Founders to Know: Aziz Hashim, NRD Capital
Founders to Know: Aziz Hashim, NRD Capital

The NRD Capital founder discusses career changes and his path to success.

The concept of franchising was introduced to the U.S in the early 1850s and picked up in the late 1930s with the advent of fast food restaurants. Yet, after all these decades, it was only last year that the modern franchise world welcomed its first franchisee-sponsored and managed equity fund, NRD Capital. The fund’s seasoned management team and franchisee investors focus on acquiring and positioning brands for accelerated success.

Those familiar with the franchising world will recognize the fund’s founder, Aziz Hashim.

“Franchising has been good to me. I started with nothing,” Hashim told Franchise Times. “I have a passion for people going on the same path that I did. It gives me a lot of satisfaction.”

For Hashim, it all started with the founding of NRD Holdings in 1996, when he opened his first KFC restaurant in Atlanta. He soon opened a Subway next door. Fast forward three years and he had himself a 10-unit empire, which he quickly grew to more than 60.

In addition to volume, diversity was also important to Hashim, so he invested in various concepts including Checkers and Rally’s, Popeye’s, Subway, PetValu, and more.

“Hashim is a franchisee to be reckoned with,” Beth Ewen, Editor of Franchise Times wrote, “He’s the embodiment of a shifting balance of power over the last few years…”

Hashim rapidly ascended as one of the top 200 franchise operators in the U.S.; a leading multi-state, multi-brand and multi-national franchisee. In 2014, Nation’s Restaurant News named Hashim one of the ‘50 Most Powerful Leader’ in the foodservice industry. Hashim’s success was also noticed by the franchise industry, a sentiment highlighted by his recent election as the Chairman of the IFA.

"Aziz Hashim brings tremendous franchising and leadership experience to his new position that will help to ensure that IFA continues its mission to protect, promote and enhance franchising," said IFA Chairman Jon Luther, chairman of Dunkin' Brands and Arby's Restaurants, in a press release. "Aziz's passion for franchising and his desire to keep the industry on a path of economic growth and job creation in our country will serve all IFA members well."

As a well-respected leader among his peers, Hashim is also keen to share what he has learned over his 21 years in franchising. He is regularly invited to speak at Emory Law School, Georgia State University, and Harvard Law School. He has also been quoted in prestigious publications such as The Wall St. Journal, The Globe and Mail, Los Angeles Times and Washington Post.

After a many years as a successful multi-unit, multi-brand franchisee, Hashim is blossoming in his new role as Managing Partner of NRD Capital.

“There’s an inflection point where you have to make decisions about the way forward,” he said of his choice of changing careers.

Exciting times lay ahead for Hashim, who hopes to create a balance of power between franchisees and franchisors. There’s no doubt many are waiting to see if he will succeed.