Al Azadi is the founder and President of Omix-ADA, the world’s largest independent manufacturer of Jeep® parts and accessories. Inspired by the success of his father’s small Jeep dealership in his home country, Azadi came to America in 1984 at the age of 24, with big dreams and even bigger hopes of having a hand in the Jeep parts business.
After first attending college, Azadi started working in the auto parts industry where he gained both valuable experience and insight into his field. After saving, Azadi acquired enough money to start his own business in 1992, which he named Omix-ADA.
“I wanted the company name to be something unique and memorable so that it would stand out in the growing market,” said Azadi. After signing his first lease for a small warehouse, Azadi wasted no time in renovating the space, making it his own and preparing for a successful takeoff in his business.
“I bought some Jeep surplus parts and some top brand USA made products like Bendix, Federal Mogul, Morse, Wagner and Melling, and offered them to export customers overseas and Jeep retailers in the USA,” Azadi said. “I worked day and night convincing potential customers to give me a try.”
According to Azadi, his first break came from 4WD Hardware in Ohio. “They noticed how persistent I was, and they asked me for some hard to find parts,” said Azadi. “I got most of the listing for them, and asked for more, it all ended up working out in the end.”
After years of productively selling parts and accessories to the Jeep hobby through a dedicated network of distributors, Azadi realized that there was a need to preserve the Jeep legend. “There were many reasons to start the Jeep collection”, said Azadi. “Two were very important to me personally, one preserving the Jeep heritage, and second to have access to vehicles for continued product development.”
While preserving the Jeep heritage seems reasonable, many times trying to find original or near original vehicles is a time consuming task. Luckily, a breakthrough came when Azadi found a unique selection of historical vehicles available from Mark Smith, the founder of Jeep Jamboree USA. It was there that Azadi found the three early prototypes all in one location—a rare occurrence. After purchasing the initial vehicles it was only a matter of time before the collection grew. As the collection continues to grow, the engineering team at Omix-ADA has plenty of opportunities to continuously develop more products for both classic and new Jeep vehicles.
Azadi has been able to grow his business every year, adding hundreds of new products annually and using the proceeds to invest back into the company. He has effectively transformed his humble beginnings to a 230,000 square ft. facility with over 120 full time employees and 8 percent of his workforce operating as engineers.
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