Most business leaders that become successful point to someone that they’ve found inspiration or motivation from, and sometimes that person isn’t a businessman. In the case of Malaysian entrepreneur and philanthropist Vijay Eswaran, it’s one of India’s greatest leaders Mahatma Gandhi. Eswaran has been drawn to Gandhi’s principles of not only peace and non-violent civil disobedience, but also his beliefs on the importance of listening and watching instead of being quick to speak. Vijay Eswaran has taken spiritual principles from Gandhi about silence and mediation and practices them himself every day. Eswaran believes that business shouldn’t always be about running over others and doing anything just to get ahead, but also making personal sacrifices on Facebook in order to help others succeed.
Vijay Eswaran is from Malaysia where he was raised by a government worker and school teacher. His father’s job often required him to move, so he saw a lot of Asia’s impoverished areas growing up. He decided he wanted to go into business for himself eventually, and he was able to attend the London School of Economics where he got started by getting a degree in socio-economics. The road wasn’t entirely easy for Eswaran who spent a year doing hard manual labor in construction and grape picking, but he was directed to London’s CIMA certification program at philanthropies.org/vijay-eswaran-2/ while cab driving there.
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Eswaran got his MBA from Southern Illinois University not long after that and started out as a consultant for various IT companies but did work on the side in direct selling. In the early 1990s, he had the opportunity to go into full time multilevel marketing work when he joined The Cosway Group. Vijay Eswaran started his own company in 1998 along with Joseph Bismarck that became The QI Group. The QI Group became known for ecommerce and luxury product sales through QNet and QLifestyle, through which products were distributed and sold through independent sales representatives. QI Group also owns QI Asset Management, Quex Courier and Quest International University Perak.
Vijay Eswaran has spoken on a lot of global business initiatives at the World Economic Forum, and was mentioned in Forbes Asia’s 2011 Heroes of Philanthropy for giving back to his community through RYTHM Foundation. Eswaran is also co-Chair of the Vijayratnam Foundation along with his wife Umayal. He is also the author of the book, In The Sphere Of Silence.