Jose Thomas

My Blog

Wednesday 26th January, 2011



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Dear friends,
Things were going well. Business was growing day by day and I began to enjoy the experience of making money. Even though my Nellore factory was a challenge, it started to give results. It was a smooth ride - the Cochin factory, the shipping business and the brand new factory in Nellore. In the meantime, three more housing projects were completed – two in Cochin and one in Trivandrum.
I was flying high. The school too made great progress and added many credits to the Group.

I never stopped dreaming of growth wanting to do more day by day. Meanwhile I began imbibing quite a bit of style from my partner in California. His Corporate Office was simply stunning – Lounges, Cafeteria, Kitchen, Bars, mood lighting and so on. It was full of style. It was very impressive and a pleasure to associate with. I took a special liking for him and I could soon see a change happening in me. My desires changed, my style and thinking changed and I wanted to be like him. Back home in Cochin those days things were very different from what it is today. The thinking of the citizens was very different. Very few shops, no malls, no corporate offices, less traffic, no imported cars, no night clubs, no five star hotels (except the hotels on Willingdon Island) and of course the little old airport with a short runway. Being influenced by this individual in California, I began to feel the need to centralize my operations and build a dream corporate office - in style! Hunting for a property, I found a three storied building right in the heart of downtown Cochin.
In fact this building was used as a godown when I inspected it and the landlord was in no mood to sell it but was ready to lease it at an exorbitant price. The lease amount was a big shock but I finally decided to lease it and convert this three storied building into my Corporate Office.

I conceived ideas, called architects and interior designers and put a plan together to build this dream. In fact the interior designer, who was a friend of mine tried to talk me out of this saying, “Why do you need this? Too much investment! Where is the return on investment? Too risky and so on”, but I was firm and bent upon doing this because it was a novel concept in work culture. Cochin needed new corporate thinking and looks.

The interior walls were demolished, floors changed and I put in a host of facilities into this building- a gym, restaurant, lounges, private offices, centralized air conditioning and of course a bar for entertaining, with an impressive lobby and reception to welcome my customers. We called it Choice House. A big neon sign outside the building said ‘CHOICE’. Everyone who came downtown saw this building. Some even thought it was a hotel. I remember people driving into this building and enquiring at the reception if they could check in. It had the looks of a class hotel. I was proud of it and my employees and team members took great pride in walking into this building to work

It was motivating for everyone. I remember on the 2nd floor, we had the club called ‘CLUB CHOICE’. This was something I designed for the employees and their families. Every one could join as a member and use the facilities - pool tables, indoor games, internet surfing and dinner from an a la carte menu – absolute style! By this time, I had even beaten my partner’s office décor.

This soon became the talk of the town and the concept was novel. Many admirers and of course, much envy as well. Bouquets as well as brick bats! The way I was growing, people even spread rumors that I was making money unlawfully. I was never deterred with any of this as I was sure of what I was doing. I knew I was doing the right thing just that it was - in style. I never cringed on anything. I even provided expensive air conditioned cars for my employees. Next to this building, there was a vacant plot of land that we used as a parking lot. It soon began to fill with more and more cars as the days passed. A brand name ‘Choice’ was created in the city. I noticed this building added a lot of credibility to my business. Vendors who came to see me there were impressed. It was easier to get them to agree to my terms. Customers from all over the world would come to spend the evening with me at Club Choice.

Business is not only a matter of how great your product or concept is. It is also how well you package it and provide a holistic picture to your customers and suppliers. If I’m not mistaken, it was Cochin’s first corporate office of its kind. Soon other businesses started to follow this example, I had pioneered a new trend in Cochin.

Friends, work hard and think big. Believe in yourself, that you can do beyond your imagination, if you enjoy what you do and that too - in style!

