At 24, Dilesh Bhimjiani has achieved far more than most. Creative Director of his own company, Viva Aspire, he has also worked on the London Olympic Bid process and worked abroad
There’s no big secret behind Dilesh Bhimjiani’s success. He puts it down to the old chestnut of “working extremely hard and working smart.” Commitment to beliefs and a desire to succeed also feature highly. Bhimjiani is creative director and founder of VIVA Aspire, a strategic marketing company. It’s the ability to see a bigger picture and the process of catering to individual as well as business needs that has seen VIVA Aspire starting to accrue the reputation it deserves, he says.
After seeing his parents build successful businesses of their own, Bhimjiani entered the business world aged 16 spending two months working at the global engineering company Bechtel. Working on oil pipeline development projects in the Middle East encouraged the young entrepreneur to pursue his ambitions. While studying for his degree in international business and management at Aston Business School, he spent three months working in Doha supporting his brother while he set up a software company. This was followed by a year working in Madrid for travel technology firm Amadeus – the firm were so impressed by Bhimjiani that he now counts them among his international clients. It was while Bhimjiani was in Madrid that the company was launched. “We set up VIVA Aspire in the strangest of circumstances, where I was working in Madrid and my business partner Gary was working in New York. This was definitely a testament to the fact that it doesn’t matter where you are in the world. If you’re determined enough you can do anything with the technology that is available today.”
One of VIVA Aspire’s greatest selling points is its dedication to supporting young people. With 13 employees and an average age of 25, Bhimjiani firmly believes in the qualities young people can bring to the workplace. “I believe young people are best placed for true innovation, as they bring a fresh way of thinking and problem solving. Youth and enthusiasm can be highly motivating for the rest of the work force, who may have been in their jobs for a lot longer. “For us, young people are much better placed to deal with modern business challenges, as they are much more tech savvy and have learnt to trouble shoot in a completely different way. However, young people are only successful if they recognise the experience of their older counterparts and use that to their advantage.” Unlike many young entrepreneurs, Bhimjiani hasn’t found it difficult to be taken seriously as a businessman. “I live by one single rule in business: If you respect someone’s opinion, they will respect yours back.”
In his spare time, Bhimjiani works with a number of local charities such as Children in Need and Birmingham Children’s Hospital. He’s refreshingly honest (and modest) when asked about the reasons behind his involvement. “For me my charitable involvements are not about giving something back. I don’t feel like I’m at the stage where my contributions of giving something back are substantial enough for my liking. I have always grown up with the belief that every child deserves to have the same opportunities in life to succeed and build a life of their own. I believe time can make the biggest difference.” Time was also a big part in his involvement with the London Bid for the 2012 Olympics. Having worked with multiple youth organisations, including the Youth Parliament as a child, Bhimjiani was well placed to represent the views of his generation. “The focus from my perspective was on engagement with the youth in ensuring that they recognised the importance of sport in their lives and the benefits it could bring.”
The future certainly looks bright for Bhimjiani, who has set himself targets right up until he retires – “which might not be ever at this rate!” His focus lies on building the VIVA brand, establishing and continuing to build the company’s network of clients and partners and continuing to explore different cultures around the world, ensuring he can leverage the growth in the BRIC economies. “I also want to build on our presence in Birmingham and ensure that it is recognised as a strong creative hub for the world, as we have some fantastic talent here. In addition, I want to increase my involvement with children’s charities and commit more time to ensuring that young people get the opportunity they need to make a success of themselves.” Pull quote: “I live by one single rule in business: If you respect someone’s opinion, they will respect yours back.”