TCB: If I ask you who is Raza Pir for you? How would you express yourself?
CEO: Raza Pir Bhai is a normal human being with a little bit of a brain and fashion sense. Raza Pir bhai is somebody full of life and energy. That’s what I am.
TCB: I have heard a lot from everyone that you started from the scratch. What were the hurdles you faced during your journey?
CEO: I don’t call my journey difficult but rather it has been interesting. I would say if I get another chance to live I would like to repeat it again and have the same journey again. It started out from a very humbled level. I was doing BBA when I started working. Since then I have never look behind it’s been a journey going forward. It is all about hard work and passion. You know I started off from the grass root as a kitchen asst. I actually have worked on almost all the designations where one could work. From kitchen asst to kitchen supervisor became kitchen manager then trainee manager to G.M and from there it goes on. So, it is a lot of hard work and push and energy to do more with life. That’s what my journey has been. It has been thrill and rewarding at the same time.
TCB: What is KFC for you?
CEO: If I would say it is my first love it would offend my wife. So, I would say it is my second love because my first love is definitely my family but KFC is second home to me. KFC is something I really live every day. It motivates me to do more.
TCB: There is a project of KFC ‘Deaf Reach’ how did this idea come into being and what was your perspective behind it?
CEO: Our program for CSR is ‘Mitao Bhook’ so the deaf reach under that program is one aspect. I joined KFC during 2014 , KFC was facing some challenging time. So when I came in, I saw the opportunity to transforming this journey. When we started off, I decided that we will do the business with a purpose. A purpose, not only for earning money but for the common people too. It’s been 20 years people of every age is eating KFC. So we decided to walk with this community. This made us launch a CSR venture “Mitao Bhook” project. It is very close to my heart. Under its umbrella we launch different projects and mitao bhook is one of them. In Pakistan little has been done for the disable people. We don’t consider these normal people as a part of our community. So we thought why don’t we include them and make them our part. We don’t call them disable we call them able. We run Deaf Reach School and out of that school kids who passed the school are employed in our organization. So, their talent is not wasted. And we are happy that almost 160 deaf persons are working with us from all over Pakistan. Not only deaf but we are working with TSF school as well. We rebuilt their school and we are running it. KFC also made S.O.S village, an orphanage home. We did partnership with Aman ambulance as well, we gave ambulances to them. We did fund raising program with Shaukat Khanum. Mitao Bhook work for health, disability and education. It is fun when you find a purpose in your business beside making money and chicken. People working in KFC feel so passionate and happy about working for this project that while at work they can make an impact for the society.
TCB: Are there any upcoming projects in KFC?
CEO: There is alot happening in KFC. Since last 11 months we were able to open 10 to 11 outlets. We are opening 30 more outlets. We are expanding rapidly and going in small towns. There are a lot of job opportunities KFC is creating. We are also looking forward the formats of the restaurants. We will be opening more drive- through restaurants. We are also working on food innovation too. So, in coming years you will see some big campaigns regarding our food. We will be introducing add-ons and sandwiches and some other items too.
TCB: How does KFC stands out from other fast food chains?
CEO: There are two USP’s we have. One, we have a product that no one can do it I guarantee you. Other, food chains are selling freeze to fry products. Products that are available already in market you can make them easily at home. We don’t sell that. Every chicken is prepared in the store is fresh. No one can make chicken in the world like KFC does. The second thing KFC offers is “Value”. From the affordability point of view KFC have the best offerings in Pakistan. It’s like an everyday treat.
TCB: Who are your competitors and what competitions are you facing?
CEO: I won’t name them but there are so many foreign and local chains. Our competitions are not only with these burger chains but our competition is also with our own game. Yes to some extent you need to watch your competitors what are they doing, how much share they are taking. We do compete with them but we know the offerings we are providing nobody can do that. If you think these burger chains are threat to us they aren’t. They are very limited and we are giant and selling burgers to masses. Our challenge is to make our human resources discipline better. We are trying to work with people and working ethics through different programs and trainings. Our challenge is not with the market but with the people and their behavior who are working with us.
TCB: What was the turning point of your career?
CEO: Quitting Pizzahut was the turning point in my life. I spent 14 years in Pizza hut. I joint telecom Isp and then simultaneously I developed my own business too. It was the real turning point in my life, some good and some bad but well it is the part of my life.
TCB: What is your message to youth?
CEO: As a nation we need to watch our behavior, we need to be ethical and discipline and make decent choices. Our value has to be the prime factor in every choices we make in our life.
TCB: What is success to you?
CEO: It is fulfillment. When I say fulfillment what do I really mean by is a thing that gives you contentment is success. Success is not necessarily money or position but little things like going from one position to another position, managing your relationship with your employees, being a good husband or father even little things that give you contentment is a success according to me.