When Isaac Singer created a business model to speed up the production and distribution of his patented, widely-used sewing machines in the early 1850s, the world was first introduced to the newfound concept of franchising. By the late 1930s, with the advent of fast food restaurants, franchising began to pick up steam, and ever since, the number of franchised businesses steadily grew. Today, there are more than 800,000 franchise opportunities worldwide in the over $2 trillion industry.
Yet, after all these decades, it was only two years ago that the modern franchise world welcomed its first franchisee-sponsored and managed equity fund, NRD Capital. Boasting a seasoned team with more than 50 years of franchise experience—from single store operations to public company management—the company focuses on acquiring, positioning and growing small to medium-sized brands for accelerated success. In its first year, NRD Capital had already acquired two major franchises—first Frisch's Restaurants Inc., and, most recently, Fuzzy's Taco Shop.
Chances are, those familiar with the franchising world will recognize this franchisee fund's Founder and Managing Partner—Aziz Hashim. And there is also a good chance that those people will be quick to say that thanks to Hashim, multi-brand and multi-unit franchise development as we know it is being rewritten.
"Aziz Hashim is the embodiment of a shifting balance of power over the last few years that puts many multi-unit operators on equal footing with, and in many cases several rungs above, the franchisor whose stores they buy and whose rules they follow," wrote Beth Ewen, editor of the Franchise Times. "Hashim is a man in franchising to be reckoned with."
For Hashim, it all started with the founding of NRD Holdings in 1996, when he opened his first KFC restaurant in Atlanta. He soon opened a Subway next door. Fast forward three years, and he had built up a 10-unit empire, which he quickly grew to more than 60 units. But it was never just about building volume—diversification was also important to Hashim, and he eventually invested in various concepts including Checkers & Rally's, Popeye's, Domino's, and more.
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