At just 30 and 29 years old, Hars and Tarn Jhaj have been able to accomplish quite a lot for themselves and their family-owned company, West-Can Auto Parts in terms of business expansion, awards and customer loyalty – a feat which not many people their age can pull off.
With more than 30 years of experience, not only did West-Can master the trade, but also contributed to the industry’s advancement. In the early 1980’s, they opened the doors to their first establishment in Quesnel, BC. Its success laid down the foundation for becoming industry leaders.
West-Can is a family-operated franchise with 11 thriving locations. The expertise at West-Can Auto Parts fuels its status as a dominant auto parts wholesaler and retailer, leading in the aftermarket automotive parts, tools, industrial equipment, safety supplies and accessories.
Currently, West-Can is part of the Uni-Select network which is comprised of more than 500 stores and 16 distribution centres across Canada, contributing to a growing empire to help service all automotive and related needs.
Holding a degree in psychology from Simon Fraser University, Hars finds, this helped him excel in his work. “I’m able to understand what customers want, and what my team wants. You need to put yourself in customer’s
shoes to see what their needs are.”
For Hars and Tarn, customers are like family – a virtue that is followed and practised by each employee at West-Can. “We want to make our customers happy at the end of the day,” emphasizes Hars.
This virtue probably arises from the fact that family has played an integral role in the success of West-Can. The franchise has evolved through the family’s help. It started with Hars’s dad and his uncles, who then passed it down to their kids – the latter’s hard work and dedication has further led to the company’s expansion. “Family is a huge thing for us – that’s what makes us different from others. Our business is all about family.”
Both brothers make sure that they are well-aware about the latest techniques and advancements in the market. “To stay competitive in our industry we have to keep up with the latest technological advancement and new designs. We educate our customers about the new trends and developments with in-house workshops and online training programs,” says Tarn.
One can guess the success and popularity of West-Can stores by the number of awards it has received – Langley’s Readers Choice Award, Langley Loafers Community Award and Uni-Select’s Store of the Year, to name a few. Hars
Jhaj, himself, got the Langley’s Young Entrepreneur Award for being able to grow a business successfully at such a young age. “These awards are huge. For me personally, it shows that hard work does pay off. When I won the Young Entrepreneur Award, it assured me that somebody is actually seeing my results out there. It was nice to see that people actually appreciated me,” expresses Hars.
Young entrepreneurs usually focus only on the success and growth of the company. But for both brothers, charity is equally important. West-Can helps the Salvation Army with their Back-To-School Backpack Program. “We provide school essentials like paper, pencils etc. for kids who can’t afford it. We try and get our customers to donate and help out.” The company also works with Shooting for Hope, an India-based organization created by their younger sister Ish that gives young girls from rural communities a chance to enhance their lives through soccer. “As successful as we are, we want to give back to the community,” the brothers sum up.
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