the printing industry. I felt with those things ‘against’ me, it would have been difficult to open a shop independently. I needed the support of a franchise,” said Riaz.
The modern franchise is an all-digital print operation today, but Qazi notes that when he took over, he was in possession of a few offset presses. “The time came to replace them and we are fully capable of just about anything ‘print.’ I offer wide-format printing and a great deal of promotional products. Also, we take care of branded signs of all kinds.”
Today, Qazi’s wife, Ayesha, helps manage the shop, taking care of the organization, which frees up Qazi to focus on the business’ day-to-day operations.
“I have to keep my wits about me and when the centre gets very busy, I get directly involved,” said Qazi. “There is no shortcut and I like to deliver more than is expected, so I make sure to deliver. I feel personal satisfaction every time we complete unique projects and jobs that come through for customers.”
Qazi notes that he has high standards for the work they do. “I am very demanding of anyone who works for me and the transition to Canada brought some cultural differences and the need to adapt my managerial skills. I used to work in Asia and Europe. Now, we have been working for more than a decade in North America and it has all become easier. We run a tight ship.”
He knows that respecting the brand and its guidelines is the key to greater recognition. “Our brand is recognized here, but I still tell people we are part of the largest printing franchise in the world with almost 1,000 centres. That carries weight. They know we are the real deal,” he said. “I do not present Minuteman Press as the ‘low end’ or cheap,” he added. “I tell everyone, I do not compete on price, but for what we provide in quality and service, our prices are nice.”
During COVID-19, Minuteman Press has remained open as an essential business, and has printed social distancing products and marketing services to let customers of reopening businesses know updated hours of operation, new menus and guidelines.
In addition, Minuteman Press International has joined Bounce Back Canada, a free COVID-19 resource to support local businesses. Minuteman Press is encouraging businesses to submit a free listing to receive a free COVID-19 safety and awareness poster at https://BounceBackCanada.com.