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Behind every successful business house, there is a happy family- it is a proven fact in India, where 90% of the business is controlled by families. Here is one such family –Vysyarajus. The patriarch, Mr.Phalguanraju & his wife Mrs.Bharati, their 3 sons and families, live under one roof. Their saga of triumph & travails began in Komarti village, where Palgunaraju successfully ran his provision stores till the 1981 floods washed away their possessions. He migrated to the City of Destiny lock, stock & barrel. Finding a toehold in Kailashpuram, he started rebuilding his life, setting up a general store. The city became a karma bhoomi for his dutiful sons, who grew up into astute businessmen. Though famous and affluent, they remain gentle, unassuming & extremely grounded. Meeting the trio, leave alone interviewing, on one-to-one basis, is difficult as they prefer to give audience together. With much effort, we separate them in our columns.

1994 - Raj Bakery | 1995 - Taj bakery | 1996- MVP Electrical Hardware.
1999- Kiran Sanitaryware | 2004- MVP jewellers | 2008- MVP Raise & Raise
2013- PB Jewel Palace | 2014- MVP Plywood |
2015- MVP Grand - a 23 room-lodge | 2018- Vysyaraju Conventions, Srikakulam
2018- Tiles Bazaar, Srikakualm | 2018- Vysyaraju Jewellers

“I want to see Vysyaraju develop as an invincible brand, dealing in multiple trades. My dream is to build a mega complex which includes theatres and malls,” says Director, Naresh Raju, PB Jewel Palace. He named the showroom after his parents. He, being the eldest, bore the brunt of the blow the family suffered and saw the hardest times. He recalls how circumstances made him suspend his education with 10th class. He learnt trade ropes, serving in MVP Super Market for nearly two years.

Plans and projects
We, brothers, sit together and discuss the concepts and then take it to our uncle Mr.Bhoja Raju, MD, MVP Builders and Estates, whose stamp of approval is imperative. I take up only those projects which I am confident of implementing.

In bakery which deals with regular consumables, we walked into a familiar ground. But hardware was a new ground and I couldn’t make out nut from the bolt. That was when our uncle advised, “The 1st three months are your training period & customers teachers. You learn about products while meeting their demands.” While the three-storeyed shop came as a challenge, gold trade was the toughest.

Brothers in arms
Our family runs on unwritten laws set by father. We welcome ideas that better the family’s prospects. Everything pivots on positive thoughts. Our father reins us, if he thinks that we are going a bit too fast.

Home & work
These two are demarcated. Neither of them spills over to the other. At home, we may talk about the modalities of tours or meetings but never discuss business.

Toughest and easiest
This is a matter of perception. I never had an illusion that the business takes on full swing right from day one. Each trade has its incubation period. It takes at least six months to break even.

Idols and luck factor
I don’t set any idols, nor do I aspire to be a Tata or Birla. I set achievable goals and believe in hard work.

Best advice
When we were wondering if we should acquire property or go for a jewellery shop, uncle said, “Invest in trade that will eventually earn you properties.”

Best compliments
We are inundated with compliments. But I don’t take them too seriously as they may make us complaisant.

Memorable experience
The overwhelming response we got for our jewellery unit. Right from day one, the outlet was abuzz. This broke the mandatory six-month incubation theory and this remains etched in my mind.

I like to quote the popular Telugu saying kalasi unte kaladu sukham. None of us is petty to feel envious of other. I am proud of my brothers and so are they of me.

Personal note
We accepted the first proposal that came our way as we believe that girls should not be put to the humiliation of selection and rejection. My wife Radha Kumari is a perfect partner and a good mother to our children Vinutha (studying 9th standard) and Vishwanath Raju (4th standard).

A technical snag erased the entire recording of his interview. “It is okay. Don’t fret. I shall field your questions once again. Maybe I can come up with even better answers this time,” says a very stoic Bhadragiri Raju, Director Vysyaraju Jewellers, flashing a disarming smile and positive attitude. He shows no traces of irritation or impatience. That explains why he is an accomplished tradesman and how he reached the top rung on the ladder of success at suchl a young age. He can easily charm any customer with his cool and composed demeanor.
It was my father’s dream to establish a gold shop. We stepped into the market when people were wary of buying gold. So we set out with an aim to reassure people that investing in gold is safe. The outlet earned quick recognition.

