When two dedicated philanthropists with the same mindset meet together, then their topic of discussion is certainly how to make the world a better place. This is precisely what happened when Dato’ Vijay Eswaran met up for the first time with Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus, the meeting occurred on Feb 22nd in Singapore.
Professor Yunus had come to give a speech at the Social Business Forum, which had been arranged by Singapore’s National University. His busy routine which took 3-days involved a lot of meetings, interviews and corporate lunches, though he still had time to get together with Dato’ Vijay for a special meeting.
During the occasion, it was apparent that both of them had something in common and that was their conviction that the power of change can only be found in the hands of modern-day youth. Through his organization, QNet, Dato’ Vijay has been able to impact the lives of millions of young people around the globe, by helping them take charge of their careers and livelihoods.
Likewise, Professor Yunus also intends to encourage and inspire more youths to make a difference in the world. He recently developed a special interest in a Malaysian project called Quest International University Perak (QIUP). The program is very dear to Dato’s heart and he actually sees it as an opportunity to impact the lives of local youths, specifically by giving them the chance of a world-class education.
Professor Yunus is also a business-person himself, having established the successful micro-financing institution Grameen Bank. He appreciates Dato Vijay’s efforts of blending business and their combined potential for doing good. In his daily occupation,
Professor Yunus has invested in many social startup ventures and is aware of their role in tackling society’s various issues. For example, through the Grameen Shakti institute, he’s been able to build more than 225,000 residences in Bangladesh which were fitted with modern Solar Home systems. These power-saving panels are not just safe for the environment but have also helped in creating eco-friendly jobs for Bangladesh citizens.
Nevertheless, more crucially, this meeting marked the beginning of their partnership for good. Whereas both Dato’ Vijay and Professor Yunus have achieved a lot in their professional careers, getting to know about each other’s works has inspired them to ponder on the question ‘How can we partner to bring about some difference?’
The common interest and harmony created by these two distinguished individuals ended only when the awaiting press rushed in to their meeting, and Professor Muhammad Yunis’ director also had to go to the airport. Even so, this didn’t stop Professor Yunus from signing an exclusive copy of his publication and giving it to Dato’ Vijay. On his part, Vijay also returned the favor by presenting the professor with a copy of his own book called the Sphere of Silence.
Apart from the special meeting, the Singapore forum also acted as a great opportunity for Dato’ Vijay to interact and network with the Director of NUS Business School, Professor Wong-Poh Kam, he’s also the Professor of LKY College of Public Policy and NUS Engineering School.
Currently serving as the co-founder and executive chair of QI Group, Dato’ Vijay Eswaran was born in 1960 in the small town of Penang, Malaysia. He later graduated in 1984 with a socio-economics degree from the London School of Economics. Vijay also received a CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants) qualification in the United Kingdom.
He’s a highly reputable motivational speaker and has given speeches around the globe on a variety of topics, ranging from corporate discussions to spirituality. His audiences have been major universities, including leadership seminars such as the CHOGM Commonwealth Business Forums and World Economic Forum.
Additionally, Vijay has distributed his ideas through publications such as his best-selling book ‘In the Sphere of Silence’ a life-management script that has been converted into multiple languages. His other books include; 18 Stepping Stones, On the Wings of Thought and In The Thinking Zone. Vijay Eswaran also occasionally writes newspaper articles in Sri Lanka and Malaysia.
Additionally, his business achievements have led to multiple invitations to hold prominent positions. He presently serves as an advisory board member of Corporate Malaysia Roundtable and the Global Business Council. Previously, he acted as chairperson of Quest International (QI) University of Malaysia Council.
Throughout his career, Vijay has also received a lot of recognition such as the honorary title ‘Dato’, which was given in 2006 by His Royal Highness-The Sultan of Pahang. He was also named by Forbes Asia as the 25th richest individual in Malaysia in 2013. Follow Vijay on Twitter.