By Karan Bilimoria
'Every bit nearly as good because the beer itself.' Sir Richard BransonFrom promoting the 1st circumstances of Cobra out of the again of a battered previous Citroen 2CV alongside the streets of West London to exporting to over forty international locations worldwide, Karan Bilimoria's imaginative and prescient of a much less gassy beer has travelled an extended way.Starting out with a heap of pupil debt, a whole loss of event and fogeys determined for his or her son to get a formal task, it might all so simply have long gone flawed. yet Karan's single-minded decision to be triumphant and his skill to motivate these round him to shop for into his imaginative and prescient, became Cobra, sip-by-sip, into the multi-million pound company it really is at the present time. Karan's tale bottles the very essence of entrepreneurship: imaginative and prescient, force, creativity and a continuing conflict opposed to all odds, to make the belief you so passionately think in work.Against the Grain is full of insights into finance, method, making plans, good fortune, self-discipline, and usually doing the unforeseen to construct your individual company, from an individual who is been there and performed it... and all with somewhat much less gas.'Essential reading.' Richard Reed, Co-founder, blameless Drinks'An inspirational story.' Sir Martin Sorrell, leader govt Officer WPP'Karan Bilimoria is likely one of the nice entrepreneurs...' Jo Malone, founding father of Jo Malone'Inspiring! … well worth the conceal expense for the "Financing Cobra" bankruptcy alone.' Professor John Mullins, London company School'… His tale should still motivate adolescence all over who're fired by way of the dream of changing into a profitable entrepreneur.' Ratan Tata, Chairman, Tata workforce
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Extra resources for Against the Grain: Lessons in Entrepreneurship from the Founder of Cobra Beer
To make its long journey from the brewery in Bangalore to the Indian restaurants in the UK, and remain intact, the beer would need to be stored in far more robust bottles. Through my network of family contacts I got in touch with the managing director of the biggest bottle manufacturer in India, based in Hyderabad. The company agreed to produce special bottles for me, but there was another snag – the size of the bottles. At the time, most beer in the UK was sold in 330ml bottles, but the standard size in India was 650ml – a much bigger bottle, and one that the brewery insisted on using as it was not then bottling any 330ml.
The artwork was with the printing press. Thousands of ward with those ideas until you labels were due to be printed. have checked them with the con- We had two options. We could sumer ﬁrst. stick with the existing name and try to make it work, regardless of what people thought. Or we could choose another name. I told Arjun that I would contact the printers in the morning on the off chance that they hadn’t printed the labels yet. In the meantime, I asked Arjun what the second name on the list was.
The perception is that it’s all about numbers, but it’s really about dealing with people. Leading a team – an audit team – and working within clients’ companies involves getting information from people, quite often dealing with sensitive issues. As an entrepreneur, it is important to know your own mind, stick to your plan and resist the allure of a more structured career path – and salary progression. As the months passed, I began to understand how easy it was for people, even 13 AGAINST THE GRAIN those with entrepreneurial spirit, to get sucked into climbing the career ladder.