First Ventures

After graduating from Glasgow University, Athif concentrated all his efforts on his work at his family’s successful cash and carry business, United Wholesale. From a very early age Athif has always been a part of the family business, working his way up from assistant to supervisor, floor manager to general manger and eventually operations controller. His hard work and dedication did not go unnoticed and at the age of 21 Athif was made Managing Director of United Wholesale Scotland Ltd, becoming the companies youngest ever MD.

This exciting new role was exactly what Athif had been working towards and was the perfect opportunity for him to put into practice all he had learned as well as his own ideas. When Athif took up the position of Managing Director the company was turning over £35 million in revenue annually. By his second year in the position, Athif and his team had managed to double this figure. Since becoming MD the company has continued to increase revenue each year ever since.

When asked about his success, Athif lists four important factors, they are:

  • A Strong Team
  • Focused Marketing
  • Good Customer Relations
  • Hard Work

When Athif took over as MD he brought to the company all he had learned through growing up submerged in the business, as well as new skills that he had gained at University. A big part of this was his natural talent and passion for creating focused marketing strategies. These strategies took the business in a new direction, opening it up to a wide range of new business.

 He also focused a lot of his and the companies time on strengthening relations with existing customers, as well as establishing and maintaining new customer relations. As he speaks of this time of growth, Athif talks highly of his team, praising them for their loyalty and dedication. Finally he states that none of this success would have been possible without a lot of hard work on the behalf of both his team and personally. Whilst most people in their early twenties were out partying, Athif became solely focused on two goals he still strives towards today, to support his family and grow the family business.

In 2009 Athif passed the mantle to his younger brother Asim, who took over as Managing Director. This allowed Athif to focus on expanding the Sarwar family’s business portfolio and provided him with time to focus on personal projects. 

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