The column, “Business Leaders of the North Shore,” will feature an inspiring and successful local business leader every other week. Each leader’s feature will include a glimpse into their educational and personal background as well as an in-depth interview based around intriguing topics like why they pursued their career, their journey to their leadership position, and advice for high schoolers.
This week’s business leader of the North Shore is Founder, CEO, and President of R.F. Technologies, Inc. (RFT), Bob Noorian. RFT was founded by Mr. Noorian in 1989 and is headquartered in Buffalo Grove, IL with offices in Southern Illinois (Bethalto) and San Dimas, California. R.F. Technologies specializes in the repair service and replacement parts for all brands of drive-through systems nationwide and internationally as well as digital surveillance systems for Quick Serve Restaurants (QSR) industries.
Mr. Noorian was born in Tehran, Iran and moved to England when he was 16-years-old, where he attended high school and college. He attended University of Portsmouth from 1979 to 1982 and graduated with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. Currently, Mr. Noorian lives in Highland Park and has been living in different towns on the North Shore since 1999.
How did you decide to pursue the career that you are working in today?
“By being motivated and energetic. I took advantage of an opportunity which was present almost 30 years ago.”
Where did you get the idea for your business?
“I was a quality assurance engineer for a company that developed headset systems in the mid-1980s. Before the mid-1980s, the drive through systems of fast food chains were hard-wired, which meant when an employee wanted to take an order of a customer in the drive through, they had to stand and press a button in order to hear the order. This prevented employees from being able to do anything else but take a customer’s order. Wireless technology enabled them to take orders while performing other tasks, ultimately making them more efficient. I was on the ground level of this new technology which ultimately gave me the idea for the business.”
What are some characteristics that you think every business leader should possess or strive to possess?
“I think every business leader should be focused, energetic, and creative because that is what helps you develop new ideas. Without new ideas as a leader, you are not properly setting your business up for success nor giving it a fair chance of flourishing.”
What would you say is the single most influential factor in your business’ success?
“The single most influential factor that has made R.F. Technologies as successful as it is is the fact that it is innovative. If your business fails to be innovative, you will immediately fall behind your competitors instead of being one step ahead.”
What advice specifically would you give high schoolers who are interested in going into a business related field in college?
“For any high schoolers interested in going into business, I would highly recommend to be willing to take chances. A big part of being successful in the business world is risk taking. Along with that, you need to be able to develop the ability to not only take opportunities but take advantage of them confidently. It is crucial to have the confidence in yourself to know that you will accomplish what you want to accomplish.”