Rotary Builds Connection

Reprinted with permission from PRIP K.R. Ravindran

“I am what I am because of Rotary”.

-Past Rotary International President and current Board of Trustees Chair K.R. Ravindran

I run a reasonably large business with over 700 employees.

Why then do I spend so much time away from my business, with Rotary? Does it not have financial repercussions?

Good question.

The answer is simple.

I am what I am, only because of Rotary.

Very early in my life, circumstances forced me to venture into my own business.

In a small garage sized space with borrowed money and a trusting investor, I set up a company which produced packaging for tea bags.

But as it often happens in start up businesses we found ourselves financially strapped after three years.

I went from bank to bank, looking for financial support. In order to support me all of them wanted additional security which I did not have .

The 13th bank I walked into, I ran into a friend from my Club.

I asked him whether he could introduce me to his credit manager. He said ‘of course’ and ascertained what my needs were.

From bank credit our conversation moved to other subjects.

I gently brought the topic back to my credit requirements and my friend casually pulled out some papers and asked that I have my company fill them out and bring it back to him.

I looked at the papers and then at him and asked “whats this?”

He responded, “I have authorised your credit; the credit limits you need are within my power to grant; you don’t need to see the credit manager.”

Incredulously, I picked up the papers, thanked him and as I walked away, I stopped, turned back and hesitantly asked  “what about security” – because that’s what every bank wanted.

He smiled and responded “you are member of my Rotary Club aren’t you, I trust you; now go along and build your business!”

In the next five years or so I became one of the biggest accounts the bank and a major producer of tea bag packaging in the world – only because someone trusted me because I was a Rotarian. Now you know what I mean when I say “I am what I am because of Rotary”.

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