In a short span of seven years, Shivam Verma has taken a long leap towards success. He has not only established three fully flourished businesses but he also owns 10 rentals in three different cities in the north island.
Shivam started his Kiwi journey as a student pursuing a Masters degree in International Business from AIS in St Helens, Auckland. In his initial days, he undertook multiple jobs to survive. He dealt in buying and selling cars independently and later joined a 5 Star hotel in the city as a concierge. He also worked as a manager of a restaurant in Hamilton for which he traveled 260km to and fro Auckland, six days a week for a year.
Indian Weekender spoke to this relentless 32-year old, his journey, accomplishments and what more does he aspire to achieve.
What was your turning point in New Zealand?
My wife and I got our residencies in 2013 and the first thing in our mind was to buy a house. That was actually a turning point for me. We had enough savings and our next goal was to start a business. We had a number of options such to choose from, including buying a liquor store, a dairy, a restaurant and even a cafe. As my wife is a qualified dentist here, we thought of opening a dental clinic and the idea clicked.
How was the transition jumping from the service industry to entrepreneurship?
I established my first business, Guardian Dental Care, in September 2014 in partnership with one of my close friends. Once the clinic started bringing good returns, I got motivated to start another business. I employed myself as a practice manager for a while and then in 2015 we opened Stoddard Dental Square in Mt Roskill. This September, Pt. Chevalier Family Dentist was inaugurated.
How did you manage owning so many houses?
It’s all about playing with your equity. Buying the first house led to many other such purchases, which led to a growth in my equity. The banks lend money accordingly. For example, I bought my first house for $550,000 and after six months its market value rose to $700,000. I paid only the 5% initial payment and the rest was mortgaged by the bank. For my second house, the bank gave increased percentage of my equity, I added a little from my savings and the rest I could again mortgage from the bank. So I kept multiplying my equity and savings from the business, which helped us moving forward.
What have you contributed to the community?
I strictly believe in the ‘give and take’ policy. I am blessed to have not just created employment opportunities but also added up to the economy of the country. The businesses create business for other sectors of the market. Moreover, I contribute to various charity works, community events, and temples, which is also an integral part of my life.
How do balance your personal and professional life?
Well, there is an incredible support from my family and my wife Nikita has been my backbone. I would work all day at the clinics and then sit with my laptop almost all evening trying to sort out my finances, doing market research, getting information on mortgages, etc. I wouldn’t say it was easy at all; it was stressful as I would work 16-18 hours a day. But the hard work has finally paid off.
What advice do you have for aspiring migrants?
First, buy a house as soon as you can because otherwise, you keep paying massive amounts as rent. Instead, pay a little more, making your house your mortgage. Second, start a business because that is the only way you can make things possible. Stay motivated, be positive, take calculative risks and do your math, the keys to success.