CEO of Triumph Advisors, Rahim Rajwani is a venture capitalist, founder of several companies, and strategic advisor who specializes in taking private assets public. His business expertise spans multiple sectors, including mining, cryptocurrency, life sciences, and technology. His latest co-founding venture, Atelier Meats, uses biotechnology and tissue engineering to create animal-free meats like steak, pork chops, and chicken breasts. Cultured meats provide an ethical alternative to factory farming, as well as benefits for the environment.
Rajwani has built and financed public and private companies for over 22 years. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts from the University of British Columbia in 1995, he worked at Yorkton Securities and served as CCO and VP of Compliance at Union Securities. As an executive at Peninsula Merchant Syndications Corporation, he was involved in several capital market negotiations and advisory engagements including Ventana Gold, leading to its acquisition by EBX Group. In recent years, he has served as Managing Director of Salman Partners Inc., a top-rated boutique advisory firm that focuses on risk mitigation.
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Table of Contents
We are thrilled to have you join us today, welcome to Valiant CEO Magazine’s exclusive interview! Let’s start with a little introduction. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your company.
Rahim Rajwani: I am a venture capitalist, the founder of several companies, and a strategic advisor who specializes in taking private assets public. My business expertise spans multiple sectors, including mining, cryptocurrency, life sciences, and technology. I have built and financed public and private companies for over 22 years and served as Managing Director of Salman Partners Inc., a top-rated boutique advisory firm that focuses on risk mitigation. My company Triumph Advisors offers clients skilled investment banking, compliance, and regulatory services. Triumph operates in numerous sectors with expertise that includes: strategic planning, mergers and acquisition advisory, contract negotiations, subscription services, syndication, legal and regulatory compliance, operations and back-office support, as well as risk mitigation.
Who has been the most influential person(s) in your life and how did they impact you? How did that lead to where you are today?
Rahim Rajwani: Two very influential people in my life have affected both my business and personal worlds. Both were successful CEOs in their businesses but led very different lives. The first was a gentleman named John Thompson, CEO of Union Securities Limited. John taught me many things, as I worked for him for several years. He taught me the importance of due diligence in every aspect of life, including business, and how to remain firm in my beliefs based on intelligent decision-making. John passed away a few years ago, but his presence is still felt by so many people who worked for him or had the pleasure of calling him a friend.
The second person was a gentleman named Sam Magid. He lived an extremely controversial life. He lived hard and worked hard. Although he had a lively public life, his close friends considered him one of the most loyal people they knew. He also taught me several lessons. Some of them were harder to digest than others. More than anything else, he taught me to believe in my abilities and be confident in decision-making after gaming every scenario, whether in business or personal life.
2020 was a challenging year for all of us, particularly for businesses. How did the pandemic impact your business? Please list some of the problems that you faced, and how you handled them.
Rahim Rajwani: The biggest challenge in 2020 for any business was the lack of visibility into the future. Before the pandemic, many businesses had seen different business cycles, ups, and downs in macro themes, etc. The difference with the pandemic, however, was that nobody had dealt with full shutdowns or supply chains affected by government regulations.
The companies that we’re able to pivot successfully made decisions that allowed them not only to tread water but also to prosper during the pandemic. They were the ones that had instituted the appropriate level of governance within their companies before the pandemic. Diversified Boards of Directors, strategic advisors, and regular communication between all stakeholders proved to be the number one solution.
The pandemic led to a myriad of cultural side effects, including one that was quite unexpected that is informally known as “The Great Resignation”. Did this widespread trend affect you in any way?
Rahim Rajwani: Yes, this phenomenon affected almost every sector. In a way, it had positive effects on employee confidence levels. Employers had to figure out how to provide all employees with value and job satisfaction at all different levels of the corporate ladder. This, of course, has contributed to rising prices and extending supply-chain constraints.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4 million Americans quit their jobs in July 2021. How do you feel about this trend? Explain.
