Unlike most people, Mahesh Pai requires no introduction, at least for the business community of Goa, who know him personally. In fact, I would not be exaggerating if I said that Mahesh Pai has become a well-known brand name in Goa. My acquaintance with Mahesh Pai goes down two decades when I first met him at Sai Service for servicing my car. Back then Mahesh was working as a service advisor at Sai Service – Porvorim. Just by knowing this, I am sure you can understand how far Mahesh traveled to reach where he has today. This journey of his road to success was no easy task, and through this article, I will take you through the roller coaster ride of Mahesh Pai’s journey from Rags to Riches.
I am sure you would have read many stories about Mahesh’s journey but I assure you this will be the best amongst all of them, the reason being – my personal connection with Mahesh for almost two decades. Mahesh comes from a very poor family background where making their ends meet was the primary concern for the family. But Bill Gates, the world’s richest man, once said “If you are born poor, then it is not your fault. But if you die poor, then it is your fault!” Mahesh is one such living example of defiance of poverty with wits and handwork.
The first thing I asked Mahesh was regarding his post when we first met at Sai Service. According to Mahesh, before starting the job with Sai Service he used to work with a chartered accountant as a trainee. “I first worked with a chartered accountant, and I thought that the income would fulfill my need for money and be useful for my future. But later I realised that the pay is usually low and that there are no chances of getting a raise. I worked for nine months and left that job for good,” said Mahesh. Mahesh still feels that this shift was the most important decision he made in his life because the new job at Sai Service became the turning point of his life.
“It was my dream come true!” says Mahesh. It was somewhere in the year 1998 when getting a job at Sai Service was a matter of pride. Being the sole Maruti dealership in Goa, Sai Service was the most prestigious showroom in Goa then, and Mahesh was on seventh heaven. “Getting a job in the Maruti Suzuki showroom was the most coveted task; it was like an honor,” he said adding that “Although I worked there as an accountant, I never liked being glued down to my chair, and I was not aware that this quality of mine would bring me a surprise one day.” They transferred Mahesh to the workshop. “I thought it was a promotion until one day one of my colleagues came with the information that it was a demotion. I felt a little demotivated with his words, but soon I realised that whatever I was doing here gave me job satisfaction, which I was not getting being glued to my desk as an accountant.”
In life, it is important to learn to do what you like the most regardless of how much monetary benefit it is going to bring you. According to Mahesh, his so-called demotion came to him as a blessing in disguise, and it also came with another lesson that whatever happens, happens for the best. The real heroes turn every failure into success, and there is no doubt that Mahesh is one such hero who carved his destiny with his own hands. “Soon I realised that this was the right place for me as I loved whatever I was doing. I always liked to interact with people and here in this job I got that opportunity every time. I used to take the car to the customer’s place after it’s servicing and visa-versa. I realised that I did not want to go back to my previous post, and decided to stay where I was,” he averred.
When Mahesh was sent to the workshop at Sai Service he was not aware that it was going to be a life-changing phase. The main task he had been given was the handling of accident cases where he had to deal with the Insurance companies to get the claims settled. “The insurance company gave me the authority to appoint a surveyor and I developed a very good rapport with the insurance company, which helped me in my future endeavors,” said Mahesh.
Mahesh always wanted to be successful and financially independent. “I grew up in a poor family background, where my family did all odd jobs to survive. That drove my desire to earn and give a better life to my family. Initially, when I was working as a chartered accountant, I would work late nights and finish the book writing to earn some extra money. My first priority was to get my family out of all hardships,” he said. However, he revealed that working at Maruti Showroom gave him an opportunity to raise his standard of living, it still could not bring him the smaller luxuries of life. “I could not afford to buy even a small car with my earnings. At this juncture, one of my friends and well-wishers suggested I start my own business. Although his suggestion was good, I did not have any capital to start a business as whatever I earned from my job could only help me to live a decent life with two square meals.”
