Raj was born in Leicester in 1972, he attended local schools namely Shenton Primary & Junior School, then Crown Hills Community College. He started working in the family business – a Jeweller’s Shop at a very young age learning all about running a business.
Raj is the Managing Director of Armani & Bros Estate Agents in Leicester. He has become well-established for his intellect and expertise in both residential and commercial estate, a career that spans over two decades. He is a proud father of five children and when he is not working, he enjoys spending time with loved ones, he also likes to attend RAF Airshows, and sporting events and try out world cuisine with friends.
1) Which place, or city or country do you most feel at home in?
Although I have spent time travelling the USA, India & parts of Africa; Leicester will always be home for me as this is where I was born and raised, and where my children grew up. All of my family reside in Leicester, and I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else in the UK.
2) What are your proudest achievements?
My proudest achievements are raising my five children who have grown up to be educated, ambitious and hardworking. I am also proud of creating an established business solely from my own determination, hard work and passion without taking a traditional educational route.
3) What inspires you?
My biggest inspiration is my father. He moved to the UK in the 50s from India to make a better life for himself and his family, and successfully ran two businesses here, which I started to work in from the age of 11. Here he taught me the fundamentals of how to run a business and instilled values into me that will stay with me for the rest of my life. He was admired for his wisdom, assured leadership, shrewd business acumen and his gentle aura.
4) What has been biggest obstacle in your career?
I would say the changes to the housing market. Although I’ve personally found that there’s still been a demand, there’s more reluctance and hesitation than there ever was which makes my job a little more difficult. The financial crisis is unfair, particularly for the younger generation. I really empathise with them and hope that something is done about it.
5) Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date?
I have always been very business minded and feel this was influenced by my father. He taught me to never turn down a customer who walks through the door, even if it isn’t worthwhile - I still work by this motto today. As well as my father, my late uncle was the one to push me to set up my current business and steered me in the right direction, so I am especially grateful for that.
6) What is the best aspect about your current role?
It’s a privilege to meet so many like-minded people, whether that be clients or professionals all with different backgrounds and stories. Due to the nature of our business, our clients are with us long-term - some are still with us since I started. I have acquired some great networks during my time and have learnt many valuable things from these people.
7) And the worst?
For me, it’s hard to disconnect. There’s a lot of responsibility that comes with it and I often take the workload home with me. I have a problem-solver mindset so I'm constantly thinking of what needs to be done next; it doesn’t just end at 5pm.
8) What are your long-term goals?
I am happy to say that I have met many of my long-term goals through my hard work over the years. My goals now have become less business related and involve maintaining a happy and healthy lifestyle for myself and my children.
9) If you were Prime Minister, what one aspect would you change?
I would do something about the financial crisis and the current cost of living to ensure families are able to live comfortably without financial poverty. It has robbed the younger generation of the ability to build their future when they are trying so hard to survive. House prices are increasing yet salaries are not - I would ensure there are accessible schemes and opportunities for young people and first-time buyers to secure a property as right now, I don’t believe enough has been done.
10) If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with and why.
I wouldn’t want to spend time with an historical figure as such. I am captivated by Miscarriage of Justice cases and would like to hear more about their experiences of being falsely convicted, so possibly the Birmingham Six.