School Dropout Who Couldn't Speak English, Lived in Car Builds Ghc326M Supermarket Business

School Dropout Who Couldn't Speak English, Lived in Car Builds Ghc326M Supermarket Business

  • Narinder Singh turned his life around from a humble young man who worked menial jobs to a successful entrepreneur with a supermarket chain
  • For many years, he slept in his car while saving money to start a business, a dream he stuck to through thick and thin
  • His decision to start stocking quality foods that weren't sold in the big supermarkets catapulted QE Quality Foods into a business worth Ghc326,188,698

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Narinder Singh was born and raised into a difficult life in Punjabi India, an area torn apart by religious genocide, one that made many sink into hopelessness and abject squalor.

QE Quality Foods is now worth $50 million (KSh 5.6 billion) in annual revenue.
Narinder Singh turned his life around from a menial worker to a business mogul. Photo credits: Narinder Singh.
Source: UGC

In 1987, while he was aged 13, his family led by their father Amrik and mother Jaswinder had to flee from home and seek asylum as immigrants in New Zealand.

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Daily Mail reports that at the time, Narinder couldn't speak English, but he was armed with hope and the dream of starting a business.

He took lessons in English and mastered the language quickly but was unable to complete secondary school and dropped out to become a picker in a kiwi fruit orchard.

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All along, Narinder was saving most of his meagre earnings through which he relocated from New Zealand to Australia at the age of 19.

Worked small jobs to eke a living

Given his humble background and the fact that he was a school dropout, the only opportunities the Sikh kid could get were in menial labour.

In Australia, he worked as a labourer at a petrol station, on a South Australian farm before landing the job of loading the conveyor belt at an electronics factory.

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As he slept in his Holden Camira to save money, his dreams were on starting a business either in carpet cleaning, a restaurant, a convenience store, or a small supermarket.

His age, inexperience, immigrant status, and meagre earnings made it difficult to find a landlord who would trust him to run a business and manage the rent.

Struggled with business

In 2001, Narinder found a rundown shop in Darlinghurst which was owned by Bill Anton, a young immigrant from Greece who was willing to rent it out to him.

He opened the food store and despite working tirelessly for 16-hour days and seven days a week, he was exhausted but barely making any meaningful profit

Support came from his parents back in New Zealand when they sold their house to raise $180,000 (KSh 20.4 million) that was invested in Narinder's business.

"One Wednesday evening when the street outside was busy and our store was only making enough to keep our heads above water, I felt so depressed, I was ready to give it all away," he revealed.

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The eureka moment

That, as it turned out, would be the proverbial darkest hour before dawn, for it made Narinder realise something else was missing.

Desperate and tired, he took a few days off the business and had the eureka moment when he considered stocking not only the essentials but also quality foods that weren't sold in the big supermarkets.

"I know I was naive but I believed I could give shoppers something the bigger chains couldn't offer," he explained.

Operating under the motto of "quality food shopping made easy," his new business model bore fruits as customers started streaming in and they haven't stopped since.

20 years later

Two decades later, Narinder's fortunes have changed tenfold as he now runs QE Quality Foods, a business empire he built that is currently valued at $50 million in annual revenue.

He recently opened his 11th store of QE Food Stores chain and has his sights set on having 50 shops across Sydney by 2030.

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His loyal client base has been attributed to the fact that he is in the habit of always stocking the items the customer requests.

Prince Acheampong: Ghanaian man who Started two Businesses After Losing his job Shares Story

In a recent story, reported that a determined Ghanaian man recently shared his journey to owning two successful businesses after being sacked from work.

Prince Acheampong took to his LinkedIn timeline to recount that in 2020, he lost his job as an international customer specialist for a multinational company during the first phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Acheampong, he was home for months with no source of income.


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