By Karan Bilimoria
'Every bit pretty much as good because the beer itself.' Sir Richard BransonFrom promoting the 1st instances 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 worldwide, Karan Bilimoria's imaginative and prescient of a much less gassy beer has travelled a protracted 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 task, it may possibly all so simply have long past improper. yet Karan's single-minded choice to be triumphant and his skill to encourage 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 really is this day. 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 choked with insights into finance, method, making plans, success, self-discipline, and usually doing the unforeseen to construct your individual company, from an individual who is been there and performed it... and all with a little much less gas.'Essential reading.' Richard Reed, Co-founder, blameless Drinks'An inspirational story.' Sir Martin Sorrell, leader government Officer WPP'Karan Bilimoria is likely one of the nice entrepreneurs...' Jo Malone, founding father of Jo Malone'Inspiring! … well worth the conceal expense for the "Financing Cobra" bankruptcy alone.' Professor John Mullins, London company School'… His tale may still motivate adolescence all over the place who're fired by way of the dream of turning 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
I was no exception. I had no money and no business experience. I badly needed both, and so I started on some new projects. 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.
So I got on the phone to my brother Nadir, who had an advertising agency start-up in Hyderabad. He had put a small team together and the agency was just beginning to make a reputation for itself. After I explained the problem, he told me to take the next plane to Hyderabad. Two weeks before the 32 FIRST STEPS first shipment of beer left India, my brother and I designed the new Cobra label and branding from scratch. ESSENTIAL INGREDIENTS • Don’t be under any illusions; it is not going to be easy.
Leading a team – an audit team – and working within clients’ companies involves getting information from people, quite often dealing with sensitive issues. As an entrepreneur, it is important to know your own mind, stick to your plan and resist the allure of a more structured career path – and salary progression. As the months passed, I began to understand how easy it was for people, even 13 AGAINST THE GRAIN those with entrepreneurial spirit, to get sucked into climbing the career ladder. Yet while a partnership in an accountancy practice was tempting, I felt that I didn’t quite fit.
Against the Grain: Lessons in Entrepreneurship from the Founder of Cobra Beer by Karan Bilimoria