Pukaar Magazine

Five Minutes Outside The Boardroom

City-based Anand International Ltd and Daewoo International (Europe) stand firm while other businesses and public services have been toppled by the global economic banking crisis. Now, the man behind this stability has called upon other entrepreneurs in the city to share their expertise and acumen, and to support their local community in these troubled times.

Vic Sethi, along with his brother in law Harjot Anand and uncle Babu Anand, have helped turn city-based Anand into a distribution giant who have worked with manufactures including Duracell, Panasonic, Energizer, Eveready, Maxell, Samsung and Sony, since the company was established in 1981.

His organisations have defied the economic downturn – something he attributes in some part to the experiences thrust upon his family in Kuwait, where his family had migrated to when he was a child. “I am a believer that in recession you can either, break or make,” Vic explained when asked how his company had weathered the recent economic storms.

This businessman, born in New Delhi, left Kuwait in 1991 following its invasion by Saddam Hussein. He is also a firm believer in never speculating beyond a company’s means.

He reflected: “For me I had been through the worst recession when Kuwait got invaded and we had nothing left. Therefore we had to stand on our feet from  scratch again and this has made me stronger and resistant in life.

Our father Mr Anand’s teachings have played an important role in this. He always said never borrow money from anyone as it is as good as working for the  lenders, so we only worked with what we had, which has made us a very credible and solid company.”
Prepared for the post-Christmas rush for electronic goods, Vic expects January and February 2012 to be busy for their team. They are based at the company headquarters at the Meridian Business Park, and from retail and wholesale arms on Leicester’s Golden Mile (Melton road).

Vic explained: During the month of December people buy gifts and are looking at accessories and add-ons for the presents in January and February. March gets a bit slower, but that enables us to look into other product ranges, other business channels.

Trade shows are at the top of their agenda in March, with the company’s first show of 2012 booked for April at the NEC in Birmingham. The West Midland’s exhibition centre itself is something Vic dreams of replicating closer to home. When asked what he would try to bring to Leicester if he had just one chance put use his business acumen and financial support to work, He replied: “I would first create a great giant venue for exhibitions and functions with links from the train station and
local airport.”

“We are living in one of UK’s most vibrant multi-cultural cities, where everyone lives in harmony. This would encourage more visitors to Leicester and bring Leicester on the map of the world, by holding international conferences, international trade fairs and other events.”

His vision for this entertainment hub would also accommodate weddings, community and cultural programs and much more.

In 2011 Vic decided to exclusively sponsor the Somalia Olympic Team for Olympics London 2012. But recently he took a decision to step down from the sponsorship.He confirmed his sponsorship for the Leicester Riders Basketball club in December 2011, securing Andrew (Drew) Sullivan for the club.

A wider aspiration Vic has for Leicester in 2012 and beyond, is to see the city’s public sector (government public servants) and the business / private sector standing  united, striving to make a positive impact on the wellbeing of the local community.

“Our father Mr Anand’s teachings have played an important role in this. He always said never borrow money from anyone as it is as good as working for the lenders, so we only worked with what we had, which has made us a very credible and solid company. ”

“Leicester’s business or private sector needs to get involved more,” he reflected. “We need more businesses to come out and contribute towards community projects. We all came with the urge to make money in this country so that we can help our families locally and back home.

“We should carry on doing that, but we should always be grateful to the countries we reside in which give us our livelihood. This country has offered us the right of vote, freedom of speech, practising our faith by contributing and supporting us when needed without any restrictions, therefore in return it is our responsibility to make sure that once we have brought our family to a comfortable position, it is time for us to go out and help others in whatever we can and also take part in community projects by supporting them.”

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