When Alok Yadav moved to the UK from India, he barely spoke a lick of English.
Other than basic phrases like “thank you” and “please,” the young entrepreneur was at a loss for words — literally — until he landed a janitor job at Domino’s.
Now, he runs his own store.
Yadav, 36, was eager to climb the corporate ladder when he arrived in 2007, spending hours practicing his pronunciation of common pie toppings like “chicken,” “pineapple” and “anchovies.”
Finally, he nailed the phrase, “Thank you for choosing Domino’s pizza, my name is Alok, how can I help?”
“I knew I had to learn the language quickly if I wanted to progress, but it was really hard,” the Delhi native told Jam Press. “It was tricky when someone ordered a ‘Meatilicious’ pizza because I couldn’t say it.”
Growing up, he had only heard of onions and tomatoes, he added, so these foreign toppings were more difficult to master.
“My colleagues were great in helping me learn, and I was determined to do it, as I really enjoyed working in Domino’s,” he said. “We spent hours in the flat above the shop going through the phone greeting and working on the toppings.”
He quickly saw the fruits of his labor, rising from team member to supervisor to store manager in a year, before running the show at the Portsmouth North End Domino’s branch in Hampshire.
As cheesy as it sounds, he also met his partner, Rachel, at Domino’s when they worked at the Farnham branch.
His latest achievement is joining the company’s entrepreneurial program, Homegrown Heroes, which allowed Yadav to open his own franchise in Swaffham, Norfolk.
“I was always in contact with my ex-colleagues at Domino’s, so when I heard that Domino’s was onboarding new franchise partners through the Homegrown Heroes program, I just had to get involved,” he explained.
Being in the program, he said, is very “special” to him.
“Working at Domino’s gave me the business acumen that has served me so well over the years. It’s a great place to build a career and provided me with opportunities and valuable skills,” he added.
Dan Maund, the franchise development manager at Domino’s UK and Ireland, applauded Yadav’s commitment to the company.
“His entrepreneurial mindset and determination that was developed through his time at Domino’s have empowered him to open several successful businesses over the years,” Maund said. “We’re proud to have Alok come the full circle and open his first Domino’s store in Swaffham.”
Yadav has opened a slew of other storefronts as an entrepreneur, including coffee shops and pizza stores, but says Domino’s will always have a special place in his heart.
“It was my first love, as they gave me my first job, so I have really come full circle now,” he gushed. “It’s been an incredible journey for me, and I couldn’t be happier.”