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MIINDIA: INSPIRATIONAL MICHIGAN INDIAN

Until mind and body says Stop, do not STOP!

An exclusive chat with B.N Bahadur one of the super-powers of the Corporate World.
Interviewed and written by Anupama Gopalakrishnan


I have always believed that the rich and the famous always got things on a platter. Getting rich overnight and all the “nice talk” about grit, determination and courage sounds rosy and nice, but only happens to a selected few, courtesy: Indian cinema.

This paved my interest in meeting the selected few in one of the Entrepreneurial meetings at the Ritz-Carlton in Dearborn. Trust me; all of Detroit’s who’s who in the Michigan Indian Industrial world was present. While attending the meeting, the guest speaker Richard Wagner - President and Chief Executive Officer, General Motors Corporation was enamored by the presence of a distinguished gentlemen ………entrepreneur Mr. B.N Bahadur who happened to be his long time associate and friend. Mr. Wagner complimented B.N’s business skills and set him as an example for ultimate corporate excellence. 

Well, with the story about to unfold, miindia is honored to present to you an unparalleled success story of B.N. and also his beloved wife Rani who inspired a young Western Michigan University graduate to rise to the pinnacle of Corporate glory. Read on and fill your appetite on all the good things that’s happening in your community.

Nationally recognized for his ability to reorganize and revitalize troubled companies, B. N. Bahadur is able to call upon a quarter century of experience in business management, accounting, teaching, and consulting to address client's concerns. With service in a number of high-level positions (including CEO, Interim CEO, Debtor-in-Possession, and Trustee in Corporate Reorganization), Mr. Bahadur possesses broad expertise in the field of manufacturing. Beyond the management of an extensive portfolio of privately-held investments, he continues to lend his management and financial acumen to a wide-ranging list of businesses. Read on to know more about the power of being B.N.

B.N’s philosophy is “one can always be better”. “My major interest was helping companies in trouble”. He further added, it usually takes 6-7 years to make an entry into the marketplace and achieve credibility.

A Finance and Management graduate of Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, B.N had the magic to bring a positive impact on issues such as “turnaround”, cash-flow management and bankruptcies.

He mentioned “the first job is always tough”. For a period of 6 months, I was surviving on $600 per month plus had to maintain my new bride. With a lot of self-confidence and the burning desire to succeed B.N launched his first venture in 1978 with a $60 investment called “Bahadur & Associates” in the basement of his Southfield home.

Adds Rani Bahadur, B.N’s supportive partner “He was very focused. He was ‘battery dynamic” in his efforts. I knew right from the start that B.N had the potential. True to her dreams and hopes, Bahadur and Associates expanded and in 1984 BBK Ltd. was formed after B.N got the hard-earned recognition in the marketplace.

B B K? What does that mean?
B.N excitedly exclaims “Business Building Knowledge”. BBK LTD is an internationally recognized “turnaround” management firm with over 110 professionals in various cities across America and with engagements spanning the Globe. BBK LTD’s experience encompasses every industry including banking, aerospace, retail, automotive, telecommunications, information technology. 

B.N. Bahadur is one of G.M.’s key partners and one of his companies provides 70% of automotive lighting for the world’s largest automotive manufacturer. Absolutely AMAZING! General Motors Corporation has awarded BBK with its coveted Supplier of the Year Award for the past 5 years! This is not all. B.N. partnered with GM to grow their asset based financing joint venture to a multi-billion dollar entity. 

As for Rani’s dreams, B.N added “We never felt the pain, because both of us understood our limitations and accepted challenges together”. It was a new place for both of them and more than a challenge, Rani rightfully puts it as “hard work in togetherness and fun”.

Over 14 hours of sincere work everyday has brought Rani and B.N Bahadur to the forefront of the Indian Community in Michigan.

B.N says “Yes, fear of failure was always there. This came by with bringing in a new bride and leaving a $40k a year job” But I had this belief to succeed and I was so positive minded, said B.N. Rani never doubted her man’s resilience.

Asked about the secret of success B.N. stated “Success does not come overnight”. Success is a process. In order to taste the fruits of success, you have to be disciplined, cognizant and responsible to receive that success. This can be achieved over a period of time by committing yourself to your dream. B.N. added “if it is destined to happen, no force can stop it from happening”. Interestingly, B.N. referred to a book “Think and Grow Rich” by Napolean Hill as a turning point in his life.

With continued hard work and growth, this growing together made Rani and B.N Bahadur perfect partners in life and business. 1986, B.N ‘institutionalized’ the business by making energetic informative presentations at DaimlerChrysler, General Motors, National Bank of Detroit and other major corporate entities.

"B.N launched his first venture in 1978 with a $60 investment called “Bahadur & Associates” in the basement of his Southfield home."

