Many were surprised last year when Transtar filed for bankruptcy, citing problems with the integration of its ETX acquisition. But the bigger shock came this summer when founder Monte Ahuja reinvested in the company and returned as CEO, seven years after his retirement from the nation’s largest distributor of automotive transmission parts.

We sat down with Monte to learn why he was willing to take back the helm at Transtar and what he experienced on his return. What follows is a transcript of the above video, edited for readability.

Back to Transtar

First of all, Transtar I consider as my baby — the company I started from scratch. So I have a very deep attachment to the company itself. Second, the industry that this company is in — the transmission industry — I made a lot of friends, a lot of relationships and I had a great success. So I can easily say that I have a passion for that business, you know, having done it very successfully.

So now, not only do I have the opportunity to build this company back to its glory, I also have a very large investment in the company that I know is a good investment.

The passion to lead

So my motivation comes from, number one, just plain, simple passion that I can drive the business. That I know everything about this business that there is to be known, and I know I can turn it around. And, as I said, the last two, three months that we have turned it around has already made a big difference.

My contact with the customers or suppliers or employees, it was so exciting that I felt that I received a great welcome back, you know? Everyone was rather pleased to see me come back and save the company and do the right thing again and make this company great again. In fact, somebody sent me a cap that says, “Make Transtar great again.” It’s like Trump’s cap.