According to Mahesh, being the lone bread earner in the family, he had to take care of his entire family. “Whatever I earned would get over in paying the rent and taking care of my family’s needs, leaving me with no savings to invest into a business. Nevertheless, my friend did not give up on me, because he knew what I was capable of, and when he asked me for the second time, I explained my contradictory condition to him. Even after knowing about it, he insisted I start my own business as a financial advisor for car insurance and life insurance,” said Mahesh.
Starting the business of financial advisor was not an easy task as it required a certain set of skills, knowledge and a certification. But Mahesh already had two of the three things with him – he had a good knowledge of the insurance business and skills of talking to people. What he needed was the certification. Mahesh was highly ambitious and passionate and he always wanted to do something different. He spoke to many of his friends about his idea of starting a business but nobody supported him, so he had to drop the idea altogether. “That’s when my friend returned and asked me as to why I had changed my mind. I told him that I could not risk my job while waiting to start my business. But he remained persistent and explained that I would not be able to achieve anything in my life without taking a little bit of risk”, adding that he always wanted to be something in his and life and decided to quit his job without discussing any further with his colleagues.
Turns out, the bigger decisions in life always come with big setbacks. Something similar happened with Mahesh. The incident that provoked Mahesh to leave the job was when one of his customers at Sai Service, for whom he stood as a guarantor for a bank loan, left Goa after suffering from losses in his business, leaving all the burden of the loan on Mahesh alone. “I ran from one bank to another to pay back the loan that friend of mine had left behind. The company didn’t want me anymore. With no saving in hand, I left the job. I was completely devastated. I couldn’t pay my rent for six months. I had no money to spend on home utilities either. My condition was horrible and pathetic. To start a business in the middle of this mess was not a wise idea,” he said.
Books are a person’s best friend, and that came to Mahesh’s rescue at this juncture. To keep himself busy, Mahesh started reading books. That’s when he came across the book “Success Through A Positive Mental Attitude” by Napolean Hills. “I kept reading that book over and over again. I was moved by the success stories of failed entrepreneurs who became millionaires. I thought to myself “if they could do it so will I”. From that moment, I set out gathering clients. I went to a friend and explained my ideas to him. He was fascinated at the idea of me starting a business because he believed in me. He gave me my first work for the job,” said Mahesh.
The first work became the beginning of a new era for Mahesh, and from then onwards he did not stop anywhere. Today Mahesh is one of the most successful businessmen in the field of financial advisory, and his advice has helped many entrepreneurs to set up their own businesses. Today Mahesh runs a successful company called Mahesh Pai’s Financial Hub where he trains several entrepreneurs to become successful in life.
How does Mahesh Pai handle the cases of upcoming entrepreneurs?
Mahesh says that life has taught him many lessons and he always wanted to share this knowledge with others. That is what he is doing now, through the ‘Mahesh Pai’s Financial Hub’. Mahesh explains “When clients come to me I don’t directly advice them to invest in anything. First, I converse with them; study their documents; educate them on the different losses, gains, and risks they can go for; and finally, I let the client decide what is good for their company. Over time I also received NRI clients who came to me for help in financial matters. As per my knowledge, no other financial advisor works the way I work today. I spend a lot of money on my training to gain more knowledge. I travel to Mumbai, Delhi and abroad to remain updated with the growing technology and the competitive world of today.”
The change in technology has brought this business closer to the global level and Mahesh wasn’t far behind on this. With the internet being a mastermind of the new generation, he had to maintain his level with the changes in the business world. “I saw people starting up businesses and the government extending its support through schemes and policies for startups. Seeing this I was prompted to begin another vertical venture besides my existing business. I started work as a Business Consultant or coach. Three years down the road, I find it a successful extension of my business. A business consultant or coach explains the entire process of starting a business. From advertising, PR, and marketing to media and publicity, shares, investment, mind management, staff management, and legal procedures. We undertake the responsibility of educating the client before he or she takes the big step. We also started loan services to the clients like hoteliers, businessmen and a few NRI’s. My team is brilliant at their work. We see that we cater to all the need of the clients.”
