This is the Chai Pe Charcha story of 1998. Thirty-two-year-old Sanjay Thakker was having a chat with his young friends and one of them announced that Honda was looking for a dealer in Ahmedabad. They decided to give it a try and Thakker jumped at the idea. That was how the first shop of Landmark Cars Limited was set up at New York Tower in 1998 in Ahmedabad.
“Looking back, it’s with immense happiness that we realise that the gamble worked as today we have emerged as a large, professional setup with 112 outlets across 32 cities,” says Thakker. “The Japanese appreciated the young blood and their courage and helped us bring in a lot of professionalism,” he says.
His father passed away when Sanjay was 11 years old and he grew up in an extended family which proved to be very helpful. Both sides of the family come from business backgrounds, and there were early conversations about growing the family business or venturing into new areas. That left a lasting impression and sowed the thoughts of becoming an entrepreneur in Thakker’s mind. He was just 17 years old when he started working. He set up his first office in a small room in Sewri in Central Mumbai from where the family managed collection of rent and getting encroachers out of their properties.