A colourful journey to success: from changing tyres to supporting local charities to dinner with Prince Charles, local businessman Vic Sethi gives Pukar an insight into his world.
Born into a large Sikh family in Delhi, with a very fortunate upbringing and deeply instilled family values, Mr Sethi grew up in Kuwait and studied in London. Before starting a computer business Vic worked for a few years fitting windscreens, changing tyres and selling car parts in Kuwait. This made him a stronger person in life and gave him the encouragement to stand back on his feet when they got invaded by Iraq in 1990 and had to leave to Delhi.
Encouraged by his father to move to the UK, he began working for a family Cash and Carry ends n Manchester. Whilst pursuing avenues to set up his own business, his father-in-law presented the opportunity to join his company ‘Anand International’ in Leicester.
Working with big brands such as TDK, Panasonic and Energizer, the company grew from strength to strength. It was a strong team consisting of Babu Anand, Mr Anand’s brother in law and Harjot Anand, Vic’s brother in law. Both Vic and Jay did not have brothers and always wanted a brother in the family. With God’s grace they both are more than brothers and are very close to each other. All three of them make joint decisions and work very closely.
“I am a strong believer of one thing. Charity begins at home. By that I mean we should use home, not just our home but our community, the city we live in and the country we live in, to make it a better place”, shared Sethi. This strong and passionate belief has enabled him to continue to support the local sports community and become chief patron for charity organisation Crimestoppers.
When asked what motivates him, he fondly recalls his childhood conversations with his father regarding Prince Charles: “He is a big inspiration for me; if it wasn’t for him, I don’t think I would be sitting on these boards today and after hearing about his charities, I got involved with the Prince’s Trust. I was then asked to sit on the board at the Trust.” After being invited to dinner at the palace he was inspired further from his personal conversations with HRH Prince Charles.
Vic says he will always be loyal to the three countries which have given him and his parents a livelihood. These are India, Kuwait and the United Kingdom. “I would like to thank His Excellency Mr Khaled Al-Duwaisan, the ambassador to the Embassy of the State of Kuwait who had sent his good luck wishes prior to me receiving the award and had wished me best of luck for the evening. My parents still reside in Kuwait and I am very grateful and thankful for the support The Kuwaiti government has given us, if it wasn’t for Kuwait I would have not been where I am today.
This down to earth businessman was awarded the Business and Humanitarian Entrepreneur of the Year 2013 at the Houses of Parliament. Mr Sethi shares “It was nice to receive the award, not only because it was recognition of my hard work, but of my whole team and my whole family. Without family and without team work, a person is incomplete.”
A successful entrepreneur, businessman and philanthropist, with a background of struggle, experiences and opportunities, Vic Sethi remains a passionate, humble and selfless man.
“Work is important, family is important, but if we can contribute even fifteen minutes of our time towards some good cause or support a good cause, we can help make that little bit of a difference.”