Ridhay R Khanna is the Managing Director of HH Global Sources – an agro-commodity trading company importing, sourcing and exporting top-of-the-line dry fruits and spices from and to various parts across the globe. Their relentless focus towards delivering best-in-class products has helped the company sustainably grow from almost nothing to the most reputed brand across the globe.
In this interview, you will get to know Ridhay as a person – the Managing Director of the company. He will be sharing what he believes and how he envisions HH Global Sources. You will also get to learn about how they operate as a company. You will see how Ridhay nurtures trust, honesty, and transparency in every employee associated with HH Global.
Consider this interview an insider’s view to HH Global. Ridhay earnestly shares his valuable instincts and insights he has gained from an extensive experience of years working in this industry. He aspires to grow this company exponentially by adding value to their customers. If you’re excited to dive into the interview, here enters Ridhay…
How could you describe yourself in 6 words?
I have been a mischievous, naughty and playful kid all my childhood. So yeah, I was a fun and outrageous as a child.
What’s your living philosophy?
I only believe in one thing – embrace everything that life has to offer. Adapt to situations such that everything that happens to you – translates into a deep sense to contentment. The ultimate purpose is to be happy!
Who comes to your mind when you think of the word “Successful”, and why?
My grandfather is the first person who comes to my mind when I think of the word, ‘successful’. He has played an extremely important role in my life.
As a child, I have spent a good part of my time with my grandparents. My grandfather used to narrate great stories in the form of his life experiences.
As a person, he is very interesting. Though he didn’t get the love he deserved from his father, he relentlessly pursued his ambitions and created this company we now call HH Global Sources. There was a time when he had to leave his father’s house unwillingly. But he continued to work hard in building this company from ground-up. I would say everything that I am today is because of his unwavering dedication to create something that challenged the status quo.
Another person that I’m fond of is Akshay Kumar. He carries a similar background, too. I listen to good part of his interviews and I know a part of his journey – starting from very humble beginnings all the way through to where he is now. His humility and discipline truly stands out.
Three people or sources you have learned from – or followed closely – in the last year?
I follow a lot of people in general. I am a great absorber. I learn from a lot of people. Lot of my peers say that you shouldn’t compare yourself with others. Cause there will always be people who might be doing better or worse than you.
But for me, comparing is all about learning something from anyone who’s doing better than me. This way, I can avoid repeating the mistakes that someone might have made in their business lives. I observe many people – younger and older to me from my industry. I keenly see the upcoming trends before they unfold for the greater mass.
If you have one gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it – metaphorically speaking, getting a message out to millions or billions – what would it say and why? It could be few words or a paragraph, maybe a quote that you live by or think of very often…
I really want to bring awareness about the things that consumers buy from the market. People take a lot of things for granted – even the ones they shouldn’t. I strongly recommend reading the labels behind every product you purchase. Check details about the expiry date, the contents that the product is made up from – see also whether they are authentic or not.
While importing products from abroad, I have observed that with increasing competition merchants and companies have started compromising with the quality for a competitive price. I recommend not to trust the packaging blindly. Rather see if it is healthy or not. Being conscious about your purchases will save you from a lot of harmful chemicals, or the cheap marketing gimmicks that lure you to buy something that’s not right for your well-being. This is especially crucial for young kids. Because if they consume unhygienic food today, they will have to bear the consequences tomorrow.
If you had to instill one piece of advice in a new-born baby’s mind, what advice would you give?
You should always listen to your parents and peers. But at the end of the day always follow your heart’s desire. Because I have seen times when adults perception may not be ideal.
Not everyone who lends you advice maybe 100% correct. So it’s always advisable to listen to your instincts and what your heart says.
If anyone would make a movie on your life, what would the title be, and what message should it convey?
Of course, the movie should be interesting – but I think I will need to make 3 parts! First part covering my childhood, the second part would be all about my transition from a mischievous guy to a constructive gentleman – how I turned it all around. And lastly how I envision myself and the company HH Global Sources.
I have had very different phases in my life. I had a few breathing problems and allergies as a child. I had several challenges back then that I thought others didn’t possessed. Those days I used to think that why do these people have a better edge than me? But I kept my mind strong even though there were so many people who didn’t had enough faith in me at that time.
But then the way I turned things since then, till today – and how I see my future – all of it is interesting.
If you had just one day to live, what would you do in that day?
I will have a lot of things to do. I would like to trouble a lot of my friends, rewind my school life in those 24 hours. I am very fond of adventures. I love amusement parks, roller coasters, sky diving, scuba diving – maybe I would go to Disneyland or maybe the craziest rides across the globe.
If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich? When was the last time you experienced “total bliss”?
Everything I do. Happiness has been the purpose of my life. I don’t give money a lot of importance in my life. And I firmly believe that if someone isn’t happy enough – everything else matters least. It doesn’t really matter how much money you have or what have you achieved in your life – happiness is the only thing that matters. After all, how good is an angry, rich man? No good!
If you could start your life over and change one thing, what would you change?
Nothing. Honestly, I am extremely grateful and happy for everything that I have been fortunate enough to be or do or create in my life.
I know there have been several ups and downs, peaks and troughs – but all that has made me who I am today. I wouldn’t be able to take pride for myself if those challenges weren’t part of my way.
“If you have never faced failure – you will never understand success.”
