Mothers are the ones who give us life, but fathers are the ones who supply us with everything we need and imprint in us knowledge in understanding the real world.
A father’s quality can be seen in the goals, dreams, and aspiration he sets not only for himself but for his family. This one-of-a-kind father dedicated his life to pursue his dreams while also successfully providing a sense of great direction towards his family.
Varnam Malaysia recently interviewed a father cum entrepreneur on his life experiences.
Manohar Raja, who hails from Salem, Tamil Nadu, has established his own business empire in Malaysia. He has spent the last 18 years building his company, Mano Designs from the ground up, with a major concentration on wedding invitations.
The 52-year-old entrepreneur left his motherland and family while he was a young man, in order to pursue his passion for arts and to create a steady source of income for his family. When he moved to Malaysia, he left behind his wife Chitra, daughters 5-year-old Preethi, 3-year-old Priyanka, and newborn son Praveen.
My children have since grown up, both of my girls have completed their education and are working as software engineers for Tata Company, while my son is pursuing his MBBS in India – Manohar
‘I know being separated from me would be very hard for my wife and children so I’ll pay them a visit every two months for any special occasion, and my children will pay me a visit every three months during school holidays,” Manohar said.
With only a high school education, the insightful father mastered all form of art and is now using the knowledge gained to help others build their career paths.
Manohar’s decision to relocate to Malaysia has benefited not only him but also his children. His children’s trips up and down to Malaysia opened up more career chances for them.
“My daughter has been chosen for a Canada Project, and she will be leaving soon. She got the placement due to vast knowledge and exposure towards different cultures.”, the proud father said.
Education is more essential to me than anything else. We have everything we need at home, and we have never forced our children to do much chores, instead we encouraged them to focus solely on their education. I take care of everything for my children and make sure they are well-behaved.
As a supportive dad, he has taken care of all their needs, particularly in terms of education. He buys all of the essential and modern learning equipment for his children that their school could not provide, allowing them to keep up with technology and explore new things. His two daughters are State Gold Medalists, while his son was placed third in the state for the National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET).
A bond which is more than just best friends.
“My family and I have a set of simple rules. No keeping secrets and must practice honesty; not look at each other’s phones without permission; and must be open-minded and willing to ask questions about anything, at any time”, said the father.
The caring father possesses a wide range of skills, one of which is cooking, as he is responsible for preparing whenever he returns home. Instead of cooking the traditional fare, he prepares Malaysian-inspired dishes for his wife and children to eat.
“To make the experience more intriguing, I will feed them while telling them a series of riddle stories based on my own life, modify existing stories and even recall their amusing childhood antics to engage them with joy and that brings me and my children closer emotionally”, he said.
It’s heartbreaking to be separated from such a caring parent. To maintain the bonding strong and alive, he makes it a point to communicate with his family via video call or at the very least phone call on a regular basis, without missing anyone, so that they can stay informed about what is going on around them.
While he goes to India, no matter what necessary work they have, they will all be together. With the exception of exams, his children would set aside their work and start planning to spend time together. His children battle among themselves to sit alongside him, which is the cutest part, because they all have unconditional affection for their dad.
You may think I’m being unfair, but that’s just how I am. I treat my daughters and son differently because my daughters will be married and will be going to another family, so I do extras for them and show too much affection, I care for my son too but will be strict in certain matters.
The father strongly suggests that children should be allowed to be free and independent but stressed that their behaviors must be constantly monitored. They simply require direction because they must develop their own inventiveness. He suggested that allowing kids to make their own choices will boost their creativity and originality.
“I gave each of my children their own room and belongings when they were ten years old, and I even made them do their own chores because I believe it will bring out their individuality”, the entrepreneur expressed.
The broad-minded dad also mentioned that he would allow his children to have romantic relationships because it can be beneficial to have someone to encourage each other, but with the condition to remain focused on their studies at all times. When they succeed academically, he would respect whatever decision they make if it is legitimate.
“I usually advise my kids to think wisely and logically, such as to consider what would happen in five or ten years if they make a decision now rather than later. I’ll be expecting them to sketch out their future plans and how they’ll carry them out. Then, I’ll offer suggestions and solutions to help them improve, if needed”, the responsible dad said.
Being physically close to them would never make them wiser, but being away from them will undoubtedly enable them to discover and understand things for themselves.
As the man of the house, he gives his wife full guide on how to run the family, but she only follows half of what he says. They bicker like any other couple, yet he nevertheless praises his wife Chitra, for parenting their children admirably by at least half-following his advice, which is difficult to do on one’s own accord.
Manohar Raja’s field of expertise
Generally, everyone studies for professions that are highly common, such as that of an engineer, doctor, and lawyer. However, art is special, and most people do not choose to study it because it requires creativity.
To choose a career path, Manohar was of the opinion that as age was catching up on him, it was best if he had another source of income while also creating new ideas on a daily basis.
“Before anyone else admires a work of art, it is first admired by the artist who created it. As a result, I decided to pursue a career as an art designer in order to create new art,” the 52-year-old said.
Most businesses’ names end with ‘printers’ or ‘wedding cards,’ but mine ends with ‘designs,’ since as an art designer, I place importance to designing and can create any form of design at any point.
The high flyer’s goal in choosing this line was to break out of his bubble and extend his expertise to other places with the abilities and knowledge he possessed for what he was passionate about.
As per the entrepreneur, people in India are so talented, and there is fierce competition in the field of art, therefore he had to put in a lot of work and learn whatever skill he could in order to survive. Coming from India, he already has wide range of skills that enables him to outperform Malaysian competitors.
“When we travel or live in a foreign country like Malaysia, we cannot rely on only one or two talents or a limited knowledge base to get by. Producing art necessitates a large set of equipment and abilities. We must not be like ‘the frog who lives under a coconut shell and believes that the shell is its universe’, but rather we must expand our perspectives”, the go-getter explained.
10 unique selling features of Mano Designs
- Can translate in seven different languages (Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Hindi, Sanskrit, English & Malay).
- Import and export services for wedding card materials are available.
- Professional in all aspects of designs.
- Expert about colour schemes.
- Wedding invitations can be made in less time than expected.
- Stockist of printing supplies such as paper, envelope, card, etc.
- Business have no time frame, open 24/7.
- Can offer product at customers’ desired pricing range with high quality, whether it is RM 1 or RM 1000.
- Customers can completely customise or mix & match their favourite product as they desire.
- If a product is unavailable, always able to provide a quick alternate plan that meets the customer’s demands.
Building a business in one’s home country is one thing, but moving to a completely different and unfamiliar place is the most difficult. Manohar revealed to Varnam that starting a business in Malaysia has never been easy.
He was not given a warm welcome when he arrived and treated as a second-class citizen. People were never ready to accept him. He also suffered numerous threats and problems from other competitors for establishing a business among them which he had to move one place to another often.
Even though he faced external challenges, he never gave up on his ambition and worked tirelessly to expand his business, sacrificing sleep, energy, and having to do all of the work on his own. But now, thanks to his tireless efforts, he is regarded by his own competitors, has no difficulties, and has his own empire with workers on whom he can count on, and this is unquestionably a great triumph for him.
Despite all of Manohar’s hardships while apart from his family, he was able to provide all of his family’s basic necessities, and he also built his firm from the ground up into an empire that is a household name today.
This father is one true hero!
Mano designs; A place where you can find all your needs for any occasion, from business to weddings. All you have to do now is just head to its outlet and manifest your desires.
Follow us on Telegram for more updates and breaking news: https://t.me/varnammalaysia