About us - Talk Direct - Leading O2 Franchise

Welcome to the Talk Direct Group. We are an entrepreneurial business with a corporate twist. A fast-paced, diverse and ambitious business always looking for an opportunity to grow.

Zak Patel, the founder and chairman of Talk Direct started the business 12 years ago with just one O2 Mobile Phone Shop in the Leeds Merrion shopping centre and 5 FTE’s. Our business is now turning over c£25m with c200 FTE’s across various portfolios of businesses.

We are proud to be an Investors In People Silver accredited company and a people-centric company, with a family feel ethos. One example was the promotion of a colleague with diabetes and failing sight that resulted in him being registered blind. Mark Skelton is now a successful business ambassador for disabilities in the community, helping the visually impaired use their phones in ways that offer true freedom and independence.

We are passionate about digital inclusion and an accessibility brand ambassador. In 2016, we were the winner of the Judges Award at the prestigious British Franchisee Awards 2016 in recognition of Project iCare where we had turned a disability into a capability to help our customers.

We are a multiple award-winning O2 franchise and have other successful retail brand businesses from selling mobile phones, jeans and diamonds to the gents having a haircut.

They all operate within different business models and we are looking for someone to head our busy finance team to replace the predecessor for his well-earned retirement.

We are an Investors in People Silver accredited company until 2021 and are the proud winners of the 2016 British Franchise Association HSBC ‘Judges Award’ for the pioneering Project iCare campaign to provide access to technology to those who are visually impaired.

Talk Direct are also the proud sponsors of The Diana Award who are the only charity allowed to bear the name of Diana, Princess of Wales recognising the young unsung heroes across Yorkshire and Humberside. We also support some local charities such as The Partially Sighted Society who offer help, support and equipment for anyone with a visual impairment and Roundabout Charity who are a local youth housing charity in Sheffield providing shelter, support and life skills to young people.

About Project iCare

Zak, our founder and chairman, established Project iCare to find innovative ways to make technology available to the visually impaired, targeting the UK’s two million registered blind.

Mark lost his eyesight in 2013 to diabetes leaving him with just 30% of his vision after contracting the eye condition Diabetic Retinopathy making it difficult for him to carry out his daily duties; tasks such as using a computer became a major struggle. Worried about his future, Mark had contacted Action who gave him the support and guidance he needed to tell Zak about his condition.

Mark is now the Ambassador for Project iCare which helps the visually impaired use iPhones and tablets in our stores as well as in the local communities and charities such as Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind. This has now been adopted by O2 and extended beyond Zak’s franchise network.



Vision, Mission & Values


Enhancing life experience through digital technology

To be the leading O2 Franchise with a passion to connect customers to technology

Passionate - about technology
Friendly - environment
Trusted - relationship with our customers
Engaging - with communities



Talk Direct (Leeds) Ltd is a successful Franchise of O2 UK founded by an entrepreneur Zak Patel in 2006 by opening its very first O2 store in Merrion Centre, Leeds. Talk Direct now operates 8 stores, a Call Centre to manage its database and approximately 100 FTE led by vastly O2 experienced personnel and were also awarded ‘2013 Mobile Industry Award Best Franchisee’.

The stores have been successful offering great communication solutions with a second-to-none service to all consumers and business organisations. Talk Direct's hard work team ethic shows throughout the company with its stores always aiming to exceed customers’ expectations. Our store teams are passionate about working in retail and are trained to a very high standard to inform you about all the latest mobile technology.

Talk Direct is a strong believer of giving back in the community and, therefore, is involved in many charity projects and young enterprise schemes. Talk Directs Founder and Managing Director Zak was also the winner of 2012 Kirklees Entrepreneur of the Year.


How the Talk Direct business works:

The Employees and Team Members:  
Talk Direct is a great place to work; our Employees and Team Members have pride in what we do; they see us as ground-breaking in terms of service, innovation, and quality.

The Collaboration Partners:  
Talk Direct is a true partner, sympathetic and responsive to their needs; we deliver great service to support their brand and their desire to have happy and returning customers; our approach builds loyalty.  We are passionate about their business success in parallel with our own.

The Customers:
The Talk Direct business model depends on customer loyalty.  The Talk Direct approach is all about customer delight.  Talk Direct focuses on the customer relationship and operates in a customer comes first way at all times.

The Directors:  
Believe they confidently lead a magnificent organisation delivering a recognised brand that stands for quality and service.  Supporting this is a fully functioning and passionate internal team driving both B2C and B2B business streams.
The culture of the business supports and contributes to the Talk Direct brand and the Directors seek to establish a relaxed and professional environment.  Talk Direct is innovative and committed to continual improvement.


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