On the Rise: Baker Ghanim
District manager | Ghanim Group dba Tire Store Service Center | Age: 35
What was your first job in the industry?
What attracted you to the industry?
My family was in the industry on a smaller scale, but the knowledge and connections were essential to current success.
What’s the biggest challenge you have faced in your career?
Maintaining control while growing.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
What’s your biggest accomplishment in the industry?
Built an in-house shop management system and opened eight locations within 10 years. The ninth location is under contract and will be opened before the end of the year.
Tell us about your current job and responsibilities. How do you spend your work day?
I am a district manager for my family’s business. My responsibilities vary from day to day but they typically consist of checking up on stores, working on future projects for the business and most importantly, working with customers first-hand. A typical work day for me starts with a morning meeting with our tech developer or one of our awesome suppliers. From there, I head to one of our eight locations where I help wherever help is needed. Throughout the rest of the day, you can find me scoping possible locations, meeting contractors and speaking to customers over the phone regarding any comments, questions or concerns they might have. Every customer that receives service from one of our stores receives a text message with my personal phone number just in case they have any comments or concerns.
What’s one thing you wish someone would have told you before you took your current job?
One thing I wish someone would have told me before taking on my position as district manager is that time management is key. As district manager my work is not limited to store hours.
Tell us about your family.
My wife, Ghada, and I have been married for 10 years. She has been very supportive of my work life, and even helps design every one of our tire stores. Ghada and I just recently had our beautiful daughter, Cela, this past August. With Cela in my life now, Ghada and I have found a new purpose in our life and we feel so blessed.
How do you recover from a bad or stressful day?
I recover from a bad or stressful day by reminding myself that my team is so passionate about our company. I give myself some time to call two or three of my team members to get a chance to hear about their day, as well as giving myself a chance to express the stressful parts of my day. Hearing their enthusiasm and their wins of the day truly helps me end the day on a positive note.
Name one thing you wish the average American better understood about the tire industry.
One thing everyone should know about the tire industry is that limiting yourself to one brand isn’t necessarily the best buying strategy. When it comes to tires, one brand might offer a great all-terrain tire, while another brand might offer a great premium touring tire. Tire experts will always be happy to help customers find the best tires for their needs.
If you could have lunch with a celebrity, who would it be, and why?
If I could have lunch with one celebrity, it would definitely be Simon Sinek. His team and customer communication approach is inspiring and practical. I have read his book, “Start With Why” and I’ve probably watched over 50 hours of his talks on YouTube.
Name a talent you wish you had.
I wish I could juggle. That would be awesome.
What’s the biggest issue facing the industry today?
The number of tire SKUs doesn’t stop growing. The independent tire dealer will have to use the best tools and practices to ensure the right tires are available at the right time without having to stock them. Communication is the key to increase availability; we must have the tools to predict and track the arrival time of tires. Additionally, it’s important to communicate with our customers regarding the status of tire deliveries, preferably automatically. A "pizza tracker" needs to be standard in our industry.
Tell us your biggest pet peeve.
My biggest pet peeve is finding brake cleaner cans out of place. I will randomly find them on top of lifts or machines and I simply put them back where they belong.
What’s the best book you’ve read lately?
I recently read “Traction” by Gino Wickman, and I always find myself reaching for it again. It offers a clear road map to running a successful company. There is nothing revolutionary in the book, it's just a step by step guide to build and grow a team but I think that’s what I like most about it.
If a tire dealer asked you for advice to find good employees, what would you suggest?
I would say that we should give opportunities to a wider scope of people. A great example is our friends at Virginia Tire who have been seeking women in their job posting. Find people that meet your core values and they will usually thrive.
What do you expect to be doing 20 years from now?
In 20 years, I would like to see myself reducing the time commitment I have set for myself for work. It can be difficult to find time for family and friends sometimes, and I’d like that to be different in 20 years.