My name is Baljinder Singh Rathour based in London. I am the Director/Founder of London Investment Immigration Education Ltd. (LIIE) and London Online College Ltd. (LOC). Prior to my birth, my forefathers had migrated from West Punjab, during the time of partition in 1947.
This meant new beginnings whereby my father and his siblings worked incredibly hard to earn a living. As an adolescent, my father decided to join the Indian army as a Soldier and eventually retired with the rank of a Captain. Due to my father's career and several postings, I was exposed to various opportunities which allowed me to travel all over India and receive my education from government-led army schools.
As a child, I was not a very studious boy and had a lack of interest in learning altogether. It wasn't until my 10th standard that I began to focus and take academic leaps. I graduated with a ﬁrst-class honour in Science from Punjab University, Chandigarh. As I reached adulthood, I began to take inspiration from my father's work ethic and dedication and decided to join Forces under Ministry of Home Affairs where I provided 17 years of service along with undertaking specialist positions, playing a part in transforming Airport Security by training soldiers to overtake the security of 64 Airports of India in stages. I also led Commando Squads and worked as Head of the Crime and Intelligence Wings.
Turning point – Success needs Risk… If I would have worked for 3 more years and completed 20 years, I would have got lifelong government pension, but I sacriﬁced my pension, as I was having bigger dreams, and hence quit Services in 17 years. Initially I went to the UK in 2002 and ﬁnally moved permanently in 2005. There, I commenced a job in Security in Deutsche Bank at Liverpool Street, London. Within 3 years of service, I was promoted to the position of a manager which was incredibly difﬁcult considering that I was a migrant.
The issue with my success stories is that every achievement leads me to next step as I feel stagnant after each goal is achieved and tend to move forward. After some time, I began to feel that London is a ﬁnancial capital and is welcoming new businesses to grow. I began to explore myself and started utilising my existing knowledge and skills to invest in studying to become an Immigration Lawyer.
Whilst my main focus was on offering services within immigration, I also occasionally worked with investors around the world under the company name 'Master of Franchise', to invest in popular brands in the UK. In between I have been a Radio & TV Presenter in London for more than a decade. The idea behind my business is to “invest in people”. I possess a passion for people who seek new beginnings and a fresh start at life in the UK and when I initially started up the company, I had a vision to support as many clients as possible throughout their ventures.
The company was hugely successful from 2009 to 2013, after which there was a shortage of international students being able to study in the UK, due to the changes in immigration policies. Following this, I noticed a market for distance learning education where I created an online learning platform called London Online College (LOC) in 2016 in collaboration with Mr Richard Affolter (Co- director of LOC/CEO of Weba World International). This allows international students to access a variety of online courses and subjects which provide them with industry-recognised qualiﬁcations in collaboration with universities in the UK. Our vision for LOC is to expose the younger generation to advanced routes to learning which is easily accessible in the comfort of their own home.
Mr. Charles, the Managing Director of 'Regeneration Development Agency', developed an interest in the delivery of low income housing, trade in commodities and also formed associations with like-minded people from Ghana and the African diaspora.
All of this started 10 years ago as an NGO called Africa Call Foundation (ACF) which assisted him to form relationships with his Ghanaian and international associates. The idea behind his current business was to form a relationship with others for the transfer of knowledge and technology in low income housing and viable commodity trade.
His brand is about “Transformation through Regeneration”; the regeneration of traditional African and modern housing technology to come out with a low cost solution for solving the housing deficit in Ghana. The business is also coming up with the regeneration of small scale mining and sale of Ghanaian gold, regeneration of commercial trade in commodities such as petroleum products, rice and sugar. The river town of Sokpoe on the banks of the Volta River would be regenerated into a Pan African SMART City.
The unique selling point of Mr. Charles' company is that they bring together stakeholders to build viable and mutually beneficial businesses and projects. They export gold to the United States of America (USA), import sugar and rice from Brazil and Thailand respectively. With respect to the housing and mining industries, the company's focus on low income housing technology sets them apart from others in the industry. In commodity trading, the fact that 'Regeneration Development Agency' is an indigenous Ghanaian company sets them apart from other commodity trading companies.
Their past and current challenge is the creation of or attracting foreign or local investors to take up equity in their business. Their equity investors would allow them the financial capacity to regenerate slums and the ownership of real estate properties in urban areas. Other expansion plans of the business will include: the conversion of 5,000 acres of river front land into a SMART City owned by residents, businesses, shareholders and the company. Another aim is to become a major player on the international market in West Africa. The mining of virgin gold concessions in the Ashanti region of Ghana is also one of the company's plans to expand their business.
