Atul was born in India and came to the UK after graduating in India. One of the reasons why he came to the UK was so that he could pursue his passion to become an entrepreneur.
Atul was always ambitious and determined to succeed in business. He wanted to maintain the values and ethics that had been instilled in him since childhood. The foundation of these ethics and values are about helping others and supporting the community.
In 2002, after working on a number of business ventures, Atul had the opportunity to apply to become a McDonald’s franchisee. He saw this as a huge opportunity to be part of an iconic brand that was known for its quality and service. After a rigorous selection process, Atul embarked on a nine-month training programme, equipping him with the knowledge and practical skills to run and manage a restaurant.
Atul opens his first McDonald’s restaurant
In 2003, Atul established his first McDonald’s franchise in Southall. Today, he is one of the UK’s most successful franchise entrepreneurs and runs a 31 strong restaurant group across North and West London through his company Appt Corporation Ltd.
Atul employs over 2600 staff and believes they, along with his 18 million annual customers, are the bedrock of his business. He places a strong emphasis on the development and training of his staff and opened a state-of-the-art training centre, which is also an accredited examination centre, enabling his employees to gain workplace skills and nationally recognised qualifications that are equivalent to GCSEs and A-levels, including a Level 2 Apprenticeship in Multi-Skilled Hospitality.
Atul’s commitment to employee development and customer service form the foundation of his business, and he prides himself in ensuring that every customer experiences quality service. For Atul, focusing on delivering exceptional customer service is not just his responsibility, but the responsibility of everyone within the organisation.
Giving back to the community
Atul has maintained his ethics and values and believes that operating a business and being socially responsible are inextricably linked. As a result, he dedicates a significant amount of his personal time to support community and charity groups. One of the charity’s close to Atul’s heart is Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC), which provides free ‘home away from home’ accommodation at hospitals across the UK, enabling families to stay close to their child and maintain a degree of normal family life. Atul’s restaurants donate a percentage of their sales to the charity each year.
Atul’s community work extends to supporting a number of youth football teams to nurture local football talent. In addition, he cares a great deal about the environment where his restaurants operate and, with his staff, carries out a number of clean-up campaigns to help enhance the local environment. Through his relationships with a number of education business partnerships, Atul is also able to support education projects at local schools. He is extremely proud to be able to give something back to the community and, as a result, is held in high regard by many including the local police, schools and charities.
Atul also supports budding entrepreneurs and has delivered speeches about his experience of setting up and running a business at a number of venues including the British Library, Cranfield University, Kings College London and Deloitte.
In spite of what he has already achieved, Atul has no intention of slowing down. He is always looking for the next project, whether that is to continue expanding his business, becoming involved in a new local initiative, or helping to fundraise for one of his charities. One thing is for sure: Atul will continue to inspire those around him.