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13/05/2013

Vimal Shah- Bidco CEO and 2012 Forbes Entrepreneur of the year.

Vimal Shah is the 2012 Forbes Entrepreneur of the year, If he were to live his life again, he says he would do things a lot faster.
“Worlds apart” is the best short phrase that differentiates Vimal Shah the employee, from Vimal the entrepreneur.

More than 27 years ago, Vimal was an insurance agent with American Life Insurance Company (now CFG Life). His mission then was to convince people that they were going to die, and insurance would be the only way through which their families would bear the loss.

Most of his prospective clients dreaded that thought as nobody wanted to die, a huge discouragement on hispart as his targets would never be met.

He had to change tact, and with a different approach to life, Vimal now advocates for happy healthy living as spelt out in his company’s mission.
In the book, “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership” John C Maxwell says every person who has achieved
has made sacrifices. “Leaders must give up to go up. That is true of every leader regardless of profession. Talk to leaders and you will find that they have made repeated sacrifices.”

In the Law of sacrifice, Maxwell defines effective leaders as those that sacrifice much that is good in order to dedicate themselves to what is best.

Making an entrepreneur
Vimal believes all college and university graduates are lucky to have a good education and need to have passionate, achievable goals and clarity of thought, then push forward to get that done. Vimal says graduates ought to lower their high expectations, and aim to start small.

“Sometimes expectations are too high as people come out of university and want to make a million in a month or two, with a get-rich-quick mentality.”
He says graduates join the job market with knowledge, skills and attitude, but attitude destroys them. They come with this attitude that “you cannot teach me” which is wrong.

“The last thing they require is integrity. What you say and do must rhyme. If you haven’t hit the grades, tell the employer that I did not do it, but I want to learn. People will go for more good attitudes right now than good grades.”

Failures and lessons
According to the USIU graduate, failures are necessary as they keep people on a reality check to stop running too fast and start looking at things practically.
“I use failures to learn what not to do and never to repeat it. If you make a mistake, do not be worried; make sure you learn from it. Failure should not put you down.”

He says that sometimes companies launch new products and it really doesn’t work because you did not get the mechanics right. “Some people lose a lot of confidence with failures and that is bad.”

Family support
Vimal’s family has been very supportive in the business, especially his wife who has had to forego good times for the sake of the business.
“You have a business proposition that should be completed and it takes a weekend off and here was a holiday planned, the holiday takes second priority while the business takes first priority.”

Motivation
Like most successful entrepreneurs, Vimal is a passionate person who makes a difference in other people’s lives. “I have been doing a lot of mentoring of younger people. Sometimes a small discussion changes their lives and they come back to me with lots of positive stories. That gives me satisfaction.”

Definition of success
Vimal defines success as harder and smarter work. “Not just focusing on results, but also the process. Many times people say by hook or by crook go get this done. For us we say, make sure that the processes are right. We have a set of values, goals and mission clear, so we do everything ethically. We make sure we do not flout any rules, do the right thing and get on with it.

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