The company's personal and business philosophy is based on the dictum – “The brotherhood of man and the fatherhood of God” and their work culture is built around the promotion of values like punctuality, integrity, honesty, respect for one another etc. The work culture of the company is complimented by the interest of persons in the team in self-development. Their mantra of success in the business world is built around their vision for Africa as a whole: “Reshaping the African Home Land.” Mr. Charles' work/life balance hobbies, recreation, and life beyond business away from work are based on his spiritual goals. He belongs to an Africanized Christian Church called the Saviour Church of Ghana. His life in the church relates to his hobbies, recreation and other aspects. His personal ideology/quote is: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
123Mr. Shubham Maheshwari, founder of Being Chef, was born and brought up in Jaipur and completed his primary education from the Pink City too. Since his college days, Mr. Maheshwari was inclined towards doing something good for the society.
He started participating in various social activities and causes and for his efforts he was also honored with the ‘Youth Changemaker Award’ from a renowned social organization. He also participated as a state coordinator for the 'India Against Corruption' movement and it is after addressing a rally of 70 to 80,000 people that his passion for participating in social causes and giving back to the society increased manifold.
Shubham Maheshwari also participated as a state coordinator for the 'India Against Corruption' movement and it is after addressing a rally of 70 to 80,000 people that his passion for participating in social causes and giving back to the society increased manifold. And this is how he decided to become an entrepreneur as he viewed this as a chance to bring the change he wanted to see in the world, or at least, in his country. Though he didn't have a clear idea as to how to go ahead after his decision to become an entrepreneur, he joined a US-based pharma consulting firm ZS Associates in Gurgaon as a consultant. This was the first time that he shifted base from Jaipur to Gurgaon.
While staying in Gurgaon, he realized that daily meals were the most important yet the most ignored part of a person's diet. After his cook didn't turn up, he and his roommates came up with an idea to empower every person to cook anything that they wish to, without being dependent on someone else to do it for them. He quit his job and became a full-time entrepreneur, and this is how Being Chef was born in 2014.When he pitched his business idea to some industry veterans, they didn't show much interest in it as they thought that it was not feasible to create such a product. This fueled Mr. Maheshwari's determination to make his business a success, no matter what.
The idea behind Being Chef is to make food using minimum efforts given the fast-paced life we live in. To minimize the cooking efforts, Mr. Maheshwari came up with the concept of '8 Simple Steps' which would give delicious results in just 5 minutes. Also, the taste preferences of the customers were kept in mind and hence, Being Chef came up with customized meal boxes that would cater to the exact taste palette of the customers. Talking about his brand Being Chef, Mr. Maheshwari says that Being Chef is a one-stop solution to all your daily meal requirements. The main aim of Being Chef is to make the youth population fit and healthy as today's youth ignores aspects like health and nutrition.
The brand's vision and mission are “to disrupt the daily meal industry by transforming the traditional way of cooking, while also being mindful about the health and nutrition aspects of food.” The brand's USP is to enable anyone to cook a full-fledged meal in 5 minutes by following 8 simple steps. Also, being a first mover in this space of the food industry, and also being a pure vegetarian while also having vegan options, work in the brand's favor as veganism is the rage today. This gives them an edge over their competitors.
The initial challenges that Mr. Maheshwari faced were especially from the industry veterans who claimed that the product is not feasible. Capital and experience were some of the other major challenges that Mr. Maheshwari faced while starting out as an entrepreneur. The current challenge that has not spared any business including his is the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Mr. Maheshwari chooses to view this challenge in a positive light as the pandemic has opened a whole new market for Being Chef as everyone wants to be self-sufficient and independent when it comes to cooking, especially during the pandemic.
The company has unique plans for the future about which Mr. Maheshwari refused to divulge further details as they are in the process of creating advanced and patented technologies so that they can provide the most efficient services to customers. They are currently based in Gurgaon.