At HH Global, what are your core values – and how you apply them in your day to day lives? Can you share an example?
I take immense pride in saying that a good part of my staff is old. Majority of my employees are 25-40 years old. And there have been times when I get to learn so many interesting things from them.
Talking about the core values, we have never felt like a professional company. But we’re instead a family. We don’t operate like a typical and mundane corporate environment.
We nurture honesty, openness, authenticity, and love. There are so many times when we have a good day or close a big deal – we celebrate together! Especially on Diwali evenings, I take my staff out and I am genuinely interested in knowing what they are doing in their families.
We are certainly not a billion-dollar company having thousands of employees across the globe. But what I know for sure is that we are a family of people who come together to facilitate the very best products that are high on quality. As individuals, we look forward to every day with genuine empathy, openness, and passion. I can be certain that even when I am not there, all my staff will take care of anything that needs to be taken care of.
We are very serious about quality. We only source products from the farmers we have been working with for years now. Even I have been to several countries and lived with farmers to learn how they do it.
What is your vision about HH Global? Where do you see yourself and the company in the next 5-10 years? What will remain the same (ex. Core values) and what might change (intricate processes)?
I have encountered these questions a lot of times. But I don’t want to limit my vision to a certain number. I want to consistently expand my empire by delivering high-quality products to our loyal customers. I am deeply attached to the company – emotionally. It’s a legacy that has been there with the family.
For me, profit is not the ultimate goal. I want to continue running this company for the people it has been serving for years. I’m not much fascinated with fancy balance sheets or hefty margins. There have been times when we have made little to no profit at all. But we knew that compromising on quality wasn’t the way to balance our margins. So we simply let go of the profits to ensure the keep the quality intact. And surprisingly, our buyers are also extremely loyal. They themselves wish to buy from us rather than trusting any other brand out there.
So the vision would not be the most profitable company – but it would be to consistently deliver value to our customers while sustaining what it is and was years ago!
What do you believe makes you stand out as a brand? (Your best products, methodologies, unique propositions)
It’s quite difficult to differentiate. But what makes us stand out is our experience, expertise, authenticity, and quality of our products. Unlike other vendors, we don’t believe in manipulating the end product. For us, our customer’s trust is of paramount importance. And we would do whatever it takes to sustain it.
What interesting thing are you working on? Why is that interesting to you? What’s surprising about that? Is anybody else thinking about this?
Recently we have expanded ourselves into cinnamon. We are importing a lot of cassia from the Vietnam markets. We will be sourcing it to Europe and India. These things have recently caught my passion. And I have been traveling around the world in search of the right technology and resources to enhance and optimize the processes and quality of our products.
My main aim is to balance price and quality. We want consumers to pick up the best quality at a reasonable price.
In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?
For me, being serious is very hard. I take a lot of things in a fun and playful way. My peers keep telling me to be serious. But I don’t understand what’s the point in being serious all the time? I believe in life everything should be taken very lightly and freely. Forget about the society or what others might think or say. People don’t do things simply because they are afraid of being judged.
I believe in expressing myself to the fullest. You shouldn’t be concerned about what others might think or say about you. After all, your happiness is the only thing that matters.
What advice would you give to a smart, passionate, driven college student ready to enter the “real world”? What advice should they ignore?
Follow your instincts, do what your heart says and don’t be too serious that you lose your charisma altogether. Just be who you are – the real you. Because everyone else is already taken.
According to you what are the lessons, you learned a hard way?
I have learned that money does not come so easily. In fact, nothing worthwhile comes easy – and what comes easy, goes easy!
Best advice ever received?
Whatever you do, do it right. Don’t run after shortcuts – because there aren’t any! Believe in adding double the value that you’re paid for. Money is something that comes slowly. And the slower it comes to you, the more you will understand its importance. You should be honest, responsible and never indulge in anything that doesn’t serve anyone but yourself.
What impact do you want to leave in this world before you leave it?
The day I depart from this world, everyone who’s close to me should feel a sense of warmth that I have with everyone. I love people. And I always love spending time with everyone. I simply cannot say no to anyone if it comes to helping them. I will do everything that I possibly can – to help them.
I remember this incident when I was sitting in my car and my driver – out of nowhere appreciated my shoes. He told that he loves my shoes. Without thinking for a second, I gave it to him.
If something that I have can bring a smile to someone’s face – why shouldn’t I go for it? After all, that’s what I am here for.
What you think should be inscribed on your epitaph? What do you want to be remembered for?
I want to be remembered as a joker. Everywhere I am, I aim to light up people’s faces with a huge grin.
What one thing have you not done that you really want to do?
A little known fact about you?
Most favorite movie?
Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara!
Who has influenced your life more than your dad?
If you could take only three things with you – that could be anything, for a trip to an island what those three things would be?
Friends, friends, and friends!
If you could send a message to the entire world, in 60 seconds or less, what would you say?
Be yourself, express yourself to the fullest, stop worrying about the people whose sole business might be to judge others, follow your heart, don’t be afraid to make mistakes and own failure – be responsible and do everything the right way, and never look for any shortcuts in life.
Final words of advice? Or your closing words?
Be conscious about what you consume. Definitely try our products. They are certainly the finest among the ones you will see out there. Life is not happening to us – but it is what you make of it.