I list the pros and cons of venture I take up. If it has 80% positive traits, I can overcome the rest 20%. But if the needle points to 50%, I have second thoughts. There was no looking back for us ever since we entered MVP colony. I attribute this success totally to Vaasthu.

Family tenets
My father believes differences arise when it comes to food because of varied tastes. He believes each child should get the food of its liking and only parents can provide it. Hence, he asked us to light our own hearth.

Agree to disagree
We may not always concur with each other, but we respect one another’s opinions. When in doubt, I put myself in my brothers’ shoes and think.

I missed out on education due to the financial crunch. But it helped me as I entered the trade much earlier and worked my way up. Those who are more qualified work for me. Hence no regrets.

Initially, MVP Jewellery gave us anxious moments. We spent hours to find out what exactly was ailing it. I found the solutions & never repeated the mistakes.

Advice to aspirants
Don’t expect fast bucks and short-term returns. Avarice only leads to heartburn and most importantly, cut your cloth according to your requirement.

The best of businesses
Though the bakery unit was successful, I wanted to try my hands in other trades without leaving that place as I believe in Vaastu. I wanted to go for gold business as there were one or two jewellery shops in the locality at that time. I also got the support of a relative Ganesh. He taught me nuances & finer points of the trade.

Best compliment
Compliments don’t reach my head.

Family support
Being with family relieves a lot of stress. You can take risks as you know that there is someone to support you.

Personal note
My wife Sowdhamini takes care of my two girls Kyathi (in the 9th standard) and Dhatri (in 4th standard). As she absolves me from domestic burden, I have all the time to focus on my business.

“Annayya’s shirt collar is folded, set it right,” Kiran instructs the man, who is helping his brother into a jacket, even as he settles down to an interview. This small act speaks not only for his eye for detail but also the tender care he bestows on his brothers. Meticulous & hardworking Kiran Kumar Raju, Director, MVP Raise and Raise, is the youngest. Yet he plays a pivotal role in the family and businesses. He is justifiably credited with bringing a unique facility to the region, making the job of many interior designers and architects and the lives of customer easy. He has built his business in leaps and bounds, developing his 500 sq.ft. outlet into a 5000 sq. ft. showroom and reaching his services right from Jeypore in Odisha to Tirupati. Introducing the mint fresh products and the latest trends to the region are the young trader’s penchant and specialty.

Ground breaking
My involvement is seen at every layer. If I am taking a dealership, I don’t stop at studying the product but also study similar products of other firms. I have to be sure of the veracity & quality of the product before I get into a pact.

Hard lesson
I first set off with a view to make our outlet a one-stop destination for all construction-related components as I aimed at multi-pronged growth. I dealt with segments like electrical, hardware, sanitary and plumbing. But I found the step wrong, closed hardware segment and made it an exclusive outlet for tiles and sanitary ware. Fortunately, I could apply a stitch in time & saved our trade.

The very concept of having a 3-storyed outlet of sanitary ware was a bold step. Competing with the giants who were well-entrenched in the market for the past 60 years, was audacious. We have toured the country to study the market. We learnt all aspects - right from what products to be sold to what kind of showrooms to be set up.

We advise each other only to better the business & not to pull back one another. One might see the angles not visible to the other. We throw light on those spots to arrive at the right decisions.

Hands-on experience gives knowledge which can’t be obtained from education. Even an MBA degree-holder should start from the first rung. That way I got a better headstart.
Favourite genre
None of them is a bed of roses. Right now, it is sanitaryware. I find great pleasure in introducing and selling new products. Our market is dynamic with new inventions incessantly flooding the market. I change the ambience of my outlet every year to display the latest versions against the right backdrop. That accounts for the ten renovations my outlet faced in the past ten years.

Luck factor
I am a stanch believer in divine power. Our good deeds are always well rewarded. So it is best to follow an honest path.

Best compliment
I always get them from my innumerable customers. They make me humbler.

Personal note
My wife Vasavi came, bringing with her a lot of love and light into my life. It was an arranged marriage that paved way to a harmonious journey. Our son Jaihun Raju and daughter Geetha Sarvagna are my best blessings.

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