The work culture at Being Chef revolves around being a strong team not just on a professional level but also on a personal level. If a person is given exclusive ownership of their department and is also given adequate freedom to work, then it not only churns out a better professional but also a better person too. Their work culture helps them grow as a professional and as a person. The freedom at the workplace also helps them work independently and responsibly.As for creating or following a success mantra, Mr. Maheshwari doesn't have one because he feels that there is no proper definition of success. He believes that if a person is happy and living his life to the fullest, then he can be termed as a successful person too. As far as the business side of success is concerned, he believes that if a person wants to win a game, then he has to be in the game. One simply cannot wish to become successful without working hard for it. One also needs to have enough conviction and self-belief that you can become successful and one must always stay level-headed in both success and failure.
Mr. Devendra Chougule is the founder of Texone Group. Texone Group was founded in 2007 and is a manufacturer of foundry sand plants, machineries and equipment. He is also the owner of Dexwo Ventures Pvt. Ltd. which he started in 2017-18.
Dexwo manufactures motorized sliding gates and also provides parking solutions.Mr. Chougule completed his graduation in engineering in Kolhapur and eventually joined his father's foundry business. However, he wanted to start his own business. This is how Texone Group was born in 2007. After fully establishing the Texone Group, he started Dexwo Ventures in 2017-18.
Mr. Chougule is dealing with 3 product divisions like foundries, parking solutions and producing agro-based machinery. All of these products are totally produced in-house, i.e. none of the spare parts are bought from anywhere else. Parking was a big concern especially in cities and hence, Mr. Chougule identified this problem and came up with providing parking solutions at affordable prices to customers. The company also deals with providing agro-based machinery like chop-cutters which would help farmers in cutting fodder for their cattle in a much easier and efficient way. The main aim of the business is to provide quality products at affordable prices.
Mr. Chougule firmly believes that “confidence is the key to success.” One quote which is his personal favourite is “The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little 'extra'”. If one aims to become extraordinary in what they do, then they must put in extra efforts to become extraordinary. One must also never shy away from making mistakes as they are a part and parcel of our life.
The main issue or challenge that Mr. Chougule faced was that of bringing finances into the business as he was a fresh college graduate. The current obvious challenge is the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Mr. Chougule views this challenge positively as he believes that it is important to face challenges as they help you grow as a person and as a businessman too.
Mr. Chougule caters to the needs of brands like TATA, Mahindra & Mahindra, AKP Group from Karnataka and Force Motors. Mr. Chougule's group has also exported its products to various countries like Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, etc. As far as promoting their exports is concerned, the Group will target the African market for now.
Mr. Chougule has been successful in keeping his personal and professional life separate from each other. The main reason he has been able to do so is because he believes in staying 100% focused on whatever work he does, be it personal or professional. His hobbies are reading, watching movies and trekking which help him rejuvenate and detox.
Mr. Chougule's only advice to budding entrepreneurs is that they must always believe in themselves and must do what makes them happy. He also says that it is important to listen to our inner voice no matter what others tell us.
Mr. Ragunath Manoharan, CEO Operations of RM Group, was born in Chennai, Tamil Nadu in India. The path to success wasn't always easy for him as he grew up in a middle class family. His father passed away when he was 8 years old and he did his schooling in Chennai.
He dropped out of college when he realised that the Indian education system doesn't teach any skills and rather focuses on mugging up things by-heart. He upgraded his professional skills for his career by working in different fields to gain knowledge and contacts. His started his career with working as a freelance editor and later joined as an Assistant Director in an advertisement agency.Since childhood, Mr Manoharan was interested in pursuing law and he got a chance to work with a leading senior advocate as his Junior Assistant.
After some years, he started working for a Tamil magazine called 'Pulan Visaranai' as Sub Editor. He was then appointed as the Deputy Secretary in South India Press Media Club. He finally started a business of his own in 2018 with the help and influence of his friend in Malaysia. And this is how RM Group came into being.Mr. Manoharan has faced many challenges in the export and import industry since he is a young entrepreneur and does not come from a business background. His family and friends have been very supportive of him especially during his periods of struggle in the business world. Mr. Manoharan's all-time inspiration is Mr. Ratan Tata.
The company’s vision is to become a benchmark in the agro-pastoral and employment sectors in Africa in order to alleviate hunger, malnutrition and poverty in Africa. To make this vision a reality, the company is putting in all of its energy and efforts into training and searching for investors in infrastructure and equipment for large-scale production to meet the needs of the national and international markets.
RM Export and Import does its business with countries like Malaysia, Singapore and Canada. They mainly export fruits, vegetables, snacks and imitation jewellery.
According to Mr. Manoharan, time management is a must. Also, one must learn to say 'No' and must also try to shorten their commitments and minimize interruptions.