Viraj Kohli: An Entrepreneur on a Social Mission

Viraj Kohli,Chief Marketing Officer

Viraj Kohli

Chief Marketing Officer

‘When you think your life is falling apart, it’s usually falling together in disguise’ ~ goes a famous quote, which perfectly sums up the entrepreneurial journey for Uviraj Group. Though learning and growth has been a continuous journey for Viraj, things suddenly took a plunge in 2010 when certain unavoidable circumstances arose that forced Viraj’s father to start from scratch at an age when others plan their retirement. Witnessing his parents struggle with hope being the only oar, Viraj decided to take charge of their dream to build a huge empire. He has been working relentlessly each day and today this humbled entrepreneur feels that this is just the beginning of his dream and has a long road to travel.

Building Uniquely for the Society

Better to be termed as a social entrepreneur,Viraj has always dreamt of contributing to society and hopes to make a positive dent in the lives of people at a larger level. All he does is focus on developing novel ideas and better executing those to protect the lives of workers. His company Uviraj Group is nichely focused on manufacturing and supplying a comprehensive range of personal protective equipment to leading industries across the world. Viraj places emphasis on improving the quality of his products while maintaining the right pricing to meet the customers’ expectations and requirements. “With the help of our channel partners across the country, I am sure that very soon we will be able to become one of the most promising safety companies in India. Since beginning, my aim is not to shake, but to make a market,” proclaims Viraj.

This friendly, social, open-minded person who likes to meet new people, also loves to talk about new ideas and cherishes every aspect of his life. He likes to
dream big and hence works with full passion to achieve those goals. “But at the same time, I also understand not to compare my first page to someone’s twentieth,” explains Viraj. He started his first business Alpha Q (a retail company that sold clubbing T-shirts in Newcastle, UK) while in the second year of his university along with his friend. Capitalizing on the skills developed in school and university days, today he uses them in daily life to succeed as an entrepreneur. “I am fortunate to have a great team of people working all day to build Uviraj as a reputed brand. We have a mix age-group of people with some gentlemen that are double my age. It feels wonderful to learn something from them each day and I focus on using their experience to position ourselves as one of the top safety companies in India,” Viraj asserts.

Saving lives of workers is my foremost priority, and working every day to better safeguard these men & women is what makes me happy and work with full zeal

He believes that entrepreneurship itself is the biggest risk that he has ever taken as every decision in business is a risk and its chances of succeeding depends mostly on the right calculations. “There have been times when people didn’t support my decisions. But if I am confident enough, I back on my strengths and take the risk to get out of difficult situations. I look at failure as something that makes me stronger for my future. The more I fail, the more I learn,” explains Viraj and suggests to think big and not to take advice from pessimistic people. His favourite aspect of being an entrepreneur is his ability to develop and sell products and services he loves and is passionate about. “Saving lives of workers is my foremost priority and working every day to better safeguard these men and women is what makes me happy and work with full zeal,” explains Viraj. Usually found advising his team to not just work hard but also smart, he emphasises on keeping the customers at the highest priority as that is the best business strategy of all.
The Other Side of the Coin

Rigorous academics were never his forte, but he still managed to score well in important examinations. Described as an ‘All-Rounder’,Viraj’s zest to keep learning goes stronger each day. He says,“The more I learn each day, the stronger I get as an entrepreneur”. Highly inspired by his father’s risk taking ability which is beyond exception, Viraj also admires Steve Jobs who stirs him to do things that people have never imagined before. “I am not much of a book reader but I follow great personalities and speakers on LinkedIn, and spend a significant time reading inspiring articles,” says Viraj. Managing people being his biggest strength, Viraj has always been good at negotiation and persuasion that has helped him get the best out of people for mutual interests. But his convention to implement many things at a single time is his feebleness.

Being a person who cannot sit and work at a single place for long, one can find him outside his office meeting suppliers, customers, financers, bank managers and others to learn something new. Spending time with knowledge able professionals help this budding entrepreneur to gain their experience to take future challenges heads-on. While Viraj’s days start with checking his emails, he hits the gym or plays football in the evenings to keep his mind, body and soul fit. A big fan of luxury cars, he keeps up with the news of the latest models and their specifications. And being a big time foodie and his unconditional love for ice creams, he can really binge on them any time!

Coming from a nuclear family of five members, Viraj’s family has always been supportive of his decisions, if morally and ethically right.“‘Your network determines your net worth’,is one of my favourite quotes and I am extremely fortunate and grateful to have a lot of wonderful friends whom I consider my family.” explains Viraj.

In the next five years, he visualizes Uviraj as the leading one-stop solution for safety products in India. “Also, I aspire to see our company listed at the stock exchange soon. I am hopeful of achieving my goals with the help of the entire Uviraj team,” concludes Viraj.