Nasib BR | A QNET Success Story
‘QNET gave me the power to dream, to live a life beyond my imagination.’
Most people choose to walk the safe and tested path, working in steady jobs, saving up to buy a car and a house, maybe take the family on a yearly vacation. Basically, following a set pattern that many others have done before them. For many, this sounds like a good life. But there are some who cannot bear the thought of walking the well-trodden path and are restless to do more with their life.
Nasib BR felt that discomfort in the monotonous life of a software engineer. He took a leap of faith that changed the course of his life forever. A rollercoaster ride that took him from success to failure and back to success again. In this inspiring interview, he explains how he went from a shy, young techie to a successful entrepreneur, and then lost it all, and how his amazing mentor K Padma guided him back to success, and the important lessons he learnt along the way.
Tell us a little about yourself, and how you came across QNET. What attracted you about it?
I’m from Trivandrum, Kerala, a state in India that’s obsessed with engineering. So, growing up in that environment, being assured by my parents that a great life awaited me after engineering, I too joined the bandwagon with two of my brothers and got an engineering degree from one of the top colleges in Kerala. Then I worked as a software engineer at Tech Mahindra, which is a prominent IT company in India, for about 3 years.
Despite following a popular career path, working on someone else’s terms never felt right to me. The money was barely enough, I’d find myself having to ask friends for money by the middle of the month, and things never felt right. I used to wonder if this was what the rest of my life would look like, having my worth decided for me by how much someone else chose to pay for my skills, never having enough to live a full life. Was this everything my parents had dreamed for me?
An old friend who was also my senior in college introduced me to QNET in 2006. The fact that he was able to build a business on the side in addition to doing a full-time job really intrigued me and I heard him out. I went back and discussed it with some friends and they had a very negative opinion about direct selling. They influenced my thinking and I decided not to pursue the business.
About a month later, another friend approached me with the same QNET business opportunity. This time I was prepared with a number of tough questions based on my assumptions and things I had heard from others. This guy took the time to patiently address each and every concern and the way he explained things to me gave me a fresh perspective into direct selling. That’s when I decided to take a leap of faith and start this journey. To mark this leap of faith, the very first product I bought from QNET was a beautiful gold Bismillah pendant which had the Arabic letters for Bismillah carved in gold surrounded by a frame of diamonds. I gifted it to my mother to begin this auspicious journey and she was thrilled with it.
Since then I have bought so many life-changing products from QNET. My mother is a huge fan of Edge, an antioxidant health supplement. She keeps asking me to order her a box every month. I am a big fan of the holiday products since I travel so much.
How easy or difficult was it to get started?
It was quite a struggle to make that shift from doing a job to running a business. Initially, I didn’t realise that there was any difference between the two. The way I started selling was completely wrong. I didn’t know how to make a presentation properly and I was easily disheartened when people turned me down. When two close friends turned me down, I really took it hard.
That’s when I had a paradigm shift. I realised that this was my business and I had to take ownership of it. I had to seek guidance from people who knew this better than I did. I decided that all the people around me were resources. I was living in Bangalore at that time, but most of the successful people in this business I knew at that time were in Chennai. I started travelling to Chennai on weekends just to go meet with them and learn from them.
Once my mindset changed, my approach changed too and I really started enjoying the process of building this as my own business. This is when I met my upline Ranjith Ravi who took me under his wing and started guiding me.
I still remember when I earned my first commission cheque it was only $50, but it was such a big deal for me. I literally did a dance of joy in front of my roommates who had all tried to dissuade me from starting this business. Next week I made $200, soon after it turned into $500. That’s when my roommates turned around and asked me how they could join my team!
Was there a particularly challenging phase in your life that QNET helped with?
Around two years after I got started there were some challenges in the industry in India which led to a lot of negativity being formed around this business. This made it difficult for me to continue what I was doing. Also, I was still very young and a bit inexperienced, and I decided to just quit and walked away from QNET which I had been doing part-time. Also, around this time I decided to quit my day job as a techie as I realised that I was not adding any value to my life with this job.
For the next two years, I joined hands with Ranjith Ravi and together we tried our hand at various other businesses. I have to admit that the training and experience I got at QNET gave me the confidence to venture out alone, learn new things and keep going forward. We succeeded in a few things, but we also failed in some. Unfortunately, the failures caused us to go deep into debt. I was realising that doing any type of business comes with its own set of challenges.
Around this time, we came across an ad from Robert Kiyosaki’s company offering a free consultation to aspiring entrepreneurs. Kiyosaki is the author of the book Rich Dad Poor Dad, a worldwide bestseller that teaches readers how to develop the mindset and financial knowledge you need to build a life of wealth and freedom. On a whim, we decided to call the number on the ad and spoke to a representative of Mr.Kiyosaki’s company. I explained my background and my experience in direct selling and then the subsequent businesses I had been working on.
When he heard about my direct selling experience, he was amazed. He said direct selling is one of the best business models for entrepreneurship and even recommended me a book called The Business School. This conversation was a real revelation for me. That is when I realised how great an opportunity QNET had offered me and the potential it presented. So, two years after I had quit, I contacted my grand upline and mentor, V Partner Padma akka, and told her that I was ready to start again. This time I came back much more determined, experienced and with more enthusiasm and motivation.
