Rattan Bagga CEO of Jiva Organics Manufacturing and Distributing Inc.
Location: Burnaby, BC
When Rattan Bagga refers to himself as a “wholesome entrepreneur,” he isn’t referring only to the organic granola and gluten-free treats that Jiva makes and sells. As CEO of the family business, his ultimate goal is not to turn a profit (although that’s a prerequisite), but to maximize the benefits of his decisions on those around him. That ethos translates into a company that has raised funds for disaster relief in Pakistan and Haiti, that sources ingredients from Canadian farmers and that trains inexperienced young recruits to give them something valuable to put on their resumés. Now, Bagga’s personal mission is to infect the next generation with the entrepreneurship bug. He co-chairs a young entrepreneurs program run by the Vancouver chapter of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), teaching teens about finance, marketing, business-plan preparation and other basics of running a business. “I want to build a successful organization whose focus is not just to increase revenue and profit, but also to grow responsibly and give back to the community,” says Bagga. “I believe that only then can a company be truly successful in the modern era.”
What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned as an entrepreneur?
I have learned that it is important to remain adaptable and ready for any challenge by being highly organized and efficient with my time. Managing these components and ensuring you surround yourself with an amazing team is a fine art, especially for the first five years of business when, let’s face it, you become physically and emotionally committed to your business 24/7.
What is your best advice for young entrepreneurs?
I believe that new entrepreneurs should always think about creating value rather than just a product or service. Money and profits will follow a successful entrepreneurial venture, especially if you are providing a necessary value to a customer’s life.
What has been the biggest surprise about being an entrepreneur?
I entered the business arena at the early age of 19. The biggest surprise was the admiration and support I received from my older, more experienced business colleagues. They embraced my youth, welcomed my new ideas and encouraged me to think outside the box. They appreciated that, despite not having years of experience, I brought fresh thinking to traditional business models.