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Responses to
 vilma balakrishnan says:
read ur blog n was very impressed. i think u deserve the best in lyf for all ur hard work, determination n dedication. may god bless u n ur family always.
 chithra says:
nicely said. really inspiring!
 sheela Abraham says:
Its always a delight to read your blogs. I salute the guts to bring anew work culture to Kochi. I always believed in Dreams..and I also know that every dream is realized only through Hard work. thanks a lot for writing such inspiring blogs... god bless
 S.K.Moorthi (ShivaKrishnaMoorthi) says:
Great. Interesting and inspiring. I am tempted to do something. A film or some serious writing.Thank you.
 anil says:
nice and smooth.waiting fo the next one.thanks
 Jyotish Surendran says:
Dear Sir, The above blog " Doing things in style " was very inspirational and motivating as this showed your spirit to put Cochin in to Corporate culture and establish an identity for itself in the minds of the Y generation. Very few people in this world are gifted to think the way you have seen things and work hard to shape these dreams into reality. Keep going... We pray that God showers you with all his blessings in all your future dreams and endavours. kind regards, jyotish surendran.
 Paul Manjooran says:
Highly motivating slice of real life experience!! Great!!!
 Aravind says:
Sir many may comment on the success u r basking but i have truly conceived a point of desire and conquering everytime an di have decided and determined to implement it seeking you as an inspiration...thanks for instilling the kind of idea in my mind ...i am highly regarded with the way u live and hope u r a guide for many more enterpreaneurs to come...thank you once again
 jagtap sanjay says:
very true Believe in yourself, that you can do beyond your imagination, if you enjoy what you do and that too - in style!
 Santosh Vijayan says:
Read u blog ,was very inspiring an motivating U remind me of Diru bhi Ambani.
Shareing thease real life experianceses are real inspiration for others in any field . Choice always had a different style in doing things. i personally feel happy to have experienced it at many occations. Long back i used to be very impressed by an add of choice '' LIFE IS NOT BY CHANCE IT IS BY CHOICE ''
 ipepeter says:
Dear JT, I know you very close only from 2004. I have visited your club choice many times. I agree that it was a stylish building with all the amenities of a star hotel ,unique of its kind with the state of the Art technology. You really deserve koodoos from all.
 Nizam Saleem says:
During 1990's I still remember sticking my neckout of the Bus to catch a glimpse of ur Red BMW parked outside ur office when I was in my teens at Cochin.. I recently finished reading Richard Branson's Biography "Losing my Virginity" Felt like both of u have a lot in common. If u haven't read it yet, I seriously recommend it. Keep writing, I am totally hooked. Better still would be to write an autobiography and publish it, will inspire lot of youngsters. Cheers!
 C.K Muralidharan says:
Dear JT, I admire your thoughts and achievements. My both sons , Paresh Murali & Parag Murali studied in Choice school and both are proud of the school as well as the founder. Though they left school few years back, they are very sentimental about those years they spent there. My heart felt thanks. I am residing at Singapore. Last month I was at Cochin and was excited to learn that JTPAC has put Cochin higher up in the mind of art lovers. I phoned up to the manager, heard every thing in detail and congratulated the team and the team leader. We look forward at people like you to bring more such class facilities at Cochin, for those who could afford but not available. Great achievements !! Bravo, Keep it up Murali
 Ravi Sankar S says:
Dear Sir, As an ex Choice, still i'm proud of to be a part of Choice family. Wishing you all good health, success and happiness in your life.
 Usha Menon says:
Another interesting and informative post. Thank you for sharing your experiences. It is an inspiration for other entrepreneurs.
 anand apte says:
The article is just thrilling. The thrill is to desire do something different and doing it differently. You could create your own impact on Cochhin. Would like to visit it if I get a chance to visit cochin
 Satheesh says:
Sir, I was an employee with Great - Choice in Export - Documentation. It was really proud to be there and I can never forget, especially under a great Leader . Wonderful experience. Thanks ..Happy to see your Blog.. Great ....Always eager to know your new ideas .. developments..Satheesh
 export marketing plan says:
Can you highly recommend any service provider, who can control export marketing strategies work? Thanks!