Restaurants that digitized hardly lost any money- We have heard many stories about restaurants being the hardest hit industry and when we hear the success stories of restaurants that grew rapidly, we ask ourselves why all the other restaurants didn’t do the same. As a result, I have launched “The turnkey restaurant sales builder” that allows them to make money in bad times and good times.
With the success of the vaccines, we are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel of this difficult period in our history. But before we jump back into the routine of the normal life that we lived in 2019, it would be a shame not to pause to reflect on what we have learned during this time. The social isolation caused by the pandemic really was an opportunity for a collective pause, and a global self-assessment about who we really are, and what we really want in life. With that in mind, I created this series called “5 Things I Learned From The Social Isolation of the COVID19 Pandemic”, and I had the pleasure of interviewing Bimal Shah.
Bimal is the Founder of Rajpath Group of Companies that provide unique and customized consulting to executives and teams of companies to positively impact their bottom line.
Bimal is on a mission to make pioneers out of entrepreneurs by helping them achieve their three-year business goal in one-year and have the government pay for it through Grants. Bimal Shah is a thriving entrepreneur for 22 years, author of four books, and has made a positive impact on more than 1000 families.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Our readers like to get an idea of who you are and where you came from. Can you tell us a bit about your background? Where do you come from? What are the life experiences that most shaped your current self?
My name is Bimal, and I came from India in 1996. I worked five jobs to pay my own out-of-state tuition and graduated with 20K dollars in savings. Even though I had more than a dozen lucrative job offers on graduation, I decided to be an entrepreneur and have been helping entrepreneurs ever since. For more than 20 years, I have helped businesses thrive. I founded the Rajparth Group of companies on three principles- Thrive, Transform, and Transcend.
There are many experiences that shaped me into who I am. It starts with my mission. I am on a mission to make pioneers out of entrepreneurs by helping them achieve their three-year business goal in one-year and have the government pay for it through Grants. I am well-known in South Florida and in the business community for the last 21 years. I am a recognized speaker with presentations at several professional business associations, conferences, and meetings like Goldman Sachs Cohorts, Several Business Chambers, ABWA, BNI, NPI, Vistage, and many other reputed organizations.
I am married for 21 years to his wife Ami and a dedicated father to my two daughters after which I named my company. I have been successfully training and coaching entrepreneurs, executives, and employees to take their life and work to a whole new level. My organization helps bring control and charge in the lives of entrepreneurs by making their teams happily engaged, striking a balance between work and life, adding security from the seven enemies of Wealth, and making their business unique.
I have authored several books. My first book- “The Daily Happiness Multiplier” teaches 52 different systems that can transform people’s lives. My second books are series of 13 books. The series is titled, “The Breakthrough Accelerator”- Part 1,2, and 3 of 13 have been published and the others are being worked upon. I love horse-riding, reading, writing, and traveling to many places around the world.
Are you currently working from home? If so, what has been the biggest adjustment from your previous workplace? Can you please share a story or example?
Yes. The majority of my meetings and training still happen from home. The biggest adjustment from my previous working environment is that I can contribute to tasks at home in between appointments, meetings, training, and calls. I realize how much work is at home and am happy to contribute. For example, I do my phone appointments while walking my dog, and even while cooking breakfast. It is fun. Another example is that ZOOM meetings are very productive as everyone can be where they are, share their screens, chat, have breakout rooms to get exercises done, and even have the deliverables done in one training. This would take several training sessions, several back-and-forth conversations, and time that has been dramatically reduced.
What do you miss most about your pre-COVID lifestyle?
Human interaction builds a greater connection. In-person training is still needed in many companies and it is not possible to do everything online. Many of the businesses have now opened and able to provide in-person training. On a personal note, a lot of the travel has disappeared. The only vacations that can be taken are the ones where you can drive up to a specific place and with limited days, you can’t afford to lose time in driving. Now that many flights and destinations are open, we look forward to our travel plans.
The pandemic was really a time for collective self-reflection. What social changes would you like to see because of the COVID pandemic?
Covid-19 has brought a lot of good positive social change in people. The first and foremost is the social connection- Friends, Family, relatives that you never had the time to talk to or connect with before are suddenly connecting on a regular basis during the pandemic. There have been fun times, games, and other events that have started happening that weren’t there before. Movie theaters have shifted indoors to your home and now families don’t have to worry about movie times as they can make their own to what works for them. There have been fun activities that happen within short family gatherings. Zoom Weddings and events have started. The pandemic has brought a shift towards the focus on essentials. Even taking care of your own hygiene and cleanliness has grown by leaps and bounds as you must wash your hands very often- This is something that should have been done even if there was no Pandemic. There is no social distancing — it is just physical distancing and social distance has reduced dramatically as the social connection because of the pandemic has grown by leaps and bounds.
What if anything, do you think are the unexpected positives of the COVID response? We’d love to hear some stories or examples.
There are Five unexpected business positives that I would like to share that were big because of COVID-19
- Businesses that took advantage of free Money and Cheap money scaled — A lot of businesses that took advantage of the grants and the EIDL were able to restructure, reposition and grow and those who put their head in the sand, suffered. Never before money was available so cheap.
