Week 7 – Raj Thandhi


I have known Raj Thandhi for almost a year now.  We met at a morning networking weekly breakfast that I attend.  Because I met her at a networking event and I see her there almost every week, I thought I knew her business.  Boy was I wrong.

Who is Raj Thandhi? 

“Well, that’s kind of a subjective question,” Raj started out by saying.  “I always say I am a child of immigrants because I think it is really important to who I am.  I’m from South Asia. I’m the child of 2 immigrant parents.  That speaks to my work ethic and where I come from and who I am.”  Raj told me that she had a really simple upbringing; her mom stayed at home and looked after her and her 3 sisters.  Her father worked hard at various labour jobs.

After she had her son, Raj started a company making baby products while she was on her maternity leave.  “I designed really great baby products.  I just wasn’t good at the distribution, fulfillment and retail model.  I was horrible at it.  I just kept throwing my own money into it thinking that it has to take off until I finally realized that we just couldn’t  keep wasting our money on it.”  What she was really good at, however, is marketing it.  She was great at getting celebrities to use the products, getting them on the news and generally creating a buzz about her products.

“Fronte and Sentre Communications was born out of necessity.  My husband was laid off.”  They were deciding what they were going to do when they came up with the idea of combining his organizational skills and her creative skills to start a business.  “I get the work and he makes sure we get it done.”

On to the questions…

Sandra Parsons of  REMAX MABRE REALTY asks

Q:   What is one of the greatest obstacles you’ve come up against and how did you overcome it to move your business forward?

A:   “My greatest obstacle has been self-doubt.  I’ve been my biggest obstacle.  I grew up in a family where hard work was valued.  Everybody was expected to go to school, learn a skill and then do that for the rest of their lives.  That is what our parents engrained in us but I could never for the life of me figure that out.”  Until she was about 3o years old, she didn’t know what she wanted to do when she grew up.  Raj came to the conclusion that she loved doing P.R. and Marketing.  “When I finally stood up and said that I wanted to start this marketing company, my vision became clear.  My 5 year vision is to have my business go national with an office in Toronto as well.”

Robert Stone of MrTaxes.ca asks 

Q:   What was your goal for your business when you started and how has that goal changed if any?

A:   “My goal when I first started my business was to make money.  That is what it was all about.  I wanted to be profitable.  I wanted to buy a house.  Now I want to be larger than life.  Now I would like to be recognized as an industry leader in how we help and support the people who we work with.”  Her vision in the last little while has become a lot more focused.  “I want to help female entrepreneurs who need entrepreneurship.”

Jason NitroMan of Nitro Lube asks 

Q:   Was money the motivator to start your business?  If not, what was?

A:   “Yes… well because this particular business came about because my husband had been laid off for nearly a year so he had no income.  Before we started Fronte and Sentre Communications, I have been self-employed but it was more like a hobby.  I was working from my home and was hitting all my goals but we had the buffer with my husband’s income until he was laid off.  So when we started it, money was definitely a motivating factor.”

In Conclusions…

The one thing that I got from talking to Raj was her passion for her business.  She may have not taken the traditional route into her business that I am sure her parents would have wanted but her determination to make her business grow and her love for what she does is truly inspirational.  Good luck Raj.  I know that you will do great.
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About KevenMcTaggart
I own a small business called Anything on a Clock. I started Anything on a Clock in 2007 when my son was about a year old.

2 Responses to Week 7 – Raj Thandhi

  1. Raj says:

    Thanks for including me in your blog Kevin! This is a great platform that you have created to connect local entrepreneurs with each other. Looking forward to reading more in coming weeks.

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