Whether hurtling down a ski slope, plunging into a canyon, overextending to purchase a property or investing in an underperforming cricket franchise, self-confessed risk-taker Kailash Pardasani is always going to give it his best shot. Fortunately, this serial entrepreneur can back his bold approach with a shrewd business mind and a relentless work ethic that leaves nothing to chance. An insight into his formative years might help explain what makes Kailash tick.
As a little boy, Kailash enjoyed working in the family store. But, at the tender age of 11, he suddenly found extra responsibility thrust upon his young shoulders following the premature passing of his father. At that point he resolved to do all he could to help his mother. During his teenage years Kailash taught himself how to fix computers and build websites, so that by the age of 16, he was earning extra pocket-money for himself in between his college studies. Encouraged by his early entrepreneurial experience, Kailash was only 18 when he launched his first business, an internet café located in Bridgetown. After rapidly discovering that his Net Café was never going to make enough money to be sustainable, Kailash decided to look for suitable premises to open a computer shop.
Now fast forward 20 years to October 2019.
Kailash Pardasani’s core business, Promotech Computers and Business Solutions, operates three retail outlets and an office/warehouse, is ranked as Barbados’ #1 technology company, and is currently building a new state-of-the-art headquarters with additional space for office rentals. He co-owns two buzzing restaurants, Café 195 and Amigos 195, both of which are performing well. He has recently acquired a stake in Carilend, the first peer to peer lending service in the region, which he believes ‘is going to radically transform the financial landscape in the Caribbean through ground-breaking innovations in Fintech’. He is a co-owner and co-CEO of the Barbados Tridents, a Twenty20 cricket franchise in the Caribbean Premier League, who have just won the 2019 championship in dramatic style. And, in between all of that, he has also accumulated a healthy portfolio of property investments.
Kailash Pardasani: “I think that the ability to spot a good opportunity has helped me a lot over the years, and then having the faith and self-confidence to fully commit to whatever needs doing, including finding the finance. That’s why I am willing to invest every dollar I make back into the business or into something new. Including people. I’m never afraid to give blindfolded because I know that it will somehow come back to my family or my friends one day, maybe not for the same reason, but something will come back to the right person in our beautiful world. That is why I run my businesses the same way I run my home, like a family, because it’s important for me to be able to help my staff improve themselves and their lives. Success in business is really about success with people. Relationships are key. Over the years I have learned to respect the fact that you can do so much more with partnerships. It’s better to have a slice or two of a bigger pie than no pie at all.
The Barbados Tridents is a good example. When Manish Patel, former owner of the Jamaica Tallawahs, asked me, Terrol Cummins and Arvind Gopwani if we were interested in joining him to buy the Tridents’ franchise, even though it hadn’t performed well recently, we didn’t hesitate. He is a great person. The deal was sealed on a handshake. We worked well as a unit, travelling everywhere with the squad, strategically supporting them off the field, especially with replacement players throughout the season, always looking after their interests, but making sure never to meddle with the cricket side of things.
The tournament turned out to be a hugely emotional rollercoaster ride of desperate lows and unforgettable highs. We lost so many of the qualifying games that we were on the brink of elimination more than once. But, no matter how stressful those losses might have been, we never lost focus. I kept telling my family and friends, ‘Have faith, keep the faith, we’re going to do this’. And, incredibly, we did. We started winning matches, we got to the final and we won! It was our very first season and we had gone from zero to hero in a matter of weeks. Without those losses we would not have learnt what we know today and we would not have bettered ourselves to become Champions. Our losses moulded us into who we are and took us to #1.
We are all in for the long haul with the Tridents and we’ll come even stronger next year, but 2019 will always be hard to beat. When we came home the Prime Minister, Mia Mottley, asked us to arrange a cavalcade from Bridgetown to Café 195 in Warrens to celebrate the Tridents’ success. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the thousands of people who came out to support us, all dressed in blue and yellow and waving flags. It was a very moving experience to realize just how happy we had made so many Bajans. It got even better later that evening when the PM used the Tridents as a metaphor, telling the crowd to use our victory as an example of how Barbadians should pull together to make the country a better place, by not expecting everything to be rosy all the time, keeping going through every challenge and never giving up, even when things are going wrong. Just standing there, surrounded by that big crowd of happy people celebrating the Tridents’ victory, was truly priceless. I need money to live and feed my family, but there’s nothing I value more than getting that kind of spiritual reward.”
The Barbados Tridents is one of the six franchise teams of The Caribbean Premier League (CPL). CPL is a T20 tournament in which the best West Indian cricketers play alongside their international counterparts in an explosive carnival atmosphere.