What is the most important advice you ever received?
When I decided to come back to QNET, I was neck-deep in debt due to the failed businesses. Padma akka is the one who gave me the confidence to fight this. She told me something that I will never forget. She said – “The most important thing is to first acknowledge and accept that there is a problem. Don’t try to run away from it. Don’t let your ego get in the way. Have the courage to call the people who you owe money to and tell them that you are broke. Explain that you won’t run away and you will make sure that they are paid back.”
This was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. Some of the people I called appreciated it and agreed to wait. Some others were not that understanding. I put my heart, soul, and mind into working towards clearing the debt and every week, I would use a part of my commission to make repayments.
Nasib with mentor V Partner K Padma
How was your second innings in QNET different from the first one?
This time around, I owe everything to Padma akka. Firstly, it was a big deal for us that she was taking an interest in talking to us and helping us. When I had started the business the first time, she was someone we all used to look up to but I never imagined that one day I will be able to talk to her in close quarters.
When she agreed to meet with Ranjith and I, we were still very young and brash, and reeling from the failure of our business and the debt we were saddled with. We were still not thinking clearly. Without her guidance and wisdom, we would have made many mistakes in how we approached our second innings.
For the next four years, from 2010 to 2014, she guided me, counselled me, and taught me everything I know today about building a successful business. When I restarted with QNET, I was 26. I was short-tempered, didn’t know how to manage people, and didn’t really understand how to build a team for the long term. She helped me fix the mistakes I had made the first time around.
By 2015 she started pushing me to think bigger and encouraged me to expand my team internationally. That’s how I was motivated to focus on the Middle East where today I have successfully built a team.
So, the second innings was when I learnt not just how to build a sustainable business that stands the test of time, but also how to develop myself and help others in the process. Without Padma akka, none of this would have been possible.
What are some of the biggest changes you have experienced personally?
I grew up speaking Malayalam, the local language of Kerala and I went to a boys school. My English speaking skills were poor and I had very little skill in interacting with strangers. After graduating from a top university in Kerala, I was rejected by 15 companies because I couldn’t talk properly during the interview sessions. It was an emotionally traumatic time because it didn’t matter that I had a good education and was well qualified; there was so much value placed on the ability to speak English and speak with confidence, I felt like I would not get anywhere in my life.
After almost 3 months of building my business with QNET, one of my mentors asked me to go up on stage at a training session and share my story. I was very reluctant. Public speaking, presenting myself and my story, these were things that felt like a nightmare to a boy like me. I was scared and terribly unsure of myself, but he didn’t listen to me. Somehow, I gathered the courage and went up on that stage, and managed to say whatever I had in my mind. After my speech, a person from the audience came up to me and said that he could relate to my story a lot and that it inspired him. That was a big moment for me. I realised it’s not about how you present your story, but what the content is. Your truth is more powerful than any gimmick, and in the end, that’s all that matters.
Since then I’ve never feared public speaking. Of all the people in my life, it’s my parents who are most proud and also the most surprised with this change in my personality. They’ve never seen me talking like this before!
Another important lesson I learnt from my mentors – ‘Everything you want is on the other side of fear’. I no longer fear challenges, I try to face them and overcome them.
Was there a childhood dream that you’ve managed to fulfil with QNET?
I don’t think I even knew what it was to dream. When I was younger, my goals were one dimensional — get a job, get married, have kids. That’s what everyone does, isn’t it? It was with QNET that I realised life can be much more. QNET gave me the courage to dream and explore more. Today, I’m living a life that I had never imagined and there are endless opportunities that I don’t even know of.
From a very young age, I wanted to travel the world. But it seemed more like a pipe dream before QNET. Today, I am so happy that I simply have to pick a few countries from the map and I have the ability to just go there.
I have also learnt to take risks and try new things. I have no experience in the movie business, but I produced two Malayalam movies that went on to receive National Awards. I wouldn’t call it a passion, but cinema is a fascinating medium and I wanted to explore it and believed that I can do it, so I did it! And it was QNET that gave me the power to realise this dream.
What’s your advice to aspiring entrepreneurs who want to build a career in direct selling?
I was fortunate that I had Padma akka in my life. She taught many valuable lessons that helped me not just succeed in business but also become a better human being. I try to share with others what I have learnt from her. One of the first things I ask new people is – When you want to start a business who do you look for to inspire you? Do you listen to the advice of the 95% who tried and failed or the 5% who succeeded?
One of the challenges many new people face in this business is there is so much negative chatter about it. Most people focus on the problems, the obstacles and the challenges they faced as they tried to build a business and failed. So, that’s all they talk about. However, the 5% who faced the same obstacles, found a way to overcome them and succeed. Talk to those 5% to understand what they did. These people know how to solve a problem, triumph over challenges. Find these people and learn from them and keep trying until you become an expert. I found this in Padma akka, and that’s the only reason I am where I am today.
I like the metaphor of a river flowing down a valley. It is forceful, determined and unstoppable. It doesn’t matter what obstacles lie in its path. The flowing water will adapt and find a way around it to continue on its journey.