By Karan Bilimoria
'Every bit nearly as good because the beer itself.' Sir Richard BransonFrom promoting the 1st instances of Cobra out of the again of a battered outdated Citroen 2CV alongside the streets of West London to exporting to over forty nations worldwide, Karan Bilimoria's imaginative and prescient of a much less gassy beer has travelled an extended way.Starting out with a heap of pupil debt, an entire loss of adventure and oldsters determined for his or her son to get a formal task, it will probably all so simply have long gone mistaken. yet Karan's single-minded selection to prevail and his skill to encourage these round him to shop for into his imaginative and prescient, became Cobra, sip-by-sip, into the multi-million pound enterprise it truly is this day. Karan's tale bottles the very essence of entrepreneurship: imaginative and prescient, force, creativity and a continuing conflict opposed to all odds, to make the belief you so passionately think in work.Against the Grain is filled with insights into finance, procedure, making plans, good fortune, self-discipline, and usually doing the unforeseen to construct your individual enterprise, from a person who is been there and performed it... and all with a bit much less gas.'Essential reading.' Richard Reed, Co-founder, blameless Drinks'An inspirational story.' Sir Martin Sorrell, leader government Officer WPP'Karan Bilimoria is among the nice entrepreneurs...' Jo Malone, founding father of Jo Malone'Inspiring! … definitely worth the hide cost for the "Financing Cobra" bankruptcy alone.' Professor John Mullins, London enterprise School'… His tale should still motivate adolescence in all places who're fired by means of the dream of changing into a profitable entrepreneur.' Ratan Tata, Chairman, Tata crew
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Extra resources for Against the Grain: Lessons in Entrepreneurship from the Founder of Cobra Beer
Plus the bank only made a small margin on the repayments. Consequently banks were often reluctant to advance the money. The person who approved the £55,000 loan obtained from NatWest had since retired, so that avenue was no longer an option. I began to wonder whether I would ever find a bank manager prepared to lend the money. The loan was not the only option on the table. Our accountants Grant Thornton knew a venture capitalist that would put up the entire amount. The catch was that the venture capitalist wanted 33 per cent of the company in return.
The atmosphere in the room was oppressive from the start. Everyone was in shirt-sleeves as the ceiling fans fought a losing battle with the humid south Indian summer. No one was feeling the heat more than I was, listening to my brilliant business idea and abilities being pulled to pieces. It was all completely unexpected. I had spent months lobbying the brewery via telephone and telex. I had gone to great lengths to emphasise how popular imported lagers had become in the UK. Sol beer from Mexico was showing signs of becoming a major brand, Singha was being imported from Thailand, Budvar and Pilsner Urquell from the Czech Republic, and Budweiser from the United States.
Barclays was happy because it had a guarantee from a highly reliable customer that the money would be paid in 60 days. Gandhi was happy because Cobra was paying the fee incurred for using the previously unutilised overdraft facility and it had obtained exclusivity for the Greater London area for Cobra beer distributed to Indian restaurants. And we were 43 AGAINST THE GRAIN happy because we were effectively getting cash on delivery for a relatively low fee. In other instances, if a client is giving you credit of 45 days but you actually need 90 days, somebody can probably come in and give you that 90 days’ credit.