Dasarath Gurung

27 May 2015

After serving with the British Army in the Queen’s Ghurka Engineers for 14 years, Dasarath (Das) decided he was ready for a new challenge and wanted to make the move to “Civvy Street”.

Das explains “I decided that I did not want to work for someone else when I left the forces, but having no previous business experience I decided franchising would be the safest route for me. He continues, “I wanted the reassurance and support that you get from investing in a well-established franchise like NIC and thought this was my best route into starting my own business. After serving for over 14 years I had the opportunity to take redundancy, which provided me with a lump sum of money which I was able to use some of to start my franchise.”

Having worked through the ranks to Corporal, Das had gained many of the valuable skills and experience that could easily be transferred to setting up his own successful cleaning franchise. He explains: “I was used to managing people and delegating tasks so these skills have been very useful since setting up my business. Self-discipline and determination are key in running your own business and these are definitely attributes you obtain in the armed forces.” In a service industry like contract cleaning, people management is a key skill so ex-forces personnel like Das are ideally suited to this type of franchise.

Following a significant amount of time researching different franchising options, Das decided to invest with NIC in the £8.8 billion cleaning & support services industry. He saw the potential in this large and ever growing industry and realised how transferable his skills were to this business.

“Being in the Army doesn’t require you to make commercial decisions, but it does develop a real sense of self-discipline, which is essential to making any franchise work” states Das.

There are many similarities between franchising and the armed forces, they both rely on a tried and tested business model which is reproduced. In franchising (and in the Army) you go through a comprehensive training programme which provides you with the relevant knowledge and skills to successfully run your franchise (or serve your country). Das explains “The initial training programme and the on-going support I receive from NIC is excellent and has allowed me to get my business off to a great start.”

One of Das’ motivations for leaving the Armed Forces was to be able to spend more time with his family having spent most of his career in the forces splitting his time between life on the barracks and time with his family. Das explains “Owning your own business gives you a greater sense of flexibility to achieve the right work/life balance. The nine-five life can be very hard to adjust to after leaving the forces so the flexibility franchising provides enabled me to have a much smoother transition into civilian life.”

Das has been running his franchise since April 2013 and has got his business off to a flying start. He states “I have just gone into my second year of business and am now focussing on winning larger value contracts and developing further opportunities with my existing client base to continue to grow my business.”

Das says “The support I have received from NIC has been great, there is always someone at Head Office to help me with any issues I have and the sales support I receive ensures my business keeps growing through the Telesales activity generating sales leads and handling all the cold-calling for me. I am looking forward to a long and very successful future as an NIC franchisee.”

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