BIJAY SHAH & BNI
My Professional Career is a mix of influences that I get from a lot of individuals.
Bijay Shah - National Director - BNI Middle East
I wanted to start by writing about him as he has strongly influenced my life when I started working alongside my husband back in 2008 or must I say much before that. Bijay has started a network franchise here in the UAE called BNI which stands for Business Network International. I can’t believe how time has passed. We stand here in 2019 and Dheeraj, my husband/partner completes 13 years of being a part of BNI. Going back around 2004 when we got married, Dheeraj started attending core group meetings; this was when the group was just getting formed, a name was not yet given to the group, the members were still less, a lot of learning was being instilled in the minds of everyone. Networking is a mindset, just like learning. Not everyone believes in it but the people who do become successful in the long run get financial success but it comes with strong support in terms of educational and support backing, friendships that get formed and much more.
I have taken so much back in my own company. I value relationships, treat employees more like my team members; in fact, I hate the word Employees as they are much more than that to my company. Networking is something that not all the people like it or are born pro with but it is essential to do networking and BNI teaches you how to do it in a more structured way. Word of mouth referrals is very strong learning we get from BNI and what goes around comes around is so true when you apply it to your daily lives as well.
Today, I stand at a place that I believe in no competition. Not everyone is the same. Just like all fingers of a hand are different, all the people are born with something special and no one can take that away from them and I feel that there is always something you can learn from someone. So stop gossiping and look for that one thing that is good in that individual and learn it or strive to learn it and make it a part of your lives as learning never stops and there is so much more in life than the competition. I also believe in collaboration. I run a printing press called Veesham Printing Press and I don’t believe in that question – Who is your competitor? Because every company has its niche. What we can do perfectly, the others might not. So identify that one thing, make yourself good at that and make it your USP when you go to sell your product or services. With my learning in BNI, I always teach all my staff to never say NO to any client or prospect looking for something. Being in printing, I often get asked for corporate gifting, sheets of paper, event printing to name a few. There are things that we might not cater to, but being in BNI has taught me and my husband to partner with our fellow BNI members and showcase their companies to our clients which will not only help the client to keep coming back to us as a one-stop place to get everything but also someone to trust as we will always connect them to someone we have tried and tested.
I always keep talking about BNI so highly and if it was not for Dr. Ivan Misner, the founder of BNI who started it back in 1985, we would have been working in a totally different way and following a totally different approach.