Coming from a strong family background, Jimmy Asija, A Serial Entrepreneur went through a lot of hardships when he started working. Started at a very young age of 18 years at a salary of Rs. 4,500 Jimmy Asija is now a well known name in the business fraternity. Always passionate about the work he does, its his inner drive that makes him achieve what he had imagined for himself. In an exclusive interaction with Business2Business, Jimmy takes us through his entire journey of how he started and what he has achieved today. This story is about an entrepreneur who explored multiple opportunities and always put in hard work to turn his dreams into reality.
The Journey: Jimmy shares, “Initially I switched a lot of jobs with my salary ranging in the bracket of 4,500 to 8000 rupees. During this struggle period, I married the love of my life, Siya Asija, who always showed faith in me and supported me in every journey I took. To earn more, I started working in call centers as well. So I used to go for a night shift and in the day time, I started working at an event management company, from where I earned extra money. I always had this good habit of saving, so after all the expenses I used to deposit the extra amount in the bank. Here is a story of all my ventures:
- Entrepreneurship has been always close to my heart, so my first business was into gear bearings in Jammu. But, somehow due to the turbulent environment over there, we had to shut down that business. Due to the same we almost lost 22 lakhs at that time. So when we came back, I again pursued my corporate job. The entrepreneur in me again pushed me and after some time I started working with one of my uncles in Surat in Yarn industry. I was to manage all the things over there. I noticed that in the yarn industry, there were brokers in between and they made profits through 1% earning on every deal. I was good at networking and realised that the price benefit in the form of brokerage can help me. So I started getting in touch with all the past clients and asked them to deal through me. In this process, we revoked some past clients, unhappy clients, etc. and addressed all their problems like reasonable rates, late supplies, etc. Initially I did not care about my share, but after some good deals everybody started trusting me and I started getting my gains from it.
- During that time only, some HNI’s were very much interested in the growing call center industry in India. Since I had work experience in the same, I started business in the same line in the form of partnerships. There was a lot of risk involved in the same, but I trusted my instincts and went ahead with it. I wanted to grow in this segment, so I started getting in touch with my network in this industry and started building my empire. It looked like fate wasn’t supporting me. Outsourcing from US was stopped due to the political decisions and thus our clients either stopped paying or shut their business. So again, I was back to where I started from!
- Then I came across an opportunity in Juba, Africa, which was related to import and export of biscuits. Temperature above 40 degrees, with no electricity and poor living conditions; I started working. A point came where I could not pursue it anymore, so I came back to my family in India.
- After coming back to India, me and my father started a clothing business, where we made profits through brokerage. I again went back to my basics, started networking and building relationships. I studied this industry and realised that brands earned maximum through franchising. The was a lot of risk involved in the business. So we started our brand ‘George Street London’, registered the company and started doing well. People showed interest in buying our franchise. In fact, our first franchise was sold for 7 lakhs. The brand was doing pretty well and I decided to take it to the next level. My first big order was of 35 Lakhs. I was so excited about it that I had sleepless nights! People started buying and trusted us. At that time I had taken loan from a lot of people in the market, so first thing what I did from all the profits was to clear out all my debts. I was very confident about this business idea and by gods grace we had 35 operational stores in no time. My company’s turnover was around 8-9 crores. Somehow, the business started going slow and I had foreseen it and I knew that selling it off will only make it profitable. That's was how I got introduced to Sudar Garments Ltd. The owner Paul invested in our company and later on we sold the company to him. Again from the profits I set myself free from all the debts. You might we wondering that I again came on square one. Yes, true, but this time I had the funds.
- Next, I went back to my uncle and offered him to do business in partnership. He had an idea of importing car accessories from China. He introduced me to people and I learnt the trade from them. So when I reached China, we got a feedback that the black films that are used in cars were a high selling item and margin was also good. So we bought maximum of them and just 20% of other accessories. Almost 1.8 cr was invested in that transaction. I even invested in the marketing of the product. In fact, 60% of the products were already sold high seas. But unfortunately, when the product reached, the Supreme Court banned black films throughout the country while the wave of Nirbhaya incident was in talks. So this business again had to be paused.
- I was very stressed, but I did not lose hope. I used my entrepreneurial skills to get in touch with builders and sold these black films to them as it could be used in homes. That’s how I turned this failed business into something that doubled my profits. At that time, the dollar rate had gone high and the import and export business was fluctuating. So I decided to leave this line and try something else.
Finally, I went back to my basics and got back into the Business Process Outsourcing line. We started with Market Research and our business was started with just 5 employees and gradually reached to 50 at even 100. My saving habit always helped me and all the money that I earned was invested wisely. Last but not the least, I invested in the film line.
The story of getting in the film making line (http://www.jrkfilms.com) :Jimmy shares, “When I was a kid, my mom wanted me to become an actor . We tried, but things did not work. So it was my dream that I wanted my elder son Hitarth to live. I used to watch Gujarati movies and discussed a lot of times with my friends about the kind of profits these films fetched with a very low investment. I did not take it very seriously till once again a very low budget Gujarati film made huge profits of around 26 cr. When I went into the details like the budget of making the film, star cast, etc. I learnt that the initial investment was peanuts against the profits that you make in this industry. He adds, “So I started getting in touch with directors and that’s how I got to meet Jackie Patel. He was in the process of making a movie. He shared the story with me and I loved it. It was a comedy movie. We did all the discussions and calculations and I shared with Jackie that I want my son to act in the film. He loved the idea and the shooting started. Later on I also got another investment partner in this project and that’s how it all started.”
Time Management: On asking how do you manage your time and take out time to follow your passion as a filmmaker, Jimmy shares, “Yes, it is true that due to multiple businesses, time management is tough, but I plan for everything. I pre-schedule things and that’s how I take out time for all of them. I devote almost 3 hours individually to my every business.”
More on the movie, Pagalpanti: Jimmy shares, “The movie will hit the screens soon. All I can say right now is that it’s a comedy movie with an amazing script and we are sure you all will love it.It will be released in Hindi in India, New Zealand and Fiji Islands and in Gujarati in Gujarat.”
Future Plans: Jimmy shares, “ As an audience, I always love watching movies based on true stories. So all my future movies will be about real people/incidents. I aspire to make all my upcoming movies with a top star cast, like Anushka Sharma and Randeep Hooda.”
Motivation: Jimmy shares, “With time I have learnt that self motivation is the best motivation. So I would say, I am self-motivated”
Vision in life- Jimmy shares, “In the next decade, I wish and plan to create a 1000 crore empire for myself and my family!”
Advice for entrepreneurs- "Time is the name of the game." Time will teach you everything. Keep working towards your vision and God will support you. Cheers!!!