We had the good fortune of connecting with Kevin Syed and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kevin, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
My father was always entrepreneurial and so I grew up in an environment that encouraged innovation, and a mindset to always lead instead of follow. In many ways, at least in my youth, this was problematic because I found it difficult to maintain jobs for long periods. I was always looking for autonomy – I didn’t take directions very well.
Nonetheless, from a very young age I always had a passion for cars. I was able to take this passion and begin working in the field in gas stations and automotive shops in New York. Although my managers disliked my often contrarian attitude; they could not deny the level of customer experience and sales I was generating for them.
The automotive industry is unfortunately plagued with dishonesty. I experienced this first-hand in the field and I always envisioned myself changing the industry – finding a way to make a profitable and successful auto repair shop that holds firm to strong core moral and ethical standards. As soon as I gathered enough knowledge and skills to manage a shop of my own, I went for it.
I made a commitment to always do what was right, even when no one is watching. That is the definition of integrity and that is where Integrity 1st Automotive was born.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My business operated under different names in New York but as soon as I expanded to the Dallas Fort-Worth region, Integrity 1st Automotive was born, of which I am the founder and President of the organization.
Whether you’re looking for an oil change, need an expert to diagnose that check engine light, or require comprehensive engine repairs – our team will be there. We’ve become one of the highest rated and fastest growing automotive repair shops in the DFW Metroplex by dedicating ourselves to our craft and refusing to compromise on our core values.
Our mission is quite simple; to provide honest repair at a price that’s fair. To treat every person walking through our doors with the same intent and effort as they would their own mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters. Essentially we are in the relationships-business; but we just-so-happen to repair and maintain vehicles. In order to build relationships it requires an organization that takes the time to genuinely educate and guide clients with integrity, honesty, and transparency.
Aside from providing world-class service and ethics, Integrity 1st Automotive shops are fitted with dealership-level equipment and tools, gorgeous lobbies with a myriad of amenities, proudly ASE-Certified, and we back all our work with industry-leading warranties. The foundation and vision of the business is to be the undisputed choice for consumers.
When I was modelling the business and presenting to industry-colleagues and investors, I was always told this vision was unfeasible. While that did not stop me, I did understand the risk I was taking. It is with great pride that today I can say that the business is thriving, scaling into new markets, and we have yet to lay off a single employee even amid the pandemic! The bet I made to myself paid off; when you treat your employees and your clients right – that energy is expelled into the ecosystem and it’s contagious!
The truth is, even with all the bells and whistles mentioned we are human, and we may not always be perfect. However, you don’t measure an individual or organization on how they react when things go right…it’s how they react when things go wrong. We stand by our work, we are not shy to admit our faults, and we always exhaust all possible options to resolve concerns.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If it’s not already obvious, I am quite the gear head! I would certainly have them join me in a local car rally with Park Up Front and Lamborghini Club Dallas (known as Lambros amongst the group). After drooling over gorgeous cars, we would head to Legacy West and South Lake Square for shopping, food and entertainment! If they were visiting for a few more days, then we would head out to Palo Duro Canyon State Park to bask at the canyons in Amarillo. Lastly, if they enjoy the taste of adventure you cannot stay with me without spending a day or two in the hill country of Austin or a day-trip for some good ol’ fashioned hunting!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
While I have corporate partners who I rely on to keep our business running, there is no partner quite like my life partner – my wife. I genuinely beleive I would not be where I am today without that gorgeous woman; she has been my rock throughout this journey and has supported me through the ups, the downs.. and even the upside downs! It’s also important to give special recognition to my parents. I am grateful for the sacrifices they made to migrate to the United States of America in efforts to give their children a better life with the opportunities to pursue, as Thomas Jefferson puts it, “life, & liberty, & the pursuit of happiness”.
Other: Google BusinessImage Credits