Working from 6:30 a.m. top 10:00 p.m. is no joke, according to B.N. After the birth of their children, Rani’s support to B.N increased two fold as Rani encouraged B.N to balance work and home. Rani stressed ”communicating our priorities and evaluating what was important to the family became a routine theme between us.” 

Speaking about motivation, B.N added “I learned from a whole lot of people. Communication skills, professional skills and business skills are three aspects that a person constantly needs to develop and master”. Reading quality books on business philosophy and behavior added to the enormous knowledge of B.N. Bahadur. 

And so, what does B.N think about the important qualities for business?
With a grin, B.N added if you want to create an environment of trust, one has to believe in objectives and business philosophy by keeping actions in sync with your thoughts and ideals. A great amount of trust is required for a successful future. According to B.N, in the urge to make money, one should not take advantage of another person or create short-cuts. He added “this may result in success but it is always short-lived”.

Interestingly, every successful entrepreneur usually ends up having a vision, but according to B.N Bahadur, his only vision is to “grow to his maximum potential” and His definition of maximum potential is both physically and mentally conceived in one word “Stop”. Until my mind and body tells me to stop, I shall not, exclaimed B.N. “I would like to continue to work and provide opportunities to others who work with me”.

When a person becomes successful, all charity organizations and community groups make a beehive to collect funds for social causes. B.N shrugs that thinking and mentions “monetary help is not the only help that defines charity”. B.N Bahadur adds “charity to me is to create and provide an environment that can give opportunities for upliftment. This gives a tremendous amount of gratification”. 

B.N personally believes in the fact that if one does not take part with the social responsibility of “sharing” then one tends to become selfish and this is what hinders progress. All individuals need to grow simultaneously. The Bahadur Family Foundation sponsored the BN Bahadur Institute of Management Sciences in Mysore. The MBA course offerings started a couple of years ago. 

Talking about his academic and educational pursuits, B.N excitedly shared his story “I was born and raised in a large family in Bangalore and Mysore. With an early schooling in Bangalore and Bachelors from D. Banumiah’s Arts and Commerce College, B.N pursued his Masters in Commerce from University of Mysore. A teaching career followed from 1967 – 1972. Following his childhood dream of getting out of India, B.N packed his bags to arrive in Michigan in 1972 to join the Masters in Business Administration program at Western Michigan University.

Family sparks a secret enthusiasm in B.N Bahadur. Talking about his favorite topic, “I have a responsibility to my family. I owe it all to my supportive wife and my loving children”. Rani and B.N Bahadur are parents of teens. “It’s a parent’s responsibility to provide leadership and give them an opportunity to grow and lead their lives in a responsible manner. The parent’s personal responsibility continues with direction and giving them a space to think and develop their potential”. Parents need to be involved and have the unique ability to listen and obviously family values will naturally flow in, stressed Rani Bahadur.

B.N makes no compromises while complimenting his wife Rani Bahadur, his supportive and encouraging wife. Rani Bahadur is currently the Director of MAIFS – Michigan Asian Indian Family Services located in Farmington Hills. Rani believes in the cause of women empowerment and family issues. Being a psychotherapist, Rani realized that there is no need to work outside the home. 

Speaking about her pet project, Rani added with excitement “ MAIFS not only helps women, but helps families in crisis. 

Speaking about her successful husband, Rani remarks “B.N is a doer. He is easily the person whom I can rely on and his words are golden.”

All this sounds like a fairy tale to me, but speaking about hurdles, Rani Bahadur says “every individual-big or small, rich or poor goes through hurdles. The biggest hurdle for me as well as for B.N was the challenge of handling professional and family lives together in terms of time as there are a lot of emotional demands business requires.”

Speaking about B.N and her family:- B.N is a firm believer of family values. “We come from a land that gives us a tremendous identity of who we are and this is the fortunate edge we have and the family members communicating with each other constantly, only brings in tremendous respect between individuals. The whole concept of balancing family and work is challenging but not over your head.

Rani loves to read. Biographies, memoirs are her favorites. Yoga and meditation keeps her mind, body and soul saner and provides her more energy to manage multiple tasks. 

“Rani is a believer of truth. She is always honest and she believes in communication and she is well ahead of our times. She dedicates herself to charity, but to her, family comes first. She is always there for me. Without her support and confidence, I wouldn’t be what I am today”, said a calm and composed B.N Bahadur.

Well, here is a couple that never fails to compliment each other from time to time. Here is a couple that thrives on communicating their hurdles, problems and challenges. With this confidence, love and commitment, there is indeed a solution to all their problems.

Well, someone rightfully said “Behind every successful man, there is a woman” and vice-versa.

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