Rahim Rajwani: This trend is directly related to enormous government programming and “loose money in the system.” By quitting their jobs, an entire workforce sector has made room for other workers who will gladly take their places and likely hang onto them for years to come. This will create a future imbalance, as workers who quit to pursue frothy business ventures and technology-related bubbles like specific cryptocurrencies will have priced themselves out of the labor force if and when those frothy sectors go bust. They usually do.
That’s not to say that all the “new” sectors that have arisen from the enormous government spending spree are in bubble territory; however, several don’t justify their valuations at current levels. Ultimately some of these sectors will have bubbles that burst, and those in the labor force who quit pursuing those industries will find themselves competing for the jobs they left previously.
According to a study by Harvard Business Review, Employees between 30 and 45 years old have had the greatest increase in resignation rates, with an average increase of more than 20% between 2020 and 2021. That can be quite an alarming rate. What advice would you share to increase employee retention?
Rahim Rajwani: The best advice I can give right now is that employers should realize that workforces are meant to be stressed and relaxed during different business cycle times. Overreacting and falling into the trap of overstaffing or overpaying reduces efficiencies in the long term and de-stabilizes businesses. The workforce is a living organism and will go through times of stress and times of relaxation, and this is all part of the natural flow of the business cycle. Having a mix of employees and management who can manage the business cycle is crucial for success.
According to a Nature Human behavior study, In 2020, 80% of US workers reported feeling that they have too many things to do and not enough time to do them – a phenomenon known as “time poverty”. What is your take on the work-life balance? Explain.
Rahim Rajwani: I predict this theme will remain significant over the next decade. Employees are looking for work/life balance, which has never taken as much precedent as it does now. Corporate governance will need to continue addressing these situations, mainly dealing with the supervision of employees who prefer to work outside the office and provide remote work options. Employees’ confidence levels, particularly in the USA, have risen drastically over the last 24 months. This results from confidence in their ability to secure income from sources outside of the traditional workplace. Employers will therefore need to add specific policies and procedures to their corporate governance agendas to accommodate and retain talent.
A more recent survey by Joblist asked about 3,000 respondents if they’re actively thinking about leaving their job. That survey found that 73% of 2,099 respondents who answered this question on their employment plans are considering quitting. How are you preparing for the future to counter this potentially persistent problem?
Rahim Rajwani: I believe the Great Resignation will be a self-corrective process; as the workforce evolves, so will this phenomenon.
Thank you for all that, our readers are grateful for your insightful comments! Now, if the Great Resignation isn’t your greatest concern, what is the #1 most pressing challenge you’re trying to solve in your business right now?
Rahim Rajwani: What’s most important for my business and most businesses are realizing that unpredictable “black swan events” can happen in the world. The most pressing challenge right now is stabilizing operations and counting on a steady supply chain, which is what I need to plan at least five years out. This is extremely difficult right now with the different variants of COVID-19 and their effect on all businesses.
Before we finish things off, we do have one last question. If you had 10 Million Dollars to spend in one day, what would you spend it on?
Rahim Rajwani: Funny enough, that’s probably a question many people have answered in their imagination at some point in their life.
Here’s my spend breakdown:
I would subtract my age from 75 and multiply that number by 100,000. In my case, (75-49)x100,000=$2.6mm.
That’s the number I’d put in a high-interest savings account and use that to fund my life until age 75. A healthy budget is essentially the budget for the following X number of years to cover all expenses and live a comfortable life. The balance, whatever remains from the $10 million, in my case $7.4mm, should be invested in a balanced equity fund with a minimum of a seven to ten-year outlook. This formula does two things: one, it provides a cushion for living expenses, at least until age 75; and two, it allows me to invest money without worrying about the ups and downs of the market, providing an accurate longer-term outlook on the investment. Of course, anyone can adjust the numbers as they see fit for budgeting what’s comfortable and for how long they’d like a cushion, depending on how long people expect to live.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Rahim Rajwani for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Rahim Rajwani or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
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