The QI Group of Companies based in Hong Kong, is a big conglomerate with interests ranging from telecommunications to training and conference management. Founded just a little over a decade ago, the multinational today has subsidiaries in over 30 countries. Its flagship subsidiary, QuestNet, is a highly successful e-commerce based network marketing company with over 5 million members worldwide and presence in 160 countries.

However, this blog post won’t be about the company, but rather, the person behind it – Vijay Eswaran. It is an inspiring rags-to-riches story of how a restless entrepreneur found his Blue Ocean.

Vijay Eswaran was born on 7 October 1965 in Penang, to an Indian migrant couple who had just settled in Malaysia. After graduating from the London School of Economics in 1984, the young Eswaran assumed several odd jobs, ranging from a construction worker in Belgium to a cab driver in London, to finance his travels in Europe. It was in the UK that he was first introduced to multi-level marketing (MLM), something that he would continue to pursue on a part-time basis even while working for Synaptics in the United States.

Vijay Eswaran only went into MLM full-time upon his return to Malaysia, when he was approached by a Malaysian-based MLM company called Cosway, to jumpstart its operations in the Philippines. 1998 was the defining year, where Eswaran co-founded his very own MLM company, and as they say, the rest is history!

In 2006, Vijay was given the honorary title of Dato’ by the Sultan of Pahang, Sultan Ahmad Shah, to recognize his valuable contribution to the economic progress in the state.

Apart from his entrepreneurial success, Dato Vijay Eswaran is also an established speaker and writer. He has spoken in various leading institutions of higher learning and also at important events like Commonwealth Business Forum. His first book, In the Sphere of Silence, is widely acclaimed and has been translated into 6 different languages.

Vijay Eswaran is also no stranger to philanthropy. The QI Group contributes back to society via its CSR arm, RYTHM Foundation. Over the years, RYTHM (which stands for Raise Yourself to Help Mankind) has helped displaced flood victims in Pakistan to raising funds for autistic children in Hong Kong. In addition, Vijay also established the Vijayaratnam Foundation for philantrophic efforts in Malaysia, in honour of his father.

If you wish to learn more about Vijay Eswaran, please visit his official blog, where he shares his wisdom on entrepreneurship as well as on the spiritual aspects of life. Mr. Eswaran also constantly tweets his thoughts of the day on Twitter.

Updated 25th June 2011: Vijay Eswaran was named one of the top 48 philanthropists in Forbes Asia. Read the article here.