Vijay Eswaran

Vijay Eswaran
Personal details
Born 7 October 1960 (1960-10-07) (age 51)
Penang, Malaysia
Occupation Executive Chairman of QI Group of Companies
Religion Hindu

Dato' Vijay Eswaran (born October 7, 1960) is a Malaysian businessman,[1] currently serving as the Executive Chairman of the QI Group of companies, headquartered in Hong Kong. He is also a philanthropist[2] and an author.[3]


Early life

Vijay Eswaran was born in Penang on Oct 7, 1960 to Pushpavathy Chinnaiah, a teacher and Vijayaratnam Saravanamuthu, who was with the Malaysian Ministry of Labour.[4] Vijayaratnam's work with the Labour Ministry had the family moving to different parts of Malaysia during Vijay Eswaran's growing years.

Vijay Eswaran graduated with a socio-economic degree from the London School of Economics in 1984. Thereafter he stayed on in Europe for a year and did several odd jobs, including working on a construction site in Belgium, plucking grapes in France and driving a cab in London. It was in the UK that he was introduced to multi-level marketing, and that prompted him to obtain a professional qualification from CIMA in the UK, followed by an MBA from the Southern Illinois University in 1986.[5] He continued doing MLM on a part-time basis while working for Synaptics in the U.S., preferring the conventional path of paid employment. It wasn't until his return to Malaysia, where he was approached by the Cosway Group to start its Philippines business, that ignited his passion to look at MLM seriously.[6]

QI Group

In 1998, after his return to Asia, he co-founded an MLM company that would eventually grow and expand into what is today the QI Group, an e-commerce based conglomerate with businesses in travel, hospitality, media, telecommunications, watches, luxury products, wellness, training, and corporate investments.[7] The QI Group has regional offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia and a presence in nearly 180 countries through a wide range of subsidiary companies.[8]

Speaker and author

Vijay Eswaran has spoken at leading universities, management and business leadership forums, including the Commonwealth Business Forum of the 2007 CHOGM in Uganda and Trinidad & Tobago in 2009, the sixth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in India,[9] the International Business and Leadership Forum in Brussels,[10] and the East Asia Summit of the World Economic Forum in Vietnam in 2010.

His first book In the Sphere of Silence encapsulates the core of his philosophy. The book has been translated into German, Dutch, Indonesian, Chinese, Arabic and Persian, and has been covered by USA Today,[11] and Forbes.[12] Eswaran has also pioneered an interactive program called the Thought of the Day, or TOD Program.[13] His second book, In the Thinking Zone, a collection of thoughts and reflections on life, inspired by the TOD Program, was launched in May 2008. 18 Stepping Stones, his third book was launched in 2010 and On the Wings of Thought, the fourth and most recent book launched in 2011 showcases his skills as a photographer. [14]


Vijay Eswaran has also established the RYTHM Foundation, the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of the QI group.[15] In Malaysia, Vijay Eswaran has established the Vijayaratnam Foundation, in his father's honour, to continue the philanthropic activities started 60 years ago by his father, Mr S. Vijayaratnam in Malaysia.[16] Through the foundation and on a personal basis, Vijay Eswaran has made significant personal donations to individuals and charities[15] around the world including to orphanages,[17] spiritual and cultural organisations and individuals in need.

In the July 2011 issue of Forbes Asia, he was named as one of the 48 Heroes of Philanthropy[18] in the region. In Nov 2011, he was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement award[14] for Regional Philanthropy at the 3rd World Chinese Economic Forum by the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute in Malaysia.


In May 2007 The International Herald Tribune reported his arrest for fraud on an Interpol warrant and that a company group director said the claim of fraud was wholly unmerited.[19] A dispute in Manila, Philippines filed by two former partners of the original founding team was escalated to an alleged ‘offence’ leading to an Interpol Red alert listing of four directors. These included the two main founders, Vijay Eswaran, who was then Group Managing Director and Joseph ‘Japa’ Bismark, Founding Director. The case was fought out substantially in the courts of Manila and Jakarta. The Philippines Secretary of Justice said there was no offence,[20] and a Jakarta court ordered their release because the offence did not exist in Indonesian law.[21] In May 2008, newspaper reports in India alleged that he was involved in an investor scam in Chennai.[22] This has been refuted by the company through media statements published in the Economic Time,[23] clarifying that Vijay Eswaran is not involved in anyway with the company under investigation. He is not a shareholder or a Director of the company and no charges have been filed against him in any court of law.

