Gregory James Aziz sometimes called James Aziz by close friends and family, started his life like any other child. He was born in London, Ontario on April 30, 1949, into the family that would eventually found Affiliated Foods. While this had no direct bearing on the young Aziz, it did show that he came from a lineage of determined businessmen. Much like Gregory Aziz’s later work, his family would show that they possessed a level of grit and hard work necessary to grow a small company into an international success. Affiliated Foods started out its life as a small, local grocery supply company. They wanted to do something to stand out and they saw a real need for the import of fresh produce. They became the first company to start importing produce from Europe, South America, and Central America. This put them on the map and gave Aziz a step forward in the business world. Visit This Page for additional information.
After graduating with a degree in economics from the University of Western Ontario, Greg Aziz started working for Affiliated Foods. He spent over 16 years there as they became a famous international importer. This experience was foundational for him and pivotal to the work he would later do with National Steel Car. He left Affiliated Foods to begin investment banking in New York City from the late 1980s to the early 1990s. This was also a good foundation for Greg Aziz because he started working on his own outside of the shelter of his family company.
When he purchased National Steel Car, a declining freight car manufacturing company, he was stepping outside of his comfort zone. Aziz knew from his years of experience in the business world that he could make it work, and he set out to change things. Within the first two years, National Steel Car was winning recognition for their outstanding quality and growing exponentially.
Aziz increased the workforce from 600 to 3,000 and the output for the company increased from 3,500 cars to 12,000 cars annually. Today, National Steel Car is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of its type. The horizon looks bright for the company as Aziz continues to grow it, challenging industry standards and pushing the limits of innovation. While Aziz could have stayed at Affiliated Foods for the rest of his life, he had the guts to go out and make something of his own. Not only are his efforts commendable, but he is also proven to be a great success.