Almost 40 years ago Abdul Thawer met Sadrudin Sidi and decided to give the hotel business a shot. Today their sons, Fayez and Alnoor handle the majority of the management in Tasico Hospitality.
In 1982 Abdul negotiated what he thought was a great deal and moved to Ottawa to manage the property. He spent six months learning the ropes. Fortunately, the hotel was profitable again within the year. It turned out he was pretty good at running the business. The property was the Town House Motor Hotel in downtown Ottawa. Today it is the Days Inn by Wynd- ham Ottawa Downtown. The partnership has continued to grow steadily and they currently fully own and manage properties in Ottawa, Toronto and Cincinnati.
Managing Director, Fayez Thawer says that working with Days Inn Canada has always been a pleasure. Irwin and team are always open to discuss challenges, celebrate successes and share their insights while being mindful of the particular circumstances of a franchisee. He adds that it feels more like a partnership than a fran- chise relationship.
Fayez didn’t expect to work in hospitality. He has a formal education in the fields of biology and computer science. His mother asked him to assist during the franchising of the property to a Days Inn and help to train the staff.
“Most of my parents’ staff had been there between 10-15 years and due to their age had difficulty learning how to operate the new computer-based system being installed by Wyndham. So I took time off work from the Department of National Defence to assist and the rest is history. I took a 40 per cent pay cut to remain and work for my father.”
There were a few bumps in the road especially as Fayez admits he thought he was a hot-shot 20-something and knew it all. Over time and with a whole lot of patience from his father he was eventually made a partner and director.
“I think the challenges that arise in working with family stem from gaps in communication and engaging in business ventures without being clear on priorities and desired outcomes. Thankfully we have been fortunate enough to avoid any seri- ous conflict in our time together.”
Fayez also feels that it is in the blood.
“I feel most comfortable in the owner- ship and management of hotels. There are other investments and business in other sectors, but the hospitality business remains our highest priority. We have given some thought to creating another branch of our management company to assist oth- ers in hospitality asset management, but have not initiated anything formal.”
Fayez says there is always the possibility of a third generation joining the business. His priority for now is ensuring that his kids have the best education possible. He is encouraging them to be entrepreneurs, but ultimately they will make their own life choices.
Fayez is grateful at having the opportu- nity to be a part of the company that his father cofounded. He considers himself very fortunate for having a foundation and launch pad for himself and future genera- tions to strive to improve.
“I was four years old when my father acquired the Town House Motor Hotel and spent a lot of time on the property growing up. In fact, my first job was in the parking lot at 12-years-old. To see the progress made is great, but to know the efforts and sacrifices made by my parents – immigrat- ing to Canada and working hard - reminds us of their struggle and is inspiring to me.”
In 2016 Fayez received the designation of Ottawa’s Top 40 Under 40, an award which recognizes up and coming business leaders in the Ottawa Region.
“It was very special (especially for my parents) to be nominated and eventually designated in Ottawa. A highlight was receiving the award at a wonderful gala dinner and having my immediate family and members of our management team there. At the end of the day it’s my team- mates and team members who really deserved to receive this award. Without them there would be no me.”
The following year Fayez was named one of Canada’s Top Entrepreneurs by Globe & Mail, TD Canada Trust and KPMG. It was very special to him and his family to be recognized and included within a group of entrepreneurs and pro- fessionals at that level.
Looking to the future Fayez and Tasico Hos- pitality look forward to continuing their growth in both Canada and the United States.