When Fariz Turkmani arrived at John F. Kennedy Airport in long island metropolis in 1979, he spoke no English., had no change in his pocket to name a friend and didn’t even comprehend how to dial an American mobile quantity. But the kindness of strangers made the change.
“I put a dollar in my hand and confirmed people like I needed to smash it,” recalled Turkmani of that moment. “A janitor on the airport saw me and gave me the exchange and walked me to the cell.”
Today, Turkmani’s business revolves round taking people to the airport.
Markham City Limos, with an office on the 2d ground of the Overland Park Marriott hotel, has a 15-vehicle fleet and eight personnel who transport valued clientele across the metropolitan environment. The fleet includes Lincoln town vehicles, a few stretch limousines, small passenger buses and a brand new Mercedes bus
“We supply transportation to the airport, community transit to wearing routine — anything else that has to do with transportation,” Turkmani noted.
He talked about sixty five % of Markham Limo’s company comes from corporate clients, including native places of work of J.P. Morgan and Teva pharmaceuticals. The remainder of enterprise comes from particular person customers for airport trips, weddings and proms. Turkmani pointed out everything is accomplished with the aid of appointment; prices are per car, now not per person.
Turkmani never imagined working a limo and transit business when he began planning to leave his domestic in Damascus, Syria, at the age of 21.
“a chum of mine become here and we might write each other, and that i expressed a want to come back to the states and he provided help,” Turkmani talked about. He applied to attend Donnelly college in Kansas city, Kan., bought accredited and moved right here.
Q: How did you end up with you personal limo service business?
Turkmani’s first full company venture changed into opening a restaurant in Lenexa, that includes American and core japanese food.
“It changed into speculated to do neatly, however unemployment turned into low and i couldn’t locate individuals to work, so I shut it down,” Turkmani referred to.
Married and desiring to aid his family, Turkmani became to a transportation company and began working as a driver.
“The pay turned into very unhealthy. … so I determined all started to delivery my business,” he talked about.
while working for the transportation company, Turkmani shared his dream for his personal business with considered one of his typical riders, the executive government of a local business.
“He asked me what i used to be pondering of doing to make ends meet and i referred to buying my own vehicle and beginning my business,” Turkmani observed. “He advised me, ‘in case you do, i’ll send you all my enterprise,’ and he did and helped me with a few small loans.”
In 1996, Turkmani went into business as Tess Limo, named after his daughter.
“Tess turned into born in 1996 and correct after that I fashioned the enterprise,” he mentioned. “I couldn’t believe of an improved name.… She’s been my first rate good fortune allure.”
using a credit card to purchase his first car, Turkmani operated from home and used his cellphone number to e-book shoppers. Demand grew straight away; inside six months, he delivered another car and driver. Later he moved workplaces into the Marriott.
Markham Limo skilled constant boom primarily by using note of mouth and going door-to-door at environment groups leaving business playing cards. these days, Turkmani leaves many of the driving to his personnel but will take his turn. His 22-yr-historic son occasionally helps out.
Q: Is there plenty competitors on your trade?
“competitors is terribly potent,” Turkmani stated. “you have huge and small businesses and now you’ve got Uber…. it is cutting enterprise for loads of people … (however) Uber can’t provide the kind of first class provider we supply.”
“My drivers put on a black go well with, white shirt and a tie. We determine on the flights forward of time and ensure our driver is there before they land, I coach my drivers to be there 10 minutes before the pickup,” he referred to. “We want to make it as pleasurable and straightforward as viable.”
Q: Now an American citizen, does Turkmani have any suggestions for other immigrants with goals of owning a business?
“there is nothing like being your personal boss,” he pointed out. “it will probably now not occur as speedy you consider it’s going to, but when you have got the initiative to beginning your own company, don’t let any person cease you.”