Shams CharaniaChief People Officer
Shams’ QSR journey started when his parents immigrated to Atlanta, Georgia in the year 1999. At 14 years old and still in high school, he went to work at a Popeyes in Gainesville, GA on the weekends. Slowly but surely Shams learned every aspect of store operations and was soon named Manager of that franchise, running the restaurant on weekends in the owner’s absence.
In 2003, while attending Georgia State University in downtown Atlanta, Shams got an opportunity to work as an Assistant Manager at a Dunkin’ Donuts in Chamblee, Georgia. With his own brother being the Manager of the store, the situation worked out well for him and together the two brothers not only increased sales but were able to impress Dunkin’ corporate with their expertise in operating clean, high-quality and efficient restaurants.
In 2007, after graduating from Georgia State University with an accounting degree and having completed an internship at PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Shams knew corporate America was just not his cup of coffee. So, after months of considering his next venture, Shams finally got an opportunity to acquire 3 Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants together with his brother and one of the owners of the Popeyes that he used to work at during high school.
Fast forward 13 years and Shams still does not regret his decision to not pursue accounting as a career. “I enjoy every aspect of the restaurant business and as the Chief People Officer of the organization. I work on organizational strategy, finding new opportunities, overseeing construction and development, and making sure that qualified individuals in the organization have access to increased opportunities to succeed, opportunities like the one I was fortunate to obtain back in 2007. After all, we are in the PEOPLE business, and the continuous development of the PEOPLE in our organization is a hallmark of our operation.”
Shams also received a Masters of Business Administration degree from Georgia Tech in 2011 and sits on the Brand Advisory Council for Dunkin’ franchisees and is also a Board member of National DCP, a two+ billion dollar supply chain co-op procuring for and delivering goods and services to over 10,000 Dunkin restaurants.
“If you want to walk fast, walk alone. But if you want to walk far, walk together.”-Ratan Tata