Cellairis Franchise - Co-Founder & CEO, Taki Skouras

Date: AUG 28th, 2014

Topic: Interview with a CEO

Taki Skouras is the co-founder and chief executive officer of Cellairis® Franchise opportunity.

Skouras serves on the executive team and is responsible for the franchise business’s worldwide operations.

Considered by many to be a thought-leader in the industry, Skouras revolutionized the industry by taking an up & coming accessory and commercializing its popularity into main street North America through a franchise model. In an increasingly demanding marketplace, Skouras has overseen the company’s growth from a stand-alone unit 14 years ago, to the world’s largest wireless accessory retailer.

Skouras has 17 years of financial management and operational experience and has worked in a variety of industries including real estate, national retailing and franchising.

Skouras holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and Finance from the University of Florida.

BeTheBoss: Tell us about the Cellairis franchise concept.

Taki Skouras: An industry leader in providing cutting-edge tech accessories, Cellairis, based in Alpharetta, Ga., is committed to offering a wide range of modern and sophisticated products for every personality. Cellairis franchise opportunity recognizes that consumers want their technology to match their lifestyle, and the company is dedicated to creating quality wireless accessories that are fun, fearless and fashionable.

Premier brand collaborations—such as Cellairis by Elle & Blair, Cellairis by Cody Simpson and the luxury LK (Lily Kwong) collection—provide customers with on-trend and unique accessories.
Customers across the world have access to Cellairis’ vast array of wireless merchandise, as well as specialty services like customization and phone repair offered through mall-based kiosks, inline stores and e-commerce. Operating a unique franchise model, Cellairis delivers exceptional service online and at each location globally.

BTB: How and when did you become involved with Cellairis Franchise?

TS: I met twin brothers, and eventual partners at Cellairis, Jaime Brown and Joseph Brown while attending college in Florida. Our entrepreneurial spirits led us to see the tremendous opportunity in the mall kiosk business. After experimenting with various kiosk opportunities, we identified wireless accessories as our main focus. In March 2000, Jaime, Joseph and I officially opened Global Cellular. We quickly expanded, opening Cellairis franchise locations in Georgia and then on to Maryland and Virginia. After several years of building a business concept and taking a liking to the franchise model, in 2005 Global Cellular emerged into Cellairis Franchise Inc. with over 150 stores. As Jaime drove around the United States opening stores, Joseph and myself kept busy in Atlanta finding vendors and top of the line products for all of our stores, while also building an infrastructure franchise system and distribution center. Today- with nearly 1,000 locations worldwide- we are just as committed to strengthening the company each and every day.

BTB: What was your background prior to joining Cellairis?

TS: I received my Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Finance from University of Florida. It was there that Jaime, Joseph and I teamed up on our quest for success and innovation, first starting a night club promotions business to help pay our tuition. Seizing the opportunity to make a profit on off-nights at local clubs, we booked talent, ran operations and promoted events to turn out a crowd. From there, we pulled everything together and entered into the mall kiosk business where we continued investing nearly every dollar made back into the business before eventually launching Cellairis.

BTB: What are some of the advantages in being a Cellairis franchise business owner (franchisee)?

TS: We offer our franchisees ownership, flexibility, and the tools to grow and prosper in an exciting and dynamic industry. As a franchisee and a member of the Cellairis family, our partners have the opportunity to work with and learn from enthusiastic, experienced professionals knowledgeable in brand building, marketing, development, and operations within the franchise retail industry. We are committed to creating innovative products and services that establish Cellairis as a leading wireless accessory company and trusted retail destination.

BTB: Who is your ideal franchise business owner (franchisee)?

TS: Our ideal franchisee is just as passionate as we are about providing the latest, most fashionable and dynamic wireless device accessories to the consumer. A successful franchisee also shares in our passion to provide outstanding customer service. An entrepreneurial spirit is what encourages our most successful franchisees to utilize all of the valuable tools to grow their business.

BTB: Tell us a little about the wireless accessory Market?

TS: With the explosive growth of smartphones and tablets in the mid to late 2000’s, the increasing worldwide trend toward hands-free operation and consistent product innovation, it is no surprise that the wireless accessory industry continues its rapid growth. The consumer electronics category represents one of the most important areas in which smart wireless accessories will continue to develop. We have found that no matter what the product is, there is always a need for an accessory. We remain committed to staying ahead of the curve in this fast-paced industry to provide consumers with the service and support needed for their devices.

BTB: What are some of the greatest lessons you’ve learned in growing this franchise business?

TS: Growing a business is certainly a challenge and since opening our first location in 2000, I’ve learned quite a few things that facilitate successful growth:

  1. Allow for organic growth: Organic growth is necessary in order to build a strong, successful brand and reputation. Even though it takes a little longer, letting your business grow organically will secure it in the long haul.
  2. Hire the right people: The success of our employees is the basis of this company. With out them, Cellairis franchise wouldn’t be what it is today.
  3. Maintaining company culture: At Cellairis franchise business, we’ve established a company culture that grows with the business and helps ensure, that no matter how large the staff size, we stay true to our original values. Daily communication within the company helps keep priorities on track and fosters the growth of interoffice friendships and experiences.

BTB: Do you have a mentor and is there someone you use for inspiration?

TS: My mother and father have been my mentors- in both life and business- throughout the years. When I was growing up, my parents split their time between three jobs in order to make ends meet and to provide for our family. It was their example and “never give up” attitude that instilled in me a strong work ethic and a drive to succeed. I have such a deep-rooted respect for who they are and how they have shaped our family. They, along with my entire family, inspire me on a daily basis.

BTB: What advice do you have for someone looking to acquire a Franchise opportunity?

TS: I would advise anyone looking into acquiring a franchise opportunity to do their research first and foremost. Learn how a particular model fits in with your skill set, lifestyle and budget. It is important to know what you’re good at and what you like to do in order to know if owning a specific franchise is right for you. How much time do you want to spend developing strategies for growth vs. choosing a more turn-key model? How interested are you in the overall industry and business concept? What day-to-day operations are you comfortable and excited about overseeing? While owning a Franchise offers a rewarding career path, your commitment, motivation, time and energy put forward directly translates to your own success.

BTB: In your opinion, why do you think that Cellairis would be a great franchise opportunity for someone?

TS: I believe Cellairis is a great organization to be a part of because we offer a unique franchise opportunity to help entrepreneurs join the wireless device era. As a company built on the foundation of our franchisee’s passion for providing products and services, we are always hard at work to arm our franchisees with new products as well as up to date knowledge and support. We want our franchisees to succeed, so we offer consistent guidance, whether through a phone call, in-person training, or at one of our various distribution centers. We are committed to helping our franchisees continue to make Cellairis an industry leader in wireless device accessories.