Richard Hawkins had his beginnings in IBM London prior to joining Avis. This shift in career has shaped the course of his lifelong involvement in the car rental industry. His first promotion to the International Audit Team is one of the many that he will see throughout his career, a testament to his strength in the field. He spent a few good years auditing the Avis offices across Europe, which also helped pave the way for Hawkins to learn the trade from an insider’s perspective.
As time progressed, it dawned upon him that the car rental business holds the key to take him places and experience things that he would never have imagined. It wasn’t just an average job that required him to be stationed at one location doing the same thing. The vibrancy of the industry and the many prospects it held excited him as he continued to audit and learn the business for the next 2 years.
During a casual conversation with a colleague, he stumbled upon a job opportunity in Asia upon the colleague’s recommendation. 6 months later, he was offered a role which he took without hesitation. Soon, he embarked on the next level of his career, this time in Southeast Asia as the Financial Controller of Singapore and Malaysia. After realizing his potential in the business, the company soon brought him to places like the Pacific Islands and Indian Ocean Islands to support their growth in these locations.
Years later, when his colleague offered a role as the General Manager in Malaysia, he seized the chance to advance his career. The 5 years spent in Malaysia proved to be a crucial turning point for him. He was promoted to take over the Regional Manager for Avis Asia. He also kept his role as the Managing Director of Malaysia and also the General Manager of Singapore – making it a grand total of three very important senior executive positions to helm!
He continued to wear the many hats in the company until he grew restless and desired to achieve greater things. He yearned for more than just corporate stability and wanted a business that he could call his own. After years of toiling in the car rental industry, he had the ambition to start his own car rental company that was based in Asia rather than just acquiring a foreign franchise. During his tenure in the company, he met Felix Fernandez and David Chen, industry veterans and valuable partners who would eventually play a pivotal role in establishing the business.
Sensing that the timing was ripe, Hawkins founded “Hawk Rent A Car” in 1994 together with his partners. The business name derives inspiration from his surname. The leap of faith has proved worthy as the team successfully established Hawk Rent A Car as a key player in the Malaysian, Singaporean and Hong Kong car rental market.
Hawkins is also a proud member of Skal, the only professional organization promoting global tourism and friendship. He was elected to the Post of International President for 1999/2000 at the International Congress held in Stuttgart, Germany.