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Interview with Ravi Melwani

Ravi Melwani's ventures are big, his achievements bigger. Meet the man whoRavi with Dalai Lama has rewritten the rules of retailing.

What is the driving force behind your constant involvement in business and humanitarian ventures?
"My goal is to amass profit and to serve society at the same time. But if one cannot profit, then it is impossible to serve!"

What is your comment on the two dominant aspects of your personality - the hard driving businessman versus the compassionate do-gooder?
"Each of us has been born in a particular frame. A 'sadhu's' son is likely to grow up to become a 'sadhu'. Since I was from a business background, I am into this profession. Life is going to end one day or the other. But before that, I wanted to achieve something which is really worth doing! My business is only a means to achieve the end. I believe in doing my duty in the best possible way. I want to be able to ease the suffering of as many people as I can. One makes a living by what one gets, but actually you should make a life by what you give! We must learn to let go and look at the real meaning of life."

Is 'Kemperor' going to be a full stop in your ventures?
"It's like the beam of the satellite for me. I firmly believe in Positive Mental Attitude. If I get a feeling, just like the 'beam' of a satellite, that some more channels have to be added at the right time, I would go ahead and do it!"

What are the core ingredients that go into the making of a successful businessman?
"First is a Focus on the business. Secondly, a Drive, as you have got to beRavi at Humanitarian Hands ambitious. A Dream, which is the formula, a Team-people to help you, a Scheme-which is the strategy, the Gleam- the shine of innovation and sparkle, and lastly, a Beam- to build the next step or floor. These are the important things which go into the making of a successful businessman."

What is your definition of Success?
"Success according to me is a journey and not a destination."

What was the inspiration behind the Shiva statue that you built?
"It was a vision I had! It was just like the satellite's beam… I had a dream of building it and I did it! I did not have the space, money, plan, and an architect, but still, by magic everything fell into place and this 65 feet tall Shiva statue happened! People do not know how to believe in dreams and 99% of people's dreams die even before they are born! But I live my dreams!"

How do you balance your hectic business activities with your family life?
"My wife is the most co-operative woman on this earth! She understands me very well! I have no weekends. My week never ends, it just runs-on! I work seven days a week. Usually, I take my family for a holiday to other countries. Often, I bring my kids over to Toys Kemp and then I am also a kid with them there!"

What is the purpose behind the mega stores you have opened?
"In life, one must do something big to leave an impact on the minds of people. That is the reason I have opened these stores. Do you know of Mother Teresa, Gandhiji, Bill Gates?"

Yes! " Do you know of Muthu Swamy?"

No. "(Laughs) That is because, Muthu Swamy never did anything to be remembered and spoken about like the others!"

Rightly said, Ravi Melwani! Here is one man Bangalore will not forget.

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