Doing business the Clintus way

May 03 | 2024

Steve Jordan interviews Arvind Joshi from Clintus Network in India about his company and the operating principles that have made it a success.

Arvind Joshi

How does anyone get started in the moving industry?  It’s a puzzle.  It’s a specialist business, labour intensive, asset draining and requires an unusual level of empathy and dedication to others to do it well.  It’s tricky for anyone, but for Arvind Joshi, starting a new moving company in India in the 1980s, it was little short of miraculous.

Arvind had grown up in the UK, the son of a professor employed at Leicester University. When his family returned to India there were four types of jobs open to him in those times: a doctor, an engineer, a banker or a government official.  Arvind was clear about his own choices: he wanted to be a journalist, a cricketer, a schoolteacher or a social worker. His father (and childhood idol) usually let him be, but he did share his excellent advice. “He told me I would never make enough money as a teacher or a journalist or social worker to raise a family effectively”.  On being a cricketer, his advice was even simpler.  He just told me: ‘You are not good enough’.” All these careers (in India) then were very hard choices in terms of income.

So he studied mathematics at Delhi University, but he didn’t much like it. He got into the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology but walked out convincing his father that engineering didn’t interest him. He was told to switch to computer science and operations research but resisted. A major influence in his life then was his father’s close friend and one of the architects of modern India and later Indian High Commissioner to South Africa, Mr Laxmi Chand Jain. He told him simply that work was worship and he should look to do the hard yards from the bottom upwards if he wanted to get anywhere in life. These words sank in. Then, when the drive to earn some money and stand on his own feet became irresistible, he followed the lead of the same mentor and took a job, as an apprentice, with D M Holmes, a moving company that later became three:  Mithals International, B M International and Star Worldwide. The stage was set. His boss Mr Anil Mithal (at DM Holmes and Mithals International) was a special person in his life and mentored him with affection. Arvind says he owes him lifelong respect and gratitude.

It's a long story, too long for these pages, but Arvind worked, left the company to join the corporate world with the JK Singhania Group, returned again and then, in 1989, left following professional differences (with part of the management) to start his own company.  That was not easy ...

Photo: Arvin Joshi, Clintus Network.

Click here to read the full story in The Mover magazine.

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