Family affair

A Family Affair: Maaco Indianapolis

Mohammed Sayyah graduated from Tristate University with a degree in chemical engineering, a field he worked in for almost nine years. During this time, he realized that his real goal was to start a family business.

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(Left to right) Leana, Mohammed, Mona and Jay Sayyah

Sayyah and his brother investigated numerous franchise opportunities before settling on Maaco. They opened Maaco Indianapolis in 1988. Today, 34 years later, their operation is truly a family affair.

Sayyah’s entire family works to some extent in their family business. Son Jay, after completing a degree in business and computer science, works full time as an estimator and also takes care of their computer needs. His daughter, Leana, is also a full-time estimator, and his wife, Wafa, and their daughter, Mona, share reception duties while Mohammed oversees production.

“We get a lot of positive feedback from customers who think it’s nice that we can all be together as a family every day,” Sayyah said. “Some people ask if it presents a challenge, but everyone has their role and as long as we each stay in our lane, things are going very well. It is a blessing to be able to see and work alongside my children so much.

Sayyad said he also treats his 12 production employees like family — and several of them are, in fact, family.

“I have a very good team that has been with me for quite some time,” Sayyah said. “My paint technician and his wife both work here. And my oldest body technician and his son both work here too. Darrell has been with me for 23 years. He must like it here because he drives 1h45 every day to get to work!

After 34 years, the family aspect also extends to Sayyah’s customers.

“I have many clients who I fixed their first car for, and now I’m fixing their son’s or daughter’s first car,” Sayyah said. “It’s about doing a good job and treating people well. I had a woman come in for an estimate and then she told me she wasn’t happy that her husband had the car brought to her for an estimate, and that she was reluctant because she didn’t know not what to expect. But in the end she said we made it such a pleasant experience for her. She said everyone was so nice and made her feel comfortable. This type of feedback makes me very proud of my family and my team.

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