ALY JIWANI: FOLLOWING THE ‘OPEN ROAD’ TO SUCCESS
For Aly Jiwani, what started as a summer job, turned into a full-time, highly fulfilling career. Originally going to university for pre-med, Aly took on a sales position at a local Honda dealership, and nineteen years later, he is still in the car business. Perhaps it was inevitable, as it’s in the blood.
“I’m the third generation in the car business,” he explains. “I always loved vehicles, so I figured what can be better as a summer job than being paid and talking about cars? Even if I didn’t make a sale, I still loved talking with customers about cars. It felt utterly natural to me; I just enjoyed it so much. I still don’t look at it as a job.”
Within two months at the Honda dealership, Aly became the top salesperson.
“I went to the National awards ceremony in 2000,” he recalls, “and I was able to see some of the top reps in the country there, and I thought to myself what are they doing that I’m not doing?”
He decided to focus entirely on the business, and in 2001, became the top Honda salesperson in Canada. “Once I was in that number one spot, I thought that was incredible and perhaps make it as a career.”
It meant hard work, dedication and developing and cultivating relationships with customers built on trust and integrity. Nineteen years in the car business has taught Aly how important such relationships are. “I have clients,” he muses, “that will only come to me to buy a vehicle because of the trust built between us. And from word of mouth, I get other clients contacting me, wanting to work with me on the purchase of their vehicle.”
As a General Manger with OpenRoad, Aly now has five stores he has hand in overseeing; all of which are part of the OpenRoad Auto Group in Langley: MINI Langley, Porsche Centre Langley, OpenRoad Infiniti, BMW Langley, and OpenRoad Exotics. All of the showrooms are within the same block and walking distance from each other. Salespeople and other staff work collaboratively with each other to offer a superior buying experience.
OpenRoad Auto Group was formed in 2000 and has grown to be one of the largest and fastest growing automotive retail groups in Canada. There are seventeen OpenRoad Locations within Western Canada. OpenRoad Auto Group has over 950+ Associates that represent 15 new car brands and hundreds of used vehicles. Aly has been with OpenRoad since 2004, starting on as a salesperson and moving his way up to his current position as a General Manager.
He describes the OpenRoad group as a family. “Many of us have been here for years and years, there is a sense of household,” he explains. “And OpenRoad has won many awards for being one of the best-managed companies, and one of the best employers to work for.”
Aly credits OpenRoad’s President/Chief Executive Officer, Christian Chia, for creating such an atmosphere that brings out the best in its employees and provides prospective buyers with an exceptional buying experience.
Being a top company in the automotive industry means adjusting with the times. “When I started, people weren’t using the Internet to research vehicles,” he recalls. “Clients have done their homework, so when they have any questions we need to be prepared to answer them. Our job is to make OpenRoad and the buying experience very customer-centric.” And apparently, that philosophy extends beyond highly-skilled and knowledgeable staff. From beautiful showrooms to spaces that maximize natural lighting; from comfortable furniture to vast selection of beverages—OpenRoad provides a superior client experience. The customer experience isn’t simply about the buying or visiting the dealership. New car owners’ nights and Club OpenRoad loyalty programs and events are some of the other ways buyers can get to know more about their vehicles and the OpenRoad team. “Open to a Better Way” is OpenRoad’s motto.
OpenRoad very much sees itself as a member of the community that believes in actively participating and doing its part to support community members. “We like to give back to the community,” Aly explains. “That philosophy started right from the beginning when we first opened in Langley. We tried to hire as many residents from within the city and the Fraser Valley as possible, to contribute to the local community.” OpenRoad can also often be found at local sporting events and cultural festivals. And OpenRoad is a sponsor of the Make-a-Wish Foundation, which grants wishes for children who are seriously ill or have a life-threatening health condition. On average, OpenRoad grants 6 to 8 wishes per year.
For more information on OpenRoad, including its Langley locations as well as locations throughout the Lower Mainland, visit their website at openroadautogroup.com. Aly can be reached by email at aly.Jiwani@openroadautogroup.com