Comptroller FRANCHOT, Senators ROSAPEPE and MUSE Praise AARA for Contributions to Maryland Economy

0
289

February 19, 2012

The 250-member strong Asian American Retailer’s Association (AARA) of Maryland is young, vibrant, and incredibly focused. They own and operate nearly 500 retail stores including Liquor Stores, Gas Stations, 7-11s, Subways, Dunkin Donuts, Quiznos, and others — providing more than 10,000 jobs.

By Sam Prasad Jillella – Special to MyDosti.Com

February 19, 2012

The 250-member strong Asian American Retailer’s Association (AARA) of Maryland is young, vibrant, and incredibly focused. They own and operate nearly 500 retail stores including Liquor Stores, Gas Stations, 7-11s, Subways, Dunkin Donuts, Quiznos, and others — providing more than 10,000 jobs.

By Sam Prasad Jillella – Special to MyDosti.Com

COLLEGE PARK, MD — At a time when many retail businesses have plummeted in the US, the ones run by Asian American’s in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Metro Washington have mostly done well, according to AARA. 

Founding Members of the Asian American Retailers Association (AARA) of Maryland: (Seated — Left to Right) Shrinath Desai (Steering Committee), Sanjay Choksi, Manish Desai (Steering Committee), Bimal Katwala (Secretary), Amrish Vyas (Spokesperson), Ashish Parikh (President), Dee Kapoor (Vice President), Brij Shah (Treasurer), Ankur Shah. (Standing — Left to Right)  Gaurang Parikh, Viral Soni, Pinal Talati, Bhavin Shah, Jaimin Shah, Rupen Parikh, Dharmesh Shah, Hitesh Mehta, Mehul Shah, Nimesh Shah, Parth Dave, Sunil Shah, Ankur Desai, Bobby Shah, Kalpesh Shah, Alpesh Shah.  Not in the picture are: Chirag Patel, Hitesh Patel, and Niraj Shah.

The brightest minds in business understand the essence of how a company makes money. These people have been described as having business acumen. A culture of business acumen helps accomplish their financial goals.

Business acumen training provides clarity and teaches employees how to leverage their leadership skills to strengthen a firm’s financial position.

Founded in 2010, AARA of Maryland promotes a strong sense of business acumen and financial management to raise its members’ business performance, including, adding revenue streams and effective marketing practices. Close to 250 members and their families gathered at the Clarion Inn on Saturday evening to celebrate their past and make plan for the future.

AARA-MD‘s founding members are mostly from the Indian state of Gujarat. These are hard working people, with business acumen perfected over centuries. These are people who have excelled in retail business in the most adverse conditions and circumstances. You go to East Africa, New Zealand, Australia, England, Canada, or US, Gujaratis have successfully run their businesses. These are tenacious business communities with last names — Shaw, Patel, Desai, Parikh, and Mehta.

AARA-MD has made business acumen training the foundation of its members’ development programs: What do you need to know about your company? What were your company’s sales during the last year? Are sales growing, declining, or flat? How profitable is your company? What is your company’s profit margin? What is your company’s cash position? How does your company compare to its competitors? If your employees don’t know the answers to these types of questions – they likely don’t know how to impact them.

AARA-MD is unique in the way that it is comprised of retailers as well as led by retailers and hence, well equipped to serve the key needs of member businesses. Spokesperson Amrish Vyas told MyDosti.Com that AARA-MDs 250 retailers own nearly 500 stores and possess 150 years of cumulative and collective experience in retail business management.

AARA-MD serves as the voice of its members and monitors legislative developments for them. “We need to provide our membership with a strong political voice,” says President Ashish Parikh. “Unless we small retailers project a collective voice, we could be easily sidelined by large retailers.”

Michelle Ha, Vice President: Korean American Grocer & Licensed Beverage Association of Maryland

AARA-MD provides a platform for its membership to share resources amongst them, a platform where they can exercise cumulative buying power to buy products at reasonably discounted prices, and an opportunity to network with other business leaders and eventually expand their resources.

Besides catering to business development, AARA-MD engages in many activities that nurture the social life of its members. The Annual Gala was both a business meeting as well as a social gathering. With food provided by Asian Fusion Restaurant, and music provided by DJ Saumill, it was a fun-filled evening.

Maryland’s elected officials — Comptroller Peter Franchot, Sen. Rosapepe, Finance Committee member Sen. Anthony Muse, Del. Guy Guzzone, Del. Pena-Melnyk, Howard County Councilwoman Courtney Watson, and Prince George’s County Councilwoman Mary Lehman — praised AARA-MD for its hard work and offered their support. 

Comptroller Peter Fronchot

In his keynote address, Peter Franchot said: “We want to help all of you ignite the genius of your own efforts…I advocate financial responsibility. I use my position as Comptroller to speak out in support of financial literacy… I also strive to use my office to advance measures that help you.”

Senator Anthony Muse

Speaking to the retailers, Sen. Muse said: “We are a diverse Maryland, but we are one Maryland. Whites, Blacks, Asians, Latinos — everyone should have a seat at the table. If everyone is doing good, we are all doing good. If one suffers, we all suffer. We need to remove road blocks…I see a lot of prospect for retailers in the whole state of Maryland. But, we need to turn some things around, and make tough decisions…”

In separate interviews, Franchot and Muse told MyDosti.Com that the Asian American retail businesses are vital to Maryland’s economy and must be strongly encouraged.