Getting To Know You: Rajesh Agrawal; Founder & CEO of RationalFX

What do you currently do?
I am the Founder and CEO of RationalFX. We are a foreign exchange and international payments company. We have recently launched Xendpay.com which is an online money transfer website.

What is your inspiration in business?
My inspiration is my clients. I meet my clients regularly and it’s amazing how well they are coping in the current economic climate. Several of our clients are great entrepreneurial success stories – they inspire me. One of my clients who came to this country with nothing about 30 years ago, now owns a £150m turnover consumer products company here.

At RationalFX, our business is to save clients money and it is very satisfying to see that particularly in these difficult economic climate we are able to help them. This satisfaction keeps me going.

Who do you admire?
There are many people, from all walks of life who have won against all odds – some have changed the world and are well known – but most are your everyday people.

I have lot of admiration for my mother who despite poverty, always believed in and stood for truth, honesty, education, family values, charity and loyalty. In the business world, the list is long – I admire Richard Branson for his ability to diversify, Steve Jobs for his innovativeness, Vijay Mallya for his courage and Larry Page for this creativity and ambition.

Looking back, are there things you would have done differently?
Looking back is seeing the lottery results and then thinking that you should have bought the winning numbers!

Hindsight is a double edge sword. While you can learn from it, if you get carried away, it can impair your confidence, future ability to take decisions and leave you feeling dejected.

I don’t think I could or should have done anything differently. The decisions that I thought would be right, were proved wrong at a later stage and then proved right again after some point. It is circumstantial and depends how you look at it.

What defines your way of doing business?
I am very passionate about business. My business is my art. I like to be creative, believe in innovation and enjoy working with people who are also passionate about their work. I also believe that business is defined by man, and so people are most important in any business.

Look after your employees, your clients, your suppliers – not just because it makes business sense – but also because business has a purpose in the society. In business you make profit by filling a gap, by giving people what they need, want or desire. It is important that every business understands their value proposition to the society.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
My advice would be – go for it. Firstly, you have to believe in yourself and what you would be working on. If you are not convinced yourself, how can you convince others or put their 100% in? Know the markets, the competition, keep an eye on the finance and be innovative.

There is no point in offering exactly the same product, in the same way, in the same market and at the same price!

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