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When a random journey birthed a business to reckon with

When a random journey birthed a business to reckon with

14 Feb 2018 No comment 3 hits

Edited. 460 words + 2x63 gfx
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Pushed to a corner with no proper job in hand, V K Venkateswaran decided to start a new venture with a friend he made while travelling from Goa to Kerala.

The year was 1999. Venkateswaran, his wife Parvathy, and friend Jaykumar, with an investment of just about Rs 20,000, a vacuum cleaner and four workers, plunged into their new business involving cleaning of carpets, sofas and the like at big hotels in the state. Soon, a company was born: Veejay Enterprises‘Vee’ for Venkateswaran and ‘Jay’ for Jaykumar.

Considered a novel concept in the state at the time, the partners had their work cut out for them where meeting and convincing the managements of hotels was concerned. The firm eventually took on housekeeping assignments, and one of the first major contracts they executed was with Kala Academy, Panaji.

However, although work kept pouring in thereafter, the revenue generated wasn’t sufficient for Venkateswaran’s family of five. “We got our much-needed break by way of an annual maintenance contract with the Goa Medical College (GMC). The contract continues even now and hasn’t been broken even once,” Venkateswaran says with pride.

Sometime down the line, however, Jaykumar pulled out of the business, leading Venkateswaran to rope in one of his sons-in-law, Vijay Gopi. One thing led to another and soon, there was no looking back. In 2008, barely nine years since the venture was born, Veejay Enterprises became a ‘private limited’ company.

With Vijay as one of the new directors, the company gradually expanded its base outside the state, starting with south Maharashtra and north Karnataka. It was during this time that the directors realised that the firms they were providing services to were likely to outsource all non-core activities, and not just housekeeping. Pre-empting this demand, Veejay Enterprises began providing additional services such as building managements systems, staffing, pay-roll management and data entry operations.

In 2012, when the company began its pan-India placement consultancy, which scouts for mid and senior-level positions for multi-national companies, Venkateswaran’s youngest daughter, Smitha, pitched in. Two years later, the company registered with the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) and, in 2015, set up operations in Dubai, UAE, which is now a flourishing business, independent of the mother company in Goa.

Anand Ramakrishnan, Venkateswaran’s other son-in-law, joined the business in 2016, and is credited with expanding the company as a project management facility offering services such as carpentry, painting, soft furnishing and security solutions.

Being a labour-intensive company, the directors make sure the 1,500-strong (mostly semi and unskilled) workforce is well-looked after and have growth opportunities. In fact, they are proud of the fact that one of their employees, who had joined around 20 years ago, is still a key member of the group.

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SCALING SUCCESS

Since its inception in 1999, Veejay Enterprises has only gone from strength to strength

2008 | Awarded 9001:2008 for best business practices

2011 | Awarded ISO 14001:2004 for best business practices to reduce carbon footprints

2012 | Expanded into facility management. Started pan-India consultancy services

2014 | Registered with micro, small and medium enterprises

2015 | Set up operations in Dubai

2017 | Received the best performance award for industrial development from the All India Achievers Foundation


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