Vijay started his entrepreneurship journey in 1998, when he founded Q1 group of companies. As the Executive Chairman, he has overseen the growth of the company since inception to the big business conglomerate it is today. Q1 has investments in a number of sectors including education, real estate, telecommunication, luxury products, travel and wellness. It has regional offices in Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong and Singapore.
When Vijay was starting out, he had no meaningful connections or any form of capital. He was simply a man with a dream in a country that was going through the worst economic crisis. However, he did not let any of these obstacles hinder him from achieving his dream. With the support of his wife and the help of his like-minded partners, Vijay set out on his journey to success.
Challenges and set-backs are things that Vijay has to constantly battle with. Instead of letting them drag him down, he faces them head on. Both in his personal and professional life, Vijay views success and failure as being part of his path to success. The two are always interwoven.
Vijay runs his company the same way that a professional team is run. He assembles the right players, comes up with strategies, outshines his opponents and continuously improves the skills and knowledge of the team. The key to a successful business is not capital, a plan or skill sets; it is finding the right people and training them to own their jobs. It is not the company that succeeds; it is the people.
“Service above Self” is an important lesson that Vijay acquired from his father. It is easy to be blinded by success, so Vijay always reminds himself of his humble beginnings and reminds his employees to do the same. Though the company is global, it still has the soul of a small company.
Vijay attributes his success in business to the act of inner silence (Mona). Silence is the key to self-discovery. Vijay learnt this yoga practice during his childhood, and applies it in business and spirituality. To share this rare knowledge with the rest of the world, he authored the book In the Sphere of Silence. Ten years later, the message is still relevant. He continues to spread the knowledge in forums such as World Economic Forum and the Sixth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas.
The RYTHM foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of the Q1 group of companies and the Vijayaratnam Foundation are Vijay’s way of giving back to the community. In 2011, he made it to Forbes Asia’s list of “Heroes of Philanthropy”. In 2013, he received the Malaysian Business Awards “CEO of the Year at the 5th MBA Gala Dinner.