Happy Christmas! from GMD Joseph Bismark



Dato’ Sri Vijay Eswaran, “Malaysia’s Gandhian entrepreneur”, featured in Gulf News

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.


Wanna know more? You can read the full article here.

You can follow Dato Sri Vijay Eswaran’s Twitter at @VjayEswaran.

Like his page over at https://www.facebook.com/DatoVijayEswaran to get more exclusive updates from Dato Sri Vijay Eswaran himself.

The F2/I’m Alive combo in Kazakhstan wins over the crowd! (UPDATE)

Kazakhstan was, as usual, amazing!

Both the I’m Alive & F2 events in Almaty & Astana were held as one combined event: Dvorec Studentov, Almaty on October 27, and  Dovrec Nezavisimosti, Astana on October 28. VP Donna was the main speaker, supported by VC Saidamir & VP David Sharma.

The focus of both events was in taking ownership, establishing clear intent, and for women to learn to balance career and family. In F2, it was emphasized why an IR should never stop finding 2, how one of this 2 could be their Donna or Pathman.

The energy levels were sky high with such a large crowd. Both venues were just oozing with awesome. The feedback was excellente and VP David is just praying to see sales increase. VP Donna, on the other hand, really won over the hearts of the IRs. Many even mistook her as a Kazak.

Both VP Donna & VP David spent time with the In Service teams and leaders. To conclude, the events were a great boost to Kazakhstan as this was first visit by the QI director to the country.


Taarana Kids Shine in Concert

6 October 2012 was a big day for the pupils of Taarana, Vijayaratnam Foundation’s school for children with special needs, as they performed for their parents, teachers and the officers and supporters of Vijayaratnam Foundation in the successful ‘Power of Dreams’ concert.
The children, aged between six and 12 years, displayed courage and confidence to take to the stage and showcase their skills during a 90-minute performance that included several dance numbers, group presentations and a ‘Dikir Barat’ performance.
Datin Umayal Eswaran, the Chairperson of Vijayaratnam Foundation that runs the school, said she was touched and felt blessed to be able to assist the special children at Taarana.
“In the past one year that we had started the school, our children have changed my life and made me appreciate all that I have.
“At Taarana, we don’t consider the children any different from the rest of society. If anything, they are gifted in their own way, and the progress they have made gives hope that they have a bright future as functional people who will contribute to society in adulthood,” she said.
QI Group Executive Chairman, Datuk Vijay Eswaran paid tribute to the patience and dedication of all those who had supported Taarana’s endeavours, especially the teachers, parents and board members.
“Watching these children perform today has completely reinstated the QI Group’s resolve to keep supporting Vijayaratnam Foundation’s endeavours. For me, Taraana represents the crown jewel of all that the Foundation does,” he said.
Malaysian newspaper The New Straits Times in its 11 October 2012 issue provided an excellent double-page coverage of the concert entitled ‘Taarana’s special children shine in concert.’  It was published on pages 6 & 7 of the Streets section with a cover headline on page 1 entitled ‘Labour of Love.’  To read the online version of the article, click on this link:http://www.nst.com.my/streets/central/taarana-s-special-children-shine-in-concert-1.155152

A Tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 143rd birth anniversary

On Oct 2, 1869 a man was born in British India who went on to change the course of history and left an indelible impact on the world. This man was none other than Mahatma Gandhi, whom the QI Group is proud to call our Corporate Icon.

Tomorrow is the 143rd birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, whose teachings of love, truth, service and raising oneself serve as the fundamental values of the QI Group.

On this occasion, let us take a moment to remember this great soul and the message that his life stood for. Please spend a few minutes and re-visit the corporate video we have specially produced to showcase the life of Gandhi and his teachings that continue to inspire us. You may have seen this video during your orientation or at various company events, but watching it on this special occasion on the birth anniversary of the Mahatma (the Great Soul) serves as a reminder to all of us of our corporate philosophy – RYTHM.

Please click on the link below to watch the video.

Mahatma Gandhi – The Corporate Icon of the QI Group

May his message live on forever…