Small Business Success Story 

Azim Saju, HDG Hotels 

“We considered several other lenders on our search for funding, and it’s hard to find lenders who want to finance projects in communities like this because it is off the beaten path,” said Azim. “Florida Capital Bank made the investment and took a big chance on the project, and on us. We couldn’t be more grateful.”


Azim Saju is the Vice President and General Counsel for HDG Hotels, a hotel management and development company that owns and operates 13 hotels in Central and North Central Florida.

Azim and his family immigrated from East Africa when he was very young. His dad was a farmer, and when they arrived in America, they nationalized with very little means. His parents worked hard toward achieving their goal of purchasing a hotel in 1981. The business found success, and Azim and his brother Navroz, who both attended law school, eventually took over the business. Under their leadership, the company flourished, especially from 2004 through 2008. During this time of growth, the team purchased a plot of land in the small town of Dunnellon, Florida — but when the economy took a turn, plans for a new hotel were put on hold.

Dunnellon, like many of the areas where HDG operates, is a small town with endless potential for a positive impact through job creation and economic stimulation. In 2014, plans for the plot of land in Dunnellon rebloomed. Azim and the HDG team were ready to find a lending partner to help them build a Comfort Suites, which is just what they found in Florida Capital Bank.

“We considered several other lenders on our search for funding, and it’s hard to find lenders who want to finance projects in communities like this because it is off the beaten path,” said Azim. “Florida Capital Bank made the investment and took a big chance on the project, and on us. We couldn’t be more grateful.”

The vision of HDG Hotels is to positively impact the world, and the company does that through hotel management and development. Azim and his team appreciated the role Florida Capital Bank has played in helping that vision play out. From taking the time to understand the Dunnellon community and meet with its leaders, to staying up-to-date with the company and its success even after the loan closed, Florida Capital Bank has been a reliable partner.

“As our lending partner, Florida Capital Bank has always been there to provide thoughts and feedback and reasoning behind the thinking, and we appreciate that,” he said. “With Florida Capital Bank, we have more than just a lender.”

To other businesses in search of a financing partner, Azim offers positive encouragement. “The team at Florida Capital Bank is one we respect and continue to interact with. Lending, when done right — and when lenders make the effort to really understand the market and vision of the company — can have such a big impact on so many lives. Loans like the one we got help create jobs and opportunities in communities that otherwise would not have them.”

The Comfort Suites in Dunnellon opened in February 2016. From the start of construction to completion and operation, it has served as a catalyst for commercial growth. The project’s construction and operation created 91 jobs, there are now several new restaurants coming to the area, and a Publix will soon open across the street.The HDG team is happy to be a part of that growth.

And Florida Capital Bank is happy to have helped make their vision a reality. 

 


Interested in starting your small business loan journey? Contact a loan specialist today! 

“Everyone at Florida Capital Bank is very responsive; they care about the business as much as you do,”

Chin Hsieh
Partner of West Georgia Café Inc. dba Dunkin Doughnuts

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