As managing director and co-owner of Destination Auto Group, Adil Ahamed has led his family’s automotive business through a major organizational restructuring, increased revenues by 63% and vehicle sales by 42% in 2018, guided the build-out and opening of two new dealerships and hiked staff from 275 to 410.
“My greatest career achievement was setting in place a cultural paradigm shift in our organization to attract talent, which led to the professionalization of our management team and a greater focus on innovation and open communication,” said Ahamed.
With his National Automobile Dealers Association general manager and finance training, Ahamed and his team have integrated numerous innovations at the award-winning five-dealership auto group. This includes implementing the Predictive Index tool to identify the right people for the right roles, two proprietary sales foundation training and sales manager training courses, and a key performance indicator-based meeting guide for managers.
“Generally, people don’t like going to car dealerships,” he said. “My greatest passion is finding ways to create better value for our guests by redefining the car buying and servicing experience.”
Before joining Destination in 2012, Ahamed gained experience working in microfinance for four years with the Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance in Switzerland and Tajikistan and managing projects in other countries. He spent two years in the equities operations division at Goldman Sachs in New York.
“I believed that a general business perspective would best prepare me to work alongside automotive industry professionals to challenge traditional thinking, introduce new ideas and drive sustainable change that would best address the fast-changing needs of our clientele,” he said.
A fellow of the Aga Khan Foundation Canada’s International Microfinance and Microenterprise program and an executive member of the Young Presidents Organization B.C. chapter, Ahamed also serves on several boards and committees, including as a board member for Lift Philanthropy Partners.
Birthplace: Long Beach, California
Where you live now: North Vancouver
Highest level of education: MBA, finance and real estate, Columbia Business School; BA, economics, Cornell University
Currently reading: The Messy Middle: Finding Your Way Through the Hardest and Most Crucial Part of Any Bold Venture by Scott Belsky; and Navy SEAL Mental Toughness: A Guide to Developing an Unbeatable Mind by Chris Lambertsen
Currently listening to: Audiobooks: Start with Why by Simon Sinek; and Trillion Dollar Coach: The Leadership Playbook of Silicon Valley’s Bill Campbell by Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg and Alan Eagle. Music: Coldplay and Wu-Tang Clan
When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: Doctor. My mother, grandmother and at least eight other relatives are doctors
Profession you would most like to try: An architect in New York
Toughest business or professional decision: Turning down an offer at Deutsche Bank in New York to work in its real estate banking group and returning to Vancouver to join the family business
Advice you would give the younger you: Acknowledge that there are only 24 hours in the day, express gratitude to your colleagues more often, respect your family and read more books
What’s left to do: Raise my two young boys (and third on the way in 2020) with my incredibly talented wife, grow our business and enable the professional growth of my Destination colleagues, disrupt the auto industry and be a better Canadian and global citizen
Join us to celebrate the 2019 Forty under 40 Awards on January 30, 2020, at the Westin Bayshore. For tickets and event information visit https://www.biv.com/forty-under-40