- Businesses that adopted, pivoted, learned, changed, and improved grew exponentially– Example of a company that grew from zero to billions in a Pandemic was one started by an Asian Gujarati (same caste as me)- Apurva Mehta — Instacart– The company adapted the needs, pivoted, and build a network of drivers, coordinated relationships with all the retailers, crafted a unique business pricing model and membership program, got investors, and made it happen.
- Restaurants that digitized hardly lost any money- We have heard many stories about restaurants being the hardest hit industry and when we hear the success stories of restaurants that grew rapidly, we ask ourselves why all the other restaurants didn’t do the same. As a result, I have launched “The turnkey restaurant sales builder” that allows them to make money in bad times and good times.
- You serve your customers better than before to grow instead of die– Many retailers suffered because of the Pandemic, but Macy’s grew- one of the oldest retailers used everything it possibly could, and its stock grew 310 percent — blowing away all the other retailers. The top five reasons I can share below:
Converting stores into fulfillment centers
Ramping up online shopping and making it very easy
Very easy use of rewards and coupons- they are always on your account — you never need to look for them
Great customer service support
Training employees consistently on how to amaze.
5. Businesses that captured the Mailbox and Inbox came ahead- For the first time in 10 years, the mailbox and the inbox had 10 times the attention span because of the pandemic. Any business that went with the right message to the right market in their mailbox and inbox got seen and heard and business happened.
How did you deal with the tedium of being locked up indefinitely during the pandemic? Can you share with us a few things you have done to keep your mood up?
There are five keywords that I used to help me deal with the tedium of being locked up indefinitely. Those five keywords are — learn, adapt, pivot, change, and improve. Every day I have used these words to cope with the lockdowns, uncertainty, and the pandemic environment. Few things I have done to keep the mood up have been the ability to adapt and pivot on a consistent basis. This habit of adapting and pivoting allowed me to introduce so many services that were the need of the hour. This resulted in revenue streams that didn’t exist before.
Aside from what we said above, what has been the source of your greatest pain, discomfort, or suffering during this time? How did you cope with it?
The source of the greatest pain, discomfort, and suffering has been that with every rapid growth comes a strategic focus on a constant basis that keeps you in the right track and moving forward. That discipline is hard and requires a lot of focus on what needs to be done at every given moment. How you optimally utilize your time is so important and it only gets better with time. There is no limit to how much you can improve in what you do with your time. Busyness is a choice and being optimally productive is a skill. We train businesses on how to be optimally productive throughout the day.
Ok wonderful. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “5 Things I Learned from The Social Isolation of the COVID19 Pandemic? (Please share a story or example for each.)
Isolation of COVID-19 Pandemic has taught 5 things for businesses and I would like to share that with specific examples:
- Businesses that used accountability systems thrived with remote workers: Businesses that had or improvised their accountability systems thrived during the pandemic and were easily able to adapt to a remote working environment and be more profitable as well. Example: An Online E-commerce company that had the daily accountability systems we installed, we’ve been able to grow by 300 percent even with remote workers.
- Businesses that grew by being Lean during the Pandemic: There are many businesses that grew after letting go of employees and the pandemic taught them, they could grow without them and be profitable. Example- A company that went from 26 employees to 10 and was still able to thrive and grow forward by having clear result-oriented job descriptions that took the company to a 50 percent growth with less than half the workforce.
- Structured Online meetings brought productivity and profitability: Many companies adapted to structuring their online meetings properly by having a moderator, timekeeper, having an Agenda, and laying out the outcomes before the meeting began. As a result, productivity and profitability shot through the roof. Example: A structured meeting with a moderator, timekeeper, a parking lot, agenda, outcomes, breakrooms, and a questionnaire to answer before the meetings get started.
- Businesses that utilized time saved from travel into launches scaled: Many executives that used to do a lot of travel now used their time to effectively communicate with others digitally or online and saw a massive positive impact as both parties realized they had to find a way to communicate. They launched into new avenues and new horizons and scaled. Example — A business owner who used to drive 100–150 miles three times a week. As a result of the Pandemic, all the meetings were now forced to do via Zoom that allowed us to be very productive. Instead of having meetings that were just lunches or at places that vital information for doing business wasn’t shared, the zoom meetings were so productive. With Zoom Share Screen, it cut the sales cycle to a third. When you shorten the sales cycle, you make more money.
- Businesses that hired great employees and restructured their organization chart have grown 5–10 years ahead of their competitors: Businesses that looked at the opportunity to hire great employees and replaced the ones that needed to be replaced and reorganized their organization chart to that of the future have grown 5–10 years ahead of their competition. There has never been a better time to hire than now. Example- We built a future organizational chart from the company’s ideal dream come true P&Ls and compared it to current P&Ls. This immediately restructured their organization with outcome-based Job descriptions and placed great hires in record time.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you during the pandemic?
“God is our coach, and he has unique ways to teach us. It may not always feel good initially and may look like a major obstacle or challenge, but after you get through it, it feels great.” — This is my own.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.
I consider Elon Musk to be the Iron Man of business. His consistent thrive towards innovation and success is aspiring and would love to have a private conversation.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this. We wish you continued success and good health.