Dato Sri Vijay Eswaran’s sphere of influence expands its reach!
At the Global Indian Business Meet (GIBM) in New York, Dato Sri Vijay Eswaran spoke to a journalist who is a commentator on Asian Affairs for the Gulf News in the Middle East about the gap that exists between India and its Diaspora, his own unique Gandhian approach to business and his book, In the Sphere of Silence. That conversation and parts of Dato Sri Vijay’s speech from the GIBM have now appeared as a feature in the Gulf News’ Weekend Review Supplement last November 1, 2012.
Here’s the article:
Malaysia’s Gandhian entrepreneur
Vijay Eswaran helms a business empire that spans the globe, but the Mahatma’s principles are among his most treasured possessions
He is a Malaysian by nationality and prefixes his name with the title “Dato’”, the equivalent of a knighthood, bestowed in Malaysia. But what is most striking about the man is his claim that he follows the principles of “ahimsa” (although it technically means non-violence, the scope of this connotation is widened to include ethical behaviour) which Mahatma Gandhi, the apostle of peace, not only preached but also practised.
The entrepreneur says he practises Gandhian principles even in today’s corporate world, known for its dog-eat-dog notoriety, where ethics tend to recede into the background and profits reign supreme.
Meet 52-year-old Vijay Eswaran, a Malaysian of Indian descent, who has set up a business empire that stretches across many parts of the world.
He was recently in New York to receive the New Global Indian (NGI) award for business excellence and philanthropy from the global Indian diaspora that descended on New York for the gargantuan Global India Business Meet (GIBM) 2012. Penang-born Eswaran is also an author, speaker and philanthropist.
He graduated with a degree in socio-economics from the London School of Economics in 1984. Thereafter he stayed on in Europe for a year and did several odd jobs. In 1986, he obtained an MBA from the Southern Illinois University. Finally, Eswaran worked towards creating his own business; he is today the executive chairman of the QI group, founded in 1998, an e-commerce based conglomerate with businesses diversified into retail and direct sales, technology, lifestyle and leisure, luxury and collectibles, education, training and conference management, property development and logistics.
The QI Group has regional offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, besides having a presence in nearly 30 countries through a wide range of subsidiary companies. The chairman of the Council of Quest International University in Malaysia, Eswaran is also on the advisory board of the Global Business Council and Corporate Malaysia Roundtable. In addition to the GIBM award conferred on him, Eswaran was given the Outstanding Entrepreneur of the Year award at the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Award 2012. He arrived in New York as one of Forbes Asia’s top 48 philanthropists.
Eswaran addressed the audience that comprised, largely, of Indian industrialists and businesspeople from a number of countries, including Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, the UAE, the United Kingdom and the United States. He was given slots for two speeches at the event; the audience had eagerly waited to hear his views on India, his mantra for success and the much-touted “Gandhian approach”.
In an exclusive interview with Weekend Review in his suite at New York’s Plaza Hotel, Eswaran urged India to close the “gap” between itself and its diaspora. “These are people who have strong emotional ties with India, yet they are treated as outsiders. You have large Indian populations in a number of countries such as Mauritius, South Africa, Malaysia, Singapore and also in the UK, the US, Canada and Australia. The Indian diaspora does not have any advantage on investing in India. Indeed, persons of Indian origin sometimes have more advantages on investing in other countries,” Eswaran said.
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