Glen Gomes built his export business almost single-handedly and one used-tire at a time
The idea back in the early 90s was to supply reusable tires to a family-owned garage back in Antigua. Building it into one of Quebec’s biggest used-tires exporting companies with a workforce of about 10 people calls for a special type of effort.
Much of it was built on the entrepreneurial drive, work attitude and dogged determination of Glen Gomes, who rode his passion for all things automobiles into this highly successful business with close to $2 Million in sales.
His company, Exportation Multi Tires distances itself from others by providing garages and other outlets in the Caribbean, Central America and North America with used tires that are of the highest quality at competitive prices.
They have also been making inroads into extended avenues of the industry, the most significant of which has been its acquisition of the distribution rights for the Daewoo Truck Tires popular Korean brand that’s now available in Quebec.
At the same time Exportation Multi Tires has been steadily carving out a niche in the recycling industry in Quebec, a role it is positioning itself to expand going forward.
At a recent sit-down at our offices, Gomes told the CONTACT that the future is wide open for the company and plans to continue to build on what brought him success in the first place.
“Service,” says the Antiguan-born entrepreneur. “With every transaction, I strive to offer exceptional service, because the tire business is no different from bread shops. They are at every corner. We stand out because of the service that comes with doing business with us.”
They operate out of a massive warehouse in the city’s east end, where the tires are stored and shipped to a rapidly expanding client list. Gomes also has a crew on hand to offer tire replacement services to the many truckers that are working out of the nearby industrial area together with a 24-7 road service crew.
“The demands of the business means that I have to maintain a steady presence almost everyday… if I cannot be there, then someone else must be available to serve our clients,” says the self-described go-getter, who works well over 60 hours per week.
In Montreal since 1976, Gomes, a lifelong lover of cars, relishes the idea of being able to make a living working in the automotive industry.
He says the road to now has been long and winding.
He worked his way up from a managerial position at McDonald’s to a dream job at an electronics store. (He talked about being fired after the store manager saw the late model sports car that Gomes drove.)
“After that incident I decided to take matters into my own hands and went back to Antigua and set up the business to export tires to one of my relatives.”
He talked about the challenges of getting it off the ground and the many times people said “no” to him as he solicited their used tires, but he persisted.
In the end he developed a loyal chain of suppliers who came to be impressed by his determination, tenacity and commitment to his business.
“There’s a lot that goes into building a successful business,” Gomes told the CONTACT. “But I think the most important thing is to develop a set of good habits and business practices and stick to them… make them the things you do everyday.”
Gomes is also quick to lay the bulk of his success and that of the business at the feet of his wife, Sharon, whom he described as a pillar of support for more than 29 years, and his two daughters Kara and Mica, both of whom accompanied him as he drove across the city collecting used tires in the early days.
Community involvement is also big on his list of priorities as seen in his efforts during the recent fund-raising project to assist hurricane victims last year when he helped to organize and send three 20-foot containers to the people of Barbuda, whose island was completely devastated by Hurricane Irma this past summer.
Gomes is also an avid soccer player who came through the ranks of the NDG Soccer Association before establishing himself in the Black League as a member of the NDG Warriors, and then on the semi- professional team Ramblers. He also played on the Antigua national soccer team for a year or two.
Today, Gomes continues to play ball with Hilltoppers Sports and Cultural Club while organizing annual trips with a touring team, The X-Men United Academy, of which he is the principal sponsor.
Looking forward, Gomes says he’s excited about the prospects for his business: foreseeing expansion of the used tire business to other Caribbean islands and finding a way to increase the market shares of Daewoo Truck Tires in Quebec.
But just as important, he says, is his intention to build on the recycle work that he has been doing in Quebec by taking tried-and-proven technology to Antigua to assist in salvaging landfills and working to protect the environment of his homeland.
What might appear to be lofty aspirations for others is just the next step in the master plan for Gomes, a thriving go-getter who continues to strive to develop the “good habits” that foster success.
Check out Exportation Multi Tires at www.exportationmultitires.com