Vijay Eswaran is the co-founder and Executive Chairman of the QI Group of Companies as well as an entrepreneur, philanthropist and author. Eswaran was born in Penang, Malaysia in 1960 to his mother, Pushpavathy Chinnaiah who was a teacher and his father, Vijayaratnam Saravanamuthu, who was with the Malaysian Ministry of Labour. Due to his father’s job, the family moved frequently to different parts of Malaysia throughout Vijay’s childhood. He went on to attend the London School of Economics and graduated with a degree in Socioeconomics in 1984. After graduating, he traveled through Europe and took several odd jobs as a cab driver, gas station attendant and security guard. While in the United Kingdom, Eswaran was introduced to binary system marketing which led him to obtain a professional certificate from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and an MBA from the Southern Illinois University.
Vijay Eswaran spent several years working for various companies, including IBM, in North American and South-east Asia before he returned to Malaysia in 1998 to co-found the QI Group. The QI Group is a multinational conglomerate, headquartered in Hong Kong, that is involved in direct selling, real estate, education, retail, and hospitality. Eswaran states that the idea for QI began while he was still in university and he fell in love with network marketing and the idea of creating entrepreneurs. He tributes his success to believing in consensus management and working in teams, claiming it provides multiple viewpoints helping him and others understand a subject or idea more clearly.
Eswaran also founded the RYTHM Foundation and the Vijayaratnam Foundation and is listed in Forbes Asia’s list of Heroes in Philanthropy. Both foundations work with local and international NGOs and organizations to focus on community development and well-being, child mentoring, youth development, women empowerment and special education.