In this interview between Kavita and Monarch, discover the journey and the vision behind Monarch as we delve into their world of security and service
Founded in 2020, Monarch is the brainchild of Phil and Farhaan, two dynamic individuals with diverse backgrounds in the security industry. Phil’s journey began in security at a distribution centre, propelling him into roles ranging from detainee custody escort officer to close protection specialist. Farhaan, on the other hand, combined his studies in business management with running his family’s security company, delving into various business ventures along the way. The collaboration of these two visionary individuals resulted in the birth of Monarch, a company dedicated to providing comprehensive security solutions. In a candid interview with Kavita, they share the motivating factors behind their venture, the challenges they faced, and the rewarding aspects of running Monarch. They also shed light on their decision to choose the Oberoi Business Hub as their operational base and the advantages it has brought to their growing business.
Kavita: Could you each share a bit about your individual backgrounds?
Phil: “After college, I began my career working full-time in security at a distribution centre. Due to my dedication and hard work, I was quickly promoted to an area manager position at the age of 18, where I covered stores and sites, gaining a vast amount of valuable experience. Eventually, I received an incredible opportunity to work on a home office contract for the border agency and immigration as a detainee custody escort officer. During my off-duty hours, I kept myself busy by taking up shifts on nightclub doors. Afterwards, I completed a close protection course and pursued a career in this after leaving the immigration field. Over time, I built up extensive experience in this sector and developed a great network of clients.”
Farhaan: “While studying business management at the University of Manchester, I also played an active role in running our family-owned security company. Our company supplied security services to various clubs and bars in and around Derbyshire. Leveraging my experience and knowledge in business, I ventured into creating businesses of my own and successfully sold them once they were established.”
Kavita: When was Monarch established, and what exactly does Monarch do?
Phil: “We founded Monarch in 2020, amid the challenges of the Covid pandemic. Monarch specialises in comprehensive security solutions, drawing upon the extensive knowledge and expertise we have gained from our experiences in the industry.”
Farhaan: “Our services encompass a wide range of security-related areas, including close protection, static/manned guarding, retail security, CCTV monitoring, private investigation, door supervisors, event security/stewarding, and much more. Whatever security-related queries our clients may have, we are well-equipped to cater to their needs”
Kavita: What motivated and inspired you to start Monarch?
Phil: “During the pandemic, we noticed a significant surge in demand for security officers, particularly at retail stores and supermarkets where there was a need to control social distancing and manage access and egress. Additionally, Covid testing sites required security personnel to ensure smooth operations. At the same time, many companies were forced to furlough their staff due to the lack of hours and work. Individually, we were approached by multiple businesses seeking our assistance to cover their stores and sites during this challenging time.”
Farhaan: “Recognising the opportunity to meet this growing demand while also providing job opportunities to individuals affected by furlough, we saw the potential and decided to take the leap by establishing Monarch.”
Kavita: What were the biggest challenges you faced in setting up your own business?
Phil: “One of the most significant challenges we encountered when setting up Monarch was operating in an industry with narrow profit margins and facing fierce competition. It’s a forever competitive sector, and there will always be companies offering lower hourly rates than ours. However, we firmly believe in the adage, “You pay for what you get.” The quality of our staff and the services we provide speak for themselves, but communicating this value to new clients, especially those who are budget-conscious, can be difficult at times.”
Farhaan: “Despite the challenges, we let our actions and results do the talking, demonstrating the superiority of our services through the satisfaction of our clients.”
Kavita: What advice would you give to others looking to set up their own business?
Phil: “Never cut corners, remain loyal and honest to staff and clients. Be consistent, punctual, and study your industry thoroughly.”
Farhaan: “Having passion and enjoyment in your work are vital for success.”
Kavita: What do you find the most rewarding and challenging about running Monarch?
Phil and Farhaan: “The most rewarding aspect of running Monarch is knowing that we provide employment opportunities for over 180 staff members, both on PAYE and as self-employed individuals. It brings us great satisfaction to contribute to their livelihoods and support their careers.
However, with this responsibility, the most challenging part is the pressure to ensure a consistent flow of work for our team. We understand the importance of keeping them gainfully employed and not letting them down, which can be a significant source of pressure for us as business owners. Nevertheless, we remain committed to overcoming these challenges and maintaining a stable and fulfilling work environment for our dedicated staff.”
Kavita: You decided to take your initial office with the Oberoi Business Hub during the Covid pandemic, which was undoubtedly a risky time for a new setup to invest in an office. What led you to make that choice?
Phil: “As our business rapidly expanded, we urgently needed office space, and the Oberoi Business Hub became an enticing option. The prime attraction was its strategic location, which was crucial for accommodating our VIP clients. Upon visiting the Business Hub, we were impressed by the professionalism and cleanliness of the offices. The additional services offered, such as call answering and meeting rooms, proved to be invaluable for our operations.”
Farhaan: “The Oberoi Business Hub presented an appealing opportunity for further growth, which we have already experienced by moving to a larger office space as our business continues to flourish.”
Kavita: Can you share some of the benefits of being based at the Oberoi Business Hub?
Phil: “As a business based at the Oberoi Business Hub, we enjoy a multitude of benefits. The diverse community of businesses here provides ample networking opportunities and fosters valuable relationships. The professional environment, along with added services and flexible office spaces, ensures an efficient and cost-effective setup for our operations. Moreover, the central location offers convenience to both clients and employees, while the collaborative atmosphere sparks creativity and idea-sharing.”
Farhaan: “One aspect we truly value is the flexibility to upgrade to a larger office space at any time during our contract. This adaptability has proved invaluable, and we have already taken advantage of this opportunity as our business continues to grow. Overall, being at the Oberoi Business Hub has been instrumental in supporting our business needs and cultivating a dynamic and thriving workspace.”
Kavita: Can you share any anecdotes or stories about how being based at the Oberoi Business hub has helped you to retain or win new clients?
Phil: “One notable anecdote was when we moved to the Business Hub and issued a press release to announce our presence. Shortly after, we secured a significant contract with a unit that held designer clothing, conveniently located very close to our office. The central and prime location of the Business Hub proved to be a key advantage, as it is surrounded by numerous businesses and companies. This proximity makes it easier for potential clients to find and approach us, creating a seamless connection between our services and their needs.”
Farhaan: “The accessibility and exposure provided by the Business Hub played a crucial role in attracting this particular client and has continued to help us attract other clients who appreciate our close proximity and excellent services.”