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Horasis Asia Meeting 2016, Bangkok, 26–27 November
7 October 1960|
London School of Economics |
Southern Illinois University
|Occupation||Executive Chairman of QI Group|
|Net worth||US$500 million (2013)|
Vijayaratnam Eswaran |
Vijay Eswaran (born 7 October 1960) is a Malaysian businessman who is the Executive Chairman of the QI Group of Companies, which is headquartered in Hong Kong.
Vijay Eswaran was born in Penang on 7 October 1960 to Pushpavathy Chinnaiah, a teacher and Vijayaratnam Saravanamuthu, who was with the Malaysian Ministry of Labour. Vijayaratnam's work with the Labour Ministry had the family moving to different parts of Malaysia during Vijay Eswaran's childhood.
After graduating with a degree in socio-economics in LSE (London School of Economics) in 1984, he bummed around Europe for a year, where he did a series of jobs including working in a construction site in Belgium and plucking grapes in France. It was in the UK that he was introduced to binary system marketing, and that prompted him to obtain a professional qualification from CIMA in the UK, followed by an MBA from the Southern Illinois University in 1986. At this time he was involved in multilevel marketing (MLM) on a part-time basis while working for Synaptics in the U.S.
It wasn't until his return to Malaysia - 13 years after leaving it - where he was approached by the Cosway Group to start its Philippines business, that he began looking at MLM more seriously.
In 1998, after his return to Asia, he co-founded a multilevel marketing company that grew and expand into QI Group, an e-commerce based conglomerate with businesses in travel, media, telecommunications, luxury products, wellness, training, and corporate investments. QI Group has regional offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia and a presence in nearly 10 countries through a wide range of subsidiary companies.
In 2017 Vijay Eswaran and Green Venture Capital, a subsidiary of QI Group began the development of Qi City, a RM 1.2 billion commercial and residential development, in Bandar Meru Raya, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia. Set for completion in 2020, the project is also expected to include a teaching hospital that will offer a combination of private and public medical services. Vijay Eswaran is Chairman of the Council of the Quest International University (QIUP), which is also part of QI City. The university was founded in 2008 and is owned by the State Government of Perak and QI Group.
His first book In the Sphere of Silence, was published in 2005. It explains his personal life management philosophy and his habit of starting each day with an hour of silence. His second book, In the Thinking Zone, a collection of thoughts and reflections on life, was released in May 2008. His third book, 18 Stepping Stones, was released in 2010. On the Wings of Thought, a collection of his photography, was released in 2011.
Vijay Eswaran has established the RYTHM Foundation as the corporate social responsibility arm of the QI group. In Malaysia, Vijay Eswaran also established a charitable organization, the Vijayaratnam Foundation, which is named after his father.
Vijay Eswaran, his business partner Joseph Bismark, Tagumpay Kintanar and Donna Marie Imson were accused in Jakarta on May 3 of allegedly defrauding two Filipinos of more $100,000 in Goldquest pyramiding scheme after arrest warrants were issued by Judge Vargas. They were charged before the Quezon City Regional Trial Court of syndicated estafa which was a non-bailable offence on the basis of a criminal complaint. The Department of Justice, Office of the City Prosecutor later dropped the charges following a Jakarata courts dismissal of the extradition request from the National Bureau of Investigation and citing it to be a civil liability and not a criminal case. In May 2007 The International Herald Tribune reported his arrest on an Interpol warrant. A dispute in Manila, Philippines filed by two former partners of the original founding team was escalated to an alleged ‘offence’ leading to an Interpol Red alert listing of four directors. These included the two main founders, Vijay Eswaran, who was then Group Managing Director and Joseph ‘Japa’ Bismark, Founding Director. The case was fought out substantially in the courts of Manila and Jakarta. The Goldquest executives had asked the Philippines Supreme Court to stop the Quezeon City Regional Court trial pending resolution of a petition for review. After three weeks, Indonesian courts released him; a Manila court dismissed the charge soon afterward.
In the Gold Quest Scam of 2008 in Chennai, India, where thousands of investors lost money, Vijay Eswaran, was charged as an absconding accused in the chargesheet filed by the police before the Magistrate Court. The case was fought out to the Supreme Court, with the Supreme Court allowing the quashing of the entire proceedings. The Supreme Court appointed a one-man commission, a retired Judge of the Madras High Court, to settle all legitimate claims of around 200 depositors. Enforcement Directorate, Chennai, has provisionally attached properties worth 150 crore of Gold Quest International in a case of money circulation and cheating under Prevention of Money Laundering Act. Though there is a Red Corner notice pending against Eswaran, he is yet to be arrested and brought to India. In an interview about the charges, Vijay Eswaran has denied any wrongdoing, and dismissed the claims as being indicative of corruption and poor journalistic standards in India. Qnet has also stated that Vijay Eswaran is neither director, nor shareholder of Qnet's Indian franchise(Vihaan Direct Selling Pvt. Ltd.).
In August 2013, a newspaper in India reported that Vijay Eswaran was being investigated by the Economic Offences wing in regards to Qnet, which he founded. The Economic Offences Wing issued lookout notice against Eswaran and a few others, after he failed to appear before the authorities for questioning. Police have frozen six of Qnet's bank accounts in the country. QNet has refuted the allegations fully in stating that its operations are legal, compliant and transparent. The Enforcement Directorate in 2014 has alleged money laundering against Vijay Eswaran and his company Qnet. This allegation has been refuted by both the company QNet and Vijay Eswaran. After 3 years of probe, the Economic Offences Wing of the Mumbai Police filed a 55,000 page chargesheet in connection with the Qnet Scam. His name featured in the list of people against whom lookout notice has been issued by Mumbai police in India. The key accused and mastermind of the scam Vijay Eswaran of the QI Group is still absconding as told by the special public prosecutor Pradeep Gharat.
The Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors (MPID) court said that prima facie the business of Qnet, of founder Vijay Eswaran, was not legal. The Supreme Court granted conditional bail to Michael Ferreira and Malcolm Nozer Desai, shareholders of Vihaan Direct Selling Pvt Ltd., a franchise of Qnet in India. Both were directed to cooperate with the investigations. The court also stayed proceedings in 19 FIRs filed across the country.
The spokesperson of the Bharatiya Janta Party in a press conference in Bangalore accused Chief Minister of Karnataka of meeting declared absconder Vijay Eswaran in World Economic Forum in China against whom a chargesheet was filed in Chennai in 2009. 
He is married to Umayal Eswaran who is the Chairperson of the Vijayaratnam Foundation.
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