A PASSION FOR HARD WORK PAYS OFF FOR THIS FRANCHISE OF THE YEAR.
Sahdev Vaghela – Oporto franchisee in Perth, WA
Sahdev Vaghela happily admits that he likes to work hard. In fact, the business owner is living proof of just how much you can achieve with grit and determination. In 2016 Sahdev won Franchisee of the Year at the Craveable Brands Awards and last year won Store of the Year.
As one of the relatively few Oporto franchisees in Western Australia, Sahdev has put real effort in to build customer loyalty. Now he proudly says that customers are travelling from far and wide to his stores in order to get their dose of Oporto. He tells us what drives him.
What’s been your most satisfying moment with Oporto?
It would have to be when I won the Franchisee of the Year Award two years ago. It was such a huge thrill to have all my hard work and achievements recognized. We won due to our ongoing effort, dedication to the brand and willingness to participate in events to speed brand awareness in WA. We also sponsor local sporting clubs and usually give between $1,000 to $2,000 towards the clubs. Then last year one of my drive-thru stores also won Store of the Year thanks to the dedicated team culture. I’m just so proud of everyone who works for me.
Congratulations, those are phenomenal achievements! So, what do franchise owners need to do to be successful?
You must be present and hard-working. It’s also important to keep setting yourself goals. My dad always said that nothing lasts forever, and life is about challenges, so you need to keep working hard – I got my drive from him. You also need to assess each night if your day’s been satisfying. You can’t put a dollar value on satisfaction. If you feel satisfied it means you’re successful which is what continues to motivate me.
HONEST | HARD-WORKING | RATIONAL
WA is still a relatively new market for Oporto, how has the food been received?
Well, I’m pleased to say West Australians absolutely love Portuguese chicken! Customers are currently traveling from far and wide – up to 30 minutes away – to visit our stores to get their fix of Oporto and enjoy our customer experience. A lot of them ask us if we’re going to open more stores closer to their homes.
Can you tell us more about yourself and how you became involved with the brand?
Sure, I’m originally from India and moved to Sydney in 2001 to study a Diploma in Accounting. My wife’s also my business partner and my nine-year old son already seems to know everything about Oporto! My first job was at Oporto and I never looked back.
I became an Oporto store manager in North Sydney for six years, then in 2007 I had the opportunity to purchase my own store in Canberra, so I grabbed it. By 2014, I owned four Oporto stores – three in Canberra and one in Sydney’s St Leonards. After selling those stores we moved to WA to expand the business. It was a challenge to open three new concept drive-thru stores but I’m really happy with how it’s gone.
Inspiration and plans
Who’s been your biggest source of encouragement?
My wife! She’s always supported me through hard times and encouraged me to follow my dreams. She’s also worked for Oporto since 2005. She understands the business and the daily challenges. If we have a difficult day she motivates me to keep going.
Has there been someone at Oporto who inspired you?
When I was working at Oporto in North Sydney, I always looked up to my employer, the store owner. He was such a hard worker. I’ve always wanted to be my own boss so it was inspiring to see what he achieved in such a short time.
What are your plans for the business over the next five years?
My goal is to expand the business here. In the next few years I’d really like to see the WA market responding to the brand. We are currently trialing a new customer experience in the stores and expect that to go well. Eventually I’d like to own five to six stores.
How do you see Oporto growing as a brand in WA?
I’d like to see at least 20 stores opening up in WA over the next five years and would welcome significant promotions and advertising to promote the stores locally to build brand awareness. It will also be important to continue good franchisee training so the customers are continually receiving the best experience.
Becoming Franchisee of the year sounds inspirational? Find out more about our current franchising opportunities and become a successful Oporto store owner – Keep reading!