"The personality development sessions at IIPM helped me immensly in invoking the right personality and business mind set.
I now have a changed perspective to a lot of things in my life."
Building a brand is not easy. Meet Loveleesh who today is the owner of not one but two very successful brands. He started from ground zero and worked very hard to set up his own business.
After gaining some exposure in the corporate world Loveleesh decided to start his own brand of rice. No one said it was gong to be easy, but as he says “The thirst to grow kept me going”.
This self-made man shares with us his journey and the challenges he faced while building his brands.
Q. Tell us about you and your business venture ? What inspired you to start this venture ?
A. Straight after my masters from IIPM, I started working with Kohinoor Foods and worked there for about 3 years. This was a time when I gained a good knowledge base about rice manufacturing and packaging.
The experiences obtained from IIPM and Kohinoor inspired me to kick-start my own venture and thus Exotic Foodworks came into existence as it was my brainchild.
At Exotic Foodworks, we began with rice processing, packaging and distribution of basmati rice to various distributors across the country. With consistent learning and hard work, we were able to establish a brand in the rice industry called Aazra.
In order to grow further, I planned to use my finances and invest it with the restaurant industry. We started with a lounge called “Zai” and have expanded it to a new outlet in New friends colony, named “Kalamata: Cookhouse and Bar”.
Interestingly, opening a restaurant was something that I always dreamt of as a child. It was a proud moment to see the dreams coming true.
Q. When you started what were the difficulties you faced ? How did you overcome them ?
A. Setting up the operations and arranging finances was a big hurdle in the beginning. As we were new to the business, not many investors were interested to join in. We thought of many alternatives and the one that worked the best is a process that I still follow.
We have partnered with the financiers by giving them a cash deduction on the transactions.
Q. What are your plans for the future ?
A. I plan to grow my businesses, both vertically as well as horizontally. For the restaurant business we are planning to add more cuisines and open more outlets within the country.
For Exotic Foodworks, we have opened our channels to more parts of the country and are also working to add more aspects in the production process to ensure even better quality for the clients and end customers.
Q. What is the best advice you ever got ? From whom?
A. The best advice that I got was from a very dear friend who explained the importance of risk in business. He once said that until I take risks I may not be able to see what life has in store for me. Living in the comfort zone can’t really make dreams come alive.
Q. "Great leaders are also great speakers" Do you agree ? How did your personality development classes help you in your business ?
A. Having the right attitude towards life is one of the very essential characters of a successful business setup. The personality development sessions at IIPM have immensely helped me in invoking the right personality and business mind set.
I now have a changed perspective to a lot of things in my life, not just in my professional world but also in the personal outlooks.
Q. What are the key elements to running a successful business ?
A. Knowing the right balance of hard work and smart work, team enthusiasm and good leadership skills. There is much more to the list. It actually depends to how well a leader and the team can adapt to the need of the situation.
Q. Marketing is the most important aspect of a business. How do you market your business ?
A. I own two brands. Social media is obviously the most import tool that we use to market. Other than that, the marketing methods vary according to the nature of the business. We use both traditional and digital marketing for both the brands.
Q. If you had one piece of advice to give to someone just starting out what would it be ?
A. Have patience. Things will fall into place when the right time and efforts are there. It will take some time but it will happen, don’t quit before you have given much more than the best you can.
Q. What motivates you ?
A. The thirst to grow motivates me. I think it is very important to have that thirst otherwise we will just be stagnant with what we have in life.
Q. What makes you happy ?
A. Owning the hard earned leisure time. It is all the more enjoyable when you know that you have earned it for yourself after all the hard work that you have put into your work.
Q. What sacrifices have you had to make to become a successful entrepreneur ?
A. A lot of times family gets neglected in the fast paced business world. For us this is not a 9-to-5 job life that of the corporate world. As a business man, we hardly get any break throughout the day and sometimes even in the nights work goes on.
Q. What is the secret to your daily productivity?
A. The motivation that I get everyday from my parents, wife and sister.
Q. Your favourite quote ?
A. "Do it now, very often later becomes never"
Q. Your favourite vacation spot ?
A. Budapest, Hungary.
Q. Your favourite designer ? Dress ?
A. Rohit Bal. Formals.
Q. Your favourite book / song/ movie ?
A. Book: Steve Jobs biography.
Song: Let me love you, by Justin Bieber.
Movie: The Pursuit of Happyness.