Many of the challenges that we face as a nation can be solved with a strong economy and a thriving job market. When local businesses and entrepreneurs succeed, it positively impacts our entire community. As a new tax reform plan is unveiled today, I will be starting a new feature called “Local Business Spotlight.” Every business has a story to tell and I think they deserve to be heard.
To start off, I’d like you to meet Nitin Patel, General Manager of Midas Auto Service Store in Diamond Bar.
When Nitin first moved to California in 1984 he was blown away by the constant stream of cars whizzing by on the 405 and 5. A Kenyan immigrant who spent most of his first eight years in America driving on four lane highways in West Virginia, California’s vast expanse of interstate freeways were a unique feature to get used to in his new home. Nitin didn’t know it at the time, but the seeds for a new career path had been planted.
Prior to the 2008 recession, Mr. Patel worked as a retail manager for large chains like Walmart, Adidas, and Toys R Us. Like many Americans who fell on hard times during the recession, Mr. Patel was laid off from his job in 2008. Given his background as a retail manager, Mr. Patel felt it was time to go ahead and pursue something on his own.
Looking to capitalize on California’s love of cars, Nitin Patel became the manager of Midas Auto Service Store in Diamond Bar in 2010. One of the biggest challenges to overcome since he started working for Midas Auto Service has been to change customers’ perceptions about what the business does. “A lot of people think of Midas and think it’s just an exhaust and brake business. But guess what, we’re a total car care company. Our biggest challenge has been to let the community know this.”
Like many other successful local businesses, Mr. Patel understands the relationship between business and community goes hand in hand. “I believe a business cannot exist without community, if you’re not involved with them in some form. Owning a business is not a give and take situation.” That’s why he emphasizes the need to take part in the community with actions like the sponsorship of the Diamond Ranch High School and Diamond Bar Women’s club.
Establishing an ethos of high quality work that places the customer first is as equally important to a business’ success as community involvement. “Our basic mission is to do each repair once and only once, do it correctly, and make sure customers have a reliable and safe vehicle.”
When asked about what type of policy decisions could help his business overcome challenges, Mr. Patel’s concern for his customers rings true again. “In California, the biggest thing I see is people have spent 40-50% of their budget on housing, by the time they’re left with a car repair bill, it’s like really? Consumers need more disposable income, either by giving corporations the relief that was promised so they can bring profits back, or by a personal tax cut. I’d like to see relief given to both businesses and the consumer.”
Nitin Patel is a hardworking and successful American we all can look up to. More than anything, he wants his customers to reap the benefits of him, “coming to work every day knowing I’m going to get you someplace safer.” I hope his story can inspire more to pursue their entrepreneurial spirit.
If you know a local business who you’d like to see featured in my Local Business Spotlight, click on the CONTACT ED tab on my website and email me with the name of a local business that has a great story to tell.