Awards & Accolades

In late-2006, Vijay received the honorary title[24] of Knight Commander of The Most of The Crown of Pahang, Honorary Distinguished Order Darjah Indera Mahkota Pahang by the Sultan of Pahang, Malaysia, Sultan Ahmad Shah, in recognition of his contribution to the economic growth of the state of Pahang. This investiture carries the title Dato'.

In Jan 2011, he was conferred with the International Leader in Global Business Strategies Excellence award at the biennial GOPIO (Global Organization for People of Indian Origin) International Excellence Awards, for his achievements as an entrepreneur of Indian Origin who has taken Malaysia to the global platform in the arena of business. In May 2011, Vijay Eswaran was conferred with an honorary doctorate in management by the Swiss Management Centre's SMC University.[25]

Personal life

Vijay is the oldest of two siblings and divides his time between Malaysia, Hong Kong, Sydney and London. He is married to Umayal Eswaran who is the Chairperson of the Vijayaratnam Foundation.[26]


  1. ^ "Commonwealth Business Council: Peoples: Vijay Eswaran". Commonwealth Business Council. Retrieved 27 March 2010. 
  2. ^ "RYTHM Foundation". RYTHM Foundation. Retrieved 27 March 2010. 
  3. ^ "Vijay Eswaran - In The Sphere Of Silence". Retrieved 27 March 2010. 
  4. ^ "About Mr Vijayaratnam". Vijayaratnam Foundation. Retrieved 27 March 2010. 
  5. ^ "Vijay Eswaran: Home page". Vijay Eswaran. Retrieved 27 March 2010. 
  6. ^ Vincent, Anne (October 2009). "Datuk Vijay Eswaran sets the record straight". Business Today (Malaysia) vol 9 (issue 10): pp. 22–26. Retrieved 27 March 2010. 
  7. ^ "Hong Kong's QI Group builds on Thai "destination" plans". Hong Kong Trade Development Council. 3 April 2007. Retrieved 27 March 2010. 
  8. ^ BERNAMA - Qi Group's Sales Value To Surpass US$1 Billion By Year-End
  9. ^ "India poised to become education hub, says Sibal". The Hindu. 9 January 2008. Retrieved 27 March 2010. 
  10. ^ "6th Conference on Ethics in Business – Corporate Culture & Spirituality". International Business & Leadership Symposium. Retrieved 27 March 2010. 
  11. ^ "Advice from the Top: CEO succeeds through silence". USA Today. 19 November 2007. Retrieved 27 March 2010. 
  12. ^ "Book Review: The Sound Of Silence". LLC. 22 March 2007. Retrieved 27 March 2010. 
  13. ^ "The thought of the day". Retrieved March 28, 2010. 
  14. ^ a b On the Wings of Thought by Dato’ Vijay Eswaran
  15. ^ a b "RYTHM Foundation supports Bihar flood rehabilitation projects". UNICEF India. Undated. Retrieved 27 March 2010. 
  16. ^ "Vijayaratnam Foundation: About Us". Vijayaratnam Foundation. Retrieved 27 March 2010. 
  17. ^ "Cheer for children with cancer". The Star online. 20 October 2009. Retrieved 27 March 2010. 
  18. ^ "48 Heroes Of Philanthropy". Forbes. Retrieved 26 June 2011. 
  19. ^ "Report: Indonesian ex-president helps catch Malaysian businessman in fraud case". International Herald Tribune. 7 May 2007. Archived from the original on 12 May 2007. Retrieved 28 March 2010.  (Sourced from the Wayback Machine.)
  20. ^ "The Estafa case". QuestNet. Retrieved March 28, 2010. 
  21. ^ "Jakarta court frees Filipinos in estafa case". Manila Standard Today. 13 August 2007. Retrieved 28 March 2010. 
  22. ^ "Gold Quest to face more cases". The Times of India. 19 May 2008. Retrieved 28 March 2010. 
  23. ^ "Malaysian firm disassociates itself from Chennai investor scam". The Economic Times. 11 May 2008. Retrieved 28 March 2010. 
  24. ^ "Dato' Vijay Eswaran, GMD of the QI Group and QuestNet Founder Receives Honorary DIMP Award". December 27, 2006. Retrieved March 28, 2010. 
  25. ^ "Honorary Doctorate for Vijay Eswaran". Retrieved 26 June 2011. 
  26. ^ "Board of Governance". Vijayaratnam Foundation. Retrieved 27 March 2010. 

External links

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