A strong characteristic of Mahesh is that he always keeps the interest of his client and works towards their vision. “I often get emails from my clients and friends stating how GST and market shares affected their business. I offer to help them out with their difficulties with the help of something called Mind Management. They avail my offers and as promised I help them out. Staff management and financial management are important at all workplaces because of many conflicts among the staff regarding responsibilities and competition. Sometimes due to lack of staff, the boss works as a manager in the stage called as firefighting job.”
Mahesh feels that, as the owner of a business, it is his duty to work towards the development of a company. However, in many cases, he has seen the boss of a company do all odd jobs too. “He works as a manager, staff and even an employee of the company. We at Mahesh Pai’s Financial Hub have 97% of the owners who have gone through or are going through a similar situation. That is where we help the owners put back their businesses through consultancy.”
Mahesh Pai also speaks about the employment scenario in the state, and according to him, job satisfaction plays a major role in retaining the staff. “According to me, salary is not the only reason an employee leaves the job; the attitude of the owner, the way he or she interacts with the employees and the vision of the leader makes the employee decide whether he or she will continue further or leave the job in a year. Secondly, a company should have a vision of where they want to go and where they will possibly go in the coming year. The company should be able to impart training to its employees that are not just useful in the workplace but also in their day to day life.”
Mahesh Pai puts his point across by giving the example of his own organization. He has employees working for more than a decade and the reason behind that is because they know how far the company will grow in the future. “A female employee has more responsibilities than male. It is a daily challenge to work in the office and also work at home, thus in my organisation, they are trained to handle both the jobs smoothly. Different employees have different needs, but all the employees cannot have a sense of ownership towards the company because they have a particular job and they have to do it. We also train the employees to cultivate a sense of ownership responsibility,” says Mahesh.
According to Mahesh, around 90% of his employees work for the sake of salary. “As long as the employees don’t feel the sense of responsibility towards their company, the company cannot grow; there will be no creativity or development. When the staff starts getting creative, new ideas surface, which in my case helped me start these sections of the company,” says Mahesh.
Mahesh Pai gives specialised training to his clients and trains them to practice motivation in the organisation. “We encourage our clients to carry the culture of motivating the employees in building the company, this way the number of cases the staff issues in the organisation starts declining.”
According to Mahesh Pai, his consultancy company offers 100% results to their clients, and if the client is not happy at the end of the consultancy period he refunds the entire money back. When I asked Mahesh about the turnout of the people who ask for their money back, he said, “Zero. It is an absolutely zero turnout of people who are unhappy with my consultancy program. First, we give a 100% assurance to the client and if the client is not happy we promise to return the money. We work according to the expectations of the client and look after all the sections of work from staff to supervision, and the financial aspects are looked after and trained accordingly. I oversee the monitoring of company development and finish what we started. Nonetheless, if the client is unhappy, the money will be refunded.” he added.
Mahesh Pai’s Financial Hub is supposed to be the only financial advisor company that works in proximity with their clients. “I personally monitor the training. For example if we decide to go for some exercise in the morning when I see that the client, his wife, and his employees go along with me and my team and collect the report every evening,” said Mahesh, adding that he himself works on every task before asking his client to do the same. “We do yoga sessions with our clients and teach them about spirituality. I have come across people who chose to walk this path because of pressure from home and advice from family. I consider my greatest achievement lies in the story of housewives who cooperate with their husbands in their business or in starting up their own businesses.”
Another important thing that Mahesh mentioned in the interview was that he taught his clients to take blessings from their parents. “According to me, having blessings from your parents is equal to having the blessings of God. You don’t need to go to the church, temple or Mosque when your whole world is at home. Also, we train our clients to make time for their life partners. We look into the basic and detailed aspects of life and help our clients through it.”
If Mahesh Pai’s story had not inspired you before, I hope it has now! He has risen from rags to riches, and his speedy ascent continues even now.