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Vijay Eswaran: A Cab driver who built one of the biggest business conglomerates in Asia

Dr. Vijay Eswaran is among the most accomplished Asian entrepreneurs. He heads one of the biggest multi-business conglomerates with interests in various sectors, including retail, direct selling, education, financial services, and hospitality. Vijay launched the QI Group of Companies in 1998 when he opened QNET, the Group’s first subsidiary.

Besides being a shrewd businessman, Vijay Eswaran is also an accomplished author and business speaker. Vijay has six books to his name. His latest publication, Two Minutes from The Abyss, talks about the three pillars on which QNET stands on -Loyalty, Love, and Service. In this publication, Vijay talks about the value of hard work and resilience. He cites these are the two main attributes that every businessperson should have if they aspire to succeed. Vijay also talks about the importance of delegating duties. He notes that no one can succeed alone. We succeed and get genuine happiness by helping other people.

Vijay’s background

Vijay Eswaran was born and brought up in Malaysia. He spent much of his childhood moving around his native country. When it was time for tertiary education, Vijay moved to the UK. While studying in the UK, Vijay lost his scholarship, and his school life became tough since he had no one to cater for his expenses. At one point, he worked as a cab driver to raise money for his upkeep and school fees.

Eswaran graduated from the London School of Economics in 1984 with a degree in socio-economics. Immediately after graduation, Vijay moved across Europe, working for different companies. While traveling around Europe, Vijay came across the Franciscan monastery, where he spent a month as he completed his 33-day vow of silence.

The experience gained from the monastery is the foundation of his first book titled Sphere of Silence. Vijay went on to study binary system marketing in the UK and later traveled to the US where he earned an MBA from the Illinois University. Vijay started working Systematics, a subsidiary of IBM in 1986. During this time, Vijay engaged in multi-level marketing on a part-time basis.

Establishing QI Group

Vijay conceived the idea of creating QI Group during his university days. He was invited to his first marketing presentation, and he didn’t believe the concept of multi-level marketing would work. After attending marketing presentations for about a year, he fell in love with the idea of networking.

Vijay established QNET in 1998, a venture that is the bedrock of the current QI Group of companies that operates in industries such as media, travel, luxury products, telecommunications, training, wellness, and corporate investments. They have regional offices in Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and the UAE.

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