From lonely immigrant to self-reliant success story
Introducing Sri Vinayagasundaram – Red Rooster Franchise Partner in Malaga, Northlands, Midvale and Ellenbrook (WA)
Sri, you’re from Sri Lanka – what was your initial experience as a new immigrant in Australia like?
I moved to Perth in 1998 as a university student. It was really difficult leaving my family in Sri Lanka as I knew no-one here – I had no friends, no family and nobody to support me during the hard times. However, it made me very strong and a strong believer in myself. It made me understand that I have full control over my decisions and has shaped me to be the person I am now. I tackle everything head on and always look for solutions – I never like to hear excuses.
So, I focus on getting things done rather than pondering difficulties. I now have a very good group of friends here and would never consider going back to Sri Lanka.
Do you have a background in the food industry?
Actually, when I was in Sri Lanka I had a sales job with a pharmaceutical company and my first job in Australia was a kitchen hand in a restaurant. After I finished my Bachelors of Business and Computer Networking Degrees I worked in the financial sector. I was a mortgage broker for Aussie Home Loans, a building society bank manager and a business banking manager at Westpac.
My wife and I had also owned a Muffin Break franchise. She was running it for 13 years but it got too hard to manage with our kids, so I left banking and took over the business. I also bought a café. However, In 2014 I decided I wanted to change direction and open a Red Rooster franchise. I haven’t looked back since.
What’s been your proudest moment with Red Rooster?
Being recognized as Franchise Partner of the Year in WA in our first year of business was a huge thrill. I also received a Recognition Award at one of the recent state meetings. It’s really great to see such high-level management being open to ideas and rewarding them with positive feedback so we can all work towards the same goal as partners.
Honest | Straight-forward | Energetic
Are you involved in any community initiatives?
We do have sponsorships with the local football club, and support awards for player of the year, as well as with the gymnastics club to show local initiative. I think it’s important to build the brand within your local community. It’s crucial to be recognized locally on top of all the advertising the brand does.
You worked in finance roles for quite a while – in what ways is being a RR franchisee a different experience to that?
I enjoyed my previous roles in finance managing high net value clients. The experience and training I received has been beneficial for me managing financial matters in my business. However, I wanted to work in a job that was more hands on. I liked the way Red Rooster is transparent about their plans and listens to any concerns I have. Also, I find the financial rewards are better – it’s as successful as you make it.
How do you see your business growing/developing in the next 5 years?
My focus is to support that plan CEO Nick Keenan has envisioned for the brand through my business, so we can work towards the same goals. I also want to ensure I keep mentoring my managers and other crew, so they can improve their skill set. I’m very much a forward-thinker as I believe everything else will fall in place eventually if you have a plan, and that’s also why I also like people to always be accountable.
Finally, what’s your favourite item on the menu?
I love the chilli slaw wrap with chicken with lots of chilli aioli. It’s delicious!
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