Growing World Economic Hindu Power: Some Simple Practical Steps: Alpesh Patel

Alpesh Patel

Alpesh Patel

Are there different challenges and opportunities facing the Hindu business community of Europe compared to indigenous or other communities?

Long before there was religion in the world, there was the Hindu Epic – Ramayan. Known to the people of Loas, Indo-China as ‘Phra Lak Phra Ram’ as their own national epic. Ever since a student reading Radhakrishna’s (Bharat’s first Vice President) ‘Indian Philosophy’ about how the Ramayan influenced all Indo-China, I’ve wanted to see this myself. I shall with great joy see the ‘Phra Lak Phra Ram’ performed in Loas on Independence Day of Bharat and see what heritage the Sanatan Dharma gave these ancient peoples.

Our economic, social, political, cultural impact was huge. So what now?

As co-founder of The Indus Entrepreneurs UK, (TiE-UK) part of over 40 global business chapters and the first European Chapter, and as the longest serving TiE-UK board member, it is an issue I’ve been thinking about for over a decade at least. And now as an Advisory Board Member of the UK based City Hindu Network, an issue I will be thinking about long into the future.

But surely business is business. If there is one thing which has only one colour, it is money – and that colour is green. It only has one religion – profits. So are their Hindu-specific obstacles and opportunities?

Opportunities, and the obstacles a business faces because of a lack of opportunities, usually occur due to a lack of networks. We trust introductions from trusted parties. We include in our due diligence how much we know about someone already and what others say about them. The more people know you or your product the greater your opportunities and fewer your obstacles. It’s both rational and emotional. It’s human nature.

Therefore the greatest obstacle and opportunity to Hindu businesses is their access to quality networks. Through those networks, you build relationships, access points, know-how to overcome obstacles, information on which opportunities are available and how to access them.

Not being from Europe, or having families here for generations, we may be at a networking disadvantage. Of course some have not been held back, but many of us are.

Those without access, for instance to Parliamentarians, often in my experience become bitter about it and critical of those with networks and access. They will criticise those with access to networks as ‘gungadins’ or ‘sell-outs’ claiming those who are well networked are doing it for honours. Such critics do not serve their fellow Hindu.

Or take those inside Hindu networking organisations who then become autocratic dictatorial leaders blocking access for all others through their lack of leadership, vision and their constant bullying and seeking of limelight. These too allow their ego to dominate and destroy service to their Dharma.

It is why I’ve been involved in the establishment and growth of business networks targeted at Hindus. It is the single most useful thing a businessperson can do for his fellow entrepreneurs – create the infrastructure allowing obstacles to be removed and share opportunities.

Indeed if you want to know why Silicon Valley is so successful – it is because it is a network, a cluster, an ecosystem. A network which brings know-how and capital together. It is why the British PM was keen to create TechCity in London – a similar network of capital and entrepreneurs. Through this a virtuous circle of role models and business persons to aspire to can be created.

Are there different challenges and opportunities facing the Hindu business community of Europe compared to indigenous or other communities? Yes, not just our lack of Hindu business networks but also our often-times self-sabotaging leaders and our critics who throw stones at the well-networked.

So here are simple steps:

  1. I am on and you are welcome to use all my connections and networks. It’s so simple. Don’t reinvent the wheel – it already exists. I have over 5,000 CEO networks. Indeed if you look at my blog I show you how to use this tool for me to introduce you to Bill Gates (Snr) as one of my connections if you wish! Pitch for business, find the CEO.  I know, whatever it is – use me and others from WEHF like me.
  2. The British Government welcomes with open arms companies wishing to set up a company in the UK from which to access the EU. Visit or my own role within the British Government to see how we can help you set up a company in the UK to get the kinds of profits Tata did when they made a $1billion in profits in just one year. We have grants, we have universities to do R&D for you and product development and in Europe we have the world’s largest market of $14 trillion. Don’t know where to start – email me and I’ll get you hooked up into Government –
  3. Briton welcomes companies to bid for government procurement – visit our procurement websites to see what contracts are being tendered. These are worth tens of millions and are offered to SMEs not just large companies. Britain is an open country wanting the best quality at the best price from anywhere in the world because that benefits Britain.

This article was originally published in WHEF 2013 Bangkok Conference Directory.

Source: WHEForum