By Karan Bilimoria
'Every bit nearly as good because the beer itself.' Sir Richard BransonFrom promoting the 1st circumstances of Cobra out of the again of a battered previous Citroen 2CV alongside the streets of West London to exporting to over forty international locations all over the world, Karan Bilimoria's imaginative and prescient of a much less gassy beer has travelled an extended way.Starting out with a heap of pupil debt, an entire loss of adventure and fogeys determined for his or her son to get a formal activity, it might all so simply have long past unsuitable. yet Karan's single-minded choice to be triumphant and his skill to motivate these round him to shop for into his imaginative and prescient, grew to become Cobra, sip-by-sip, into the multi-million pound company it truly is at the present time. Karan's tale bottles the very essence of entrepreneurship: imaginative and prescient, force, creativity and a continuing conflict opposed to all odds, to make the belief you so passionately think in work.Against the Grain is full of insights into finance, process, making plans, success, self-discipline, and customarily doing the unforeseen to construct your personal enterprise, from a person who is been there and performed it... and all with a bit much less gas.'Essential reading.' Richard Reed, Co-founder, blameless Drinks'An inspirational story.' Sir Martin Sorrell, leader government Officer WPP'Karan Bilimoria is among the nice entrepreneurs...' Jo Malone, founding father of Jo Malone'Inspiring! … definitely worth the conceal cost for the "Financing Cobra" bankruptcy alone.' Professor John Mullins, London enterprise School'… His tale may still encourage adolescence far and wide who're fired by means of the dream of changing into a profitable entrepreneur.' Ratan Tata, Chairman, Tata staff
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Extra info for Against the Grain: Lessons in Entrepreneurship from the Founder of Cobra Beer
Gandhi also wanted exclusive distribution rights for Indian restaurants in Greater London. I was not that easily discouraged though. Drawing on my experience as an accountant, I came up with what I thought was a rather ingenious solution. Gandhi was a very well-run family company and it occurred to me that it might have unused overdraft facilities. My instincts were right: Gandhi was completely debt free, with an unutilised overdraft of £1m. I told them I had thought of a route that allowed Gandhi to have 60 days’ credit, but under which we could still get cash on delivery.
Know your own mind. Do you really want to run your own business? • Have realistic goals to begin with. • Get some business experience before you start. 17 AGAINST THE GRAIN COBRA PERSPECTIVE ARJUN REDDY – FORMER BUSINESS PARTNER When we ﬁrst started importing Cobra, it was just the two of us! We were equal partners in the business, so we both did everything, from working with the brewery in India to opening accounts with Indian restaurants and meeting distributors. We would often go down to the P&O bonded warehouse in Canning Town in the East End of London to collect the beer for delivery.
My first foray into business was importing polo sticks. Traditionally, polo players in Britain used sticks sourced from Argentina. The Falklands war between the UK and Argentina put paid to that, however. With a trade embargo still in force there was a shortage of polo sticks and a market opportunity to exploit. The obvious solution was to import sticks from India. I had learned to play polo back in India; I even earned a halfblue playing for Cambridge and led the University side on a tour of India.