The stars may not need to collide to reveal to the world someone of Vijay Eswaran’s stature, but it can seem as though they have done so. As an extraordinarily successful entrepreneur in India, he leads the QI Group as its Executive Chairman. The company has interests in international e-commerce areas that include collectibles, corporate investments, education, telecommunications and wellness. Operating out of Hong Kong, the conglomerate has links to Texas and offices around the world.
Preparing for Leadership
In his travels and education, Dr. Eswaran experienced diverse influences that molded him into a dedicated and highly motivated leader and philanthropist. His philosophy of living in the now keeps his focus in front of him and not in the past or the distant future. His respect and appreciation for the accomplishments and teachings of Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi and St. Thomas of Assisi continue to guide his path in his business, personal pursuits and charitable endeavors.
Combining Inspiration and Motivation
As a practice that Vijay Eswaran incorporates into the start of each new day, a period of silence gives him balance and focuses his energy on the activities that occupy his time. His approach to life reflects the respect that he has for Mandela, Gandhi and St. Thomas, and he appreciates the peacefulness of their philosophies. As the majesty of the human form enhances his appreciation of silence, he notes that most of the body’s features come in pairs. The mouth has the only way to use words, and he thinks that means that it deserves less power than it gets. Two eyes and two ears give a person a way to look and listen without speaking, a capability that he thinks advances humankind. During his time in the United States working as a systems engineer for IBM, he learned that Americans love to talk. It taught him the value of self-expression, and he took the lesson with him when he returned to his homeland in the Far East.
Vijay Eswaran’s path to higher education was not an easy one, but he pursued it with dedication and determination at home and abroad. In the traditional environment of his youth, he understood that earning a degree was in his future. However, he no longer considers it a necessity. His received his education in England at the London School of Economics before earning an MBA at the Southern Illinois University, and he still advises young people to seek a degree. His observation of the educational process at the college level identifies a disconnect that impedes progress. Institutions that fit a model from the 19th century and professors who received training in the 20th may not have the ability to prepare students to live and work in the 21st century.
Learning through Experience
He learned at the start of his college career at the University of Singapore that he must face some challenging obstacles. His father chose to use his meager government servant salary to send him to England to study. However, the cost of living and student fees led Eswaran to drive a cab while he studied accounting. He likes to acknowledge that the Master Plan has no flaws, and he sees value in every large or small thing that happened to him throughout his life. As a new college graduate, he took a year off to hitchhike around Europe.
The experiences that he gained from backpacking and riding trains from London to Athens left indelible marks that he values to this day. While taking a respite at a monastery in Assisi, the hometown of St. Thomas, he remained silent for 33 days. As an influential life experience, it provided a turning point that taught him to take things more seriously. The practice of introspection and observing a silent period every morning guides him still today.
Focusing on Giving Back
A concern for others that he shares with his spiritual and intellectual mentors drives Dr. Eswaran to give back to those who need help. As the founder and Executive Chairman of QI Group, he uses concepts that empower entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship. The success of his approach to business appears in the network of 18 million people and 1,200 employees in 100 countries. He accepts the need to give to charity as a social responsibility, and he makes sure that the money he donates goes to the people who need it the most.
Vijay Eswaran sets aside a percentage of his conglomerate’s net income to support hospital construction, homes for children, care for the elderly and other vital causes that form a fundamental part of his organization. Forbes Asia recognized his commitment by selecting him as one of its Heroes of Philanthropy. He developed a personal philosophy that follows the teachings of Gandhi, the icon of his company.
Vijay is also a talented author, and has written multiple books devoted to helping people form a positive outlook for success.