Rajiv Nathwani of Quivira Capital
Rajiv Nathwani of Quivira Capital tells us more about his backrgound in business, what Quivira does and also what he believes makes a great business leader...
What does your role involve?
My job is to ensure the deals come through the door and maintain the working relationships with our key contacts and Banks, funding partners and our development contractors. Our business requires a constant stream of new transactions and it is my job to ensure the deals we want, come to us.
What is it the company does?
What don’t we do! We started as a short term lending company and we now do large scale property development and we fund high tech start-up businesses. I am on the board of an Artificial Intelligence company that’s going to change the world, look it up - Gyana!
Give us a brief timeline of your career so far – where did you start, how did you move on?
After studying Maths and Economics at University College London (UCL), I started my career at an Investment Bank in Canary Wharf and left after only a few months to start Quivira Capital. That was nearly 6 years ago and I haven’t looked back since.
What do you believe makes a great leader?
Being a leader is the most important part of what I do. I foster my team’s ambitions, personal and professional development, as much as I do Quivira’s. Being a leader means pushing that extra mile, connecting with your peers, having those awkward conversations, facing disasters head-on and most of all, showing resilience and good faith. Running a successful business can be a choppy endeavour, and for a leader, it’s your responsibility to keep your ship on the correct course, come rain or shine.
What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?
Being only 28, it is sometimes difficult and was especially so at the start of the Quivira story, to ensure working partners looked at you seriously and not just as a kid with a dream. I often found myself sitting in meetings representing Quivira, with men and women with decades of experience looking at me thinking, ‘so where’s your boss?’.
How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?
My wife is also an integral part of the company and having someone you can trust implicitly working with you, means at the most stressful of times, you know you are able to discuss openly the issues at hand, and get a straight-forward response. It is very refreshing, calming and her constructive approach leads to most stressful situations diffusing very quickly.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I was little in the early 90s and I always wanted to be a big shot city banker living in a penthouse apartment overlooking the Thames. Once I reached the City, I realised it isn’t quite as glamorous as the movies and television shows make out and there are huge sacrifices required in your personal life to ensure a successful City career.
Any pet hates in the workplace? What do you do about then?
Lack of attention to detail. I ask my staff to check everything over and over before they send it to me for approval. I like to have things done correctly, and the first time. Spelling, punctuation, and grammar will never go out of fashion!
Where do you see the company in five years time?
The company was only born 5-6 years ago, and so much has happened in that time. We have a solid 5 year expansion plan but who knows what lies ahead for Quivira? I see no harm in diverging from set trajectories if the opportunity and timing feels right. As Robert Burns once remarked, ‘the best laid plans of mice and men, often go awry’.
What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?
If you achieve your goals, you've set them too low. I always set targets and goals that will test and challenge me and my company and push us outside of our comfort zone.