I Have Loved Cars Since my Childhood: Interview With the Head of Forward Auto Group LLC Rustam Bakhtiyarov
We have talked to Rustam Bakhtiyarov, Director of Forward Auto Group LLC, which is engaged in car rental in Florida, USA. Rustam has told how he manages to remain successful in his field, about his attitude to colleagues and clients, the conversation has touched on personal achievements, plans and expectations.
You have an impressive track record and it is easy to notice that almost all companies in your career are connected with the auto business. Is it an addiction or has it happen for other reasons?
I have loved cars since childhood, as a child I constantly played with cars and visualized myself next to them. It seems to have given some kind of start. Almost from the beginning of my career, all the companies I have worked for are connected with cars in one way or another. I can say that such experience today allows me to work in many areas related to car insurance, car sales or rental.
Tell us about your professional achievements. Are there any jobs or even companies worth mentioning separately?
My big passion since childhood has been competitive process. It is very important for me that any business I get down to is characterized by an exceptional order in all processes and friendly partnerships with everyone with whom I will interact. Whether it’s an employee of any rank, a customer, a supplier of goods, etc. For me, first of all, human relations are important and my motto is that everyone around us should benefit from our interactions! Of course, I demand this from all my partners and colleagues.
And the competitive spirit must be present in the team, because progress depends on it. Healthy competition in the team results in our leading positions in all directions. We have many awards and cups in all fields of activity. These are profile awards, which for many years in a row have been confirming the high professionalism of the team and, accordingly, my own level as a leader.
You are a member of various organizations and are a speaker at industry seminars and conferences. What experiences do you have to share most often? What generates the greatest interest of the audience?
I try to act more as an organizer of certain processes; I like to convey to others an inspiring idea that quickly brings results. Among all the events in which I have taken part, the most important is probably the annual conference of National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA). I have been trying not to miss it since 2017. This is an event that largely determines the main trends and tendencies in North America’s auto sales.
A few words about the awards received within the field of activity.
There are a lot of awards: these are diplomas and leading positions of industry ratings of independent automotive regulatory organizations and magazines, manufacturers, search networks (the latter evaluate customer satisfaction and therefore their high ratings can serve as a separate reason for pride). There are also a lot of gratitude from various state-owned companies with which we cooperate.
Tell us about the company Forward Auto, which head you currently are. Why, after so many years in sales, did you decide to start a car rental business?
To be engaged in car sales in the USA straight off the reel is a very costly financial matter, there is a different market, legislation, other expenses, etc. Money can be spent very quickly, and car rental is less expensive and allows you to stay afloat. Rental is a preparation for other more complex projects.
What qualities should a manager of your level have, given the saturation of the modern market with similar companies?
First of all, it is focus on customers, concern for people, we try to do everything so that they like it and they come back again and again. One of the indicators of our efficiency in the American market can be called a large percentage of repeat customers. For many of them it is convenient to rent a car in our company, there is a positive experience and customers come back again and again.
How difficult is it to run a company in Russia while constantly being in the USA?
In Russia, the company has a very good management staff, which has been showing high performance for a long time, customer satisfaction and partner-colleagues satisfaction does not drop.. and for me, as a leader, this is the main thing. So, the management is at the proper level.
You have a channel for drivers in Telegram. How and why was the idea born to create such an educational media or even a kind of guide to the USA?
There was an idea to create something that hadn’t been done yet and focus the content specifically on Russian-speaking travelers in the United States. I think it turned out to be an interesting project with a lot of useful and fascinating information. Our channel not only entertains and broadens horizons – it brings benefits.
Share your plans for the future. What would you like to achieve in few years?
I would like to become even better professionally – if you like what you do, then you always have something to strive for.
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