MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA: Mahendra Nath's investment journey began with a duplex many years ago. Using the profit he made out of a appreceiating real estate market, he bought two Burger King restaurants, and continued to grow. His Nath Companies now has 6500 employees working in multiple sectors.
An alumnus of the the Delhi University, Nath's company was recognized as the top minority-owned business in Minnesota. Like hundreds of thousands of Indians in the US, he had come as a student and trained as an engineer about 50 years ago.
Riding an appreciating real estate market, Nath continued to acquire an increasing number of properties. As the business grew, he gained trust and investment from friends in the area.
That's when he entered another industry. Having heard from a relative about two Burger King fast food restaurants going up for sale, Nath acquired them. Over the next ten years, he wiould go on to expand this to 154 Burger Kings across six states.
Later, he went on to add other fast food chains and expanded in the hospitality industry. Nath Companies now employs about 6500 employees, working in the real estate, restaurants, hotels, and real estate management.
He still owns restaurants but not as many. "In business there is a time to invest, expand, harvest profits, divest, and exit," he said, about his company's pull-out from the sector.
Nath attributes his success to respecting and acknowledging that everyone in Nath Companies added value at their level of responsibility and was treated as an important part of its ecosystem.
Nath Companies was ranked the top minority-owned business in Minnesota.Nath himself has received the entrepreneurs' award twice and was inducted into the Minnesota Business Hall of Fame, a rare distinction for a person of Indian origin.
"God has written our destiny and therefore it is best not to get impatient. Success will come with time," says Nath, who is also involved in community work. His service includes his involvement with a Hindu temple and work on projects like safe water, sanitation, education for the underprivileged. He also works with Rotary, Healing Hearts India, and Children HeartLink.
"You can dream and realize your dream in the United States. Failure simply means you have to reimagine your dreams, but not give up," says Nath.