Jose Thomas

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Saturday 16th July, 2011



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Dear Friends,

I have just returned to Cochin from the U.S. this morning. Even though I am a fighter, I am quite tired after the long journey - jet lag. I even pondered skipping the schedule of writing my story. Adding to the fatigue of the trip, I was confronted with many business issues as I got home and I had constant reminders that I had not written my story. Here again, I could have given up and made an excuse not to do it. But here I am, the previous night of the most important day of my life, July 16th, Choice Day, writing this story for all my friends.

I concluded my last story with something very disastrous - a big blow! My goods had been rejected by my customer in the U.S. As soon as I heard the news, I flew to Los Angeles where my customer is located. They took me to the warehouse for a joint inspection of the goods. I was very confident that nothing could be wrong because I had processed the product as per the customer’s specification. But, to my utter dismay, as I saw batch by batch, I was shocked to see that my product was out of spec. I knew I was in trouble, big trouble - back to square one again! I was filled with fear, wondering how to explain this to my creditors and bankers, to whom I owed lots of money. Standing face to face with this challenge, I started to get that feeling that I usually get – ‘Never say die!’

Friends, even today, I believe, there are only two things you need to fear (if at all you want to) - death and taxes! You cannot avoid these two. You can overcome anything else. I stood firm on this belief and it reassured me as I inspected the goods. I said to myself "there is a way out!” Maybe, the worst can end up being an opportunity!

My customer in Los Angeles decided to ship the goods back and demanded the money back from us. Dear friends, I want you to understand something. I am not writing about the magic of doing business here, nor am I talking about luck in ones favour. I am only talking about how to confront an issue, face it head-on and find ways to resolve it rather than get disillusioned and lose.

I asked myself "what next? How do I re-pay the money?”, as I have a clear principle in life – to honour one’s commitments. I also remember the old adage that the ‘Customer is King’. At this time, my own small office in New York whose job those days was to act as a facilitator for this particular customer in Los Angeles was not being considered for anything other than to purely act as a good will office. One individual played the role as a sole representative.

The goods were shipped back and upon return of the cargo, even the labour in my factory, who processed this product originally, were shocked to see the change to the product. For those who understand my business - shrimp, the main issue was that the tail of the shrimp had turned black, and in no way could it be sold in any market. These were pretty large shrimp - expensive too!

My mind raced, exploring possibilities and finally decided to pinch the tail off and cook this shrimp. There was no market for such a product anywhere in the world, but I said to myself, when you have no other alternatives, you take a chance. I never believe in giving up. I converted all this into some kind of a by-product which definitely had no market and simply shipped this back to my U.S. office. In fact, the sole representative who was heading my office at that time thought I was out of my mind, but convincing him was the easiest job. However, convincing a new customer meant sleepless nights.

No one shared my troubles because no one understood my guts or the huge risk I had taken, not even my wife and children. But I just did it! The goods reached the U.S; I travelled to New York and urged my office "we’ve got to sell this!”. Everything can be sold at a price and I began to energise the organisation. I hired a person from the industry who was well versed with the market. She made heavy demands, however considering my position I struck the deal. She started to sell and these sales lead to something.... the creation of a brand, a brand of frozen food - ‘TASTEE CHOICE’. Today, it proudly stands as a leading brand on the shelves of major super market chains in the United States of America! I have done my country proud!

When you sincerely work toward a goal and steadfastly persevere with honesty and commitment, the good that is in store for you will come to you! I confidently say this from my experiences in life.

Friends, you learn something from this. When one door closes, another one opens. You need to have faith, the blessings of the Almighty and a ‘never say die’ attitude. Then you will see no escapism, but new opportunities. Trust me on this!

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Responses to
 Hari says:
Thanks again was awaiting for your episode these days sir.
Really inspired and motivated....tks for msg,I'll keep read your blog.. Belated Birth Day wishes.God bless you.
 Anu T.Cheriyan says:
perfect example ,how to overcome troubles and fight till you succeed , great sir.
 rejoy.r says:
Me salute you sir, Really you are a good refernce for life. Whoever struggles to live will read your life and surely he will get back his life.your life is an inspiration to society. Me salute you sir.
 janhavi says:
bad tail.....brought out frozen....... intelligence with hard work always pays back grt...........
 Unnikrishnan V says:
Heads you win , tails you win! Never say die.
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