BNI Champions are riding high after being awarded the Chapter of the Year at the annual National Conference. So, how does it feel to be honored with this achievement? Champions President, Nick Patel says, “Well, it’s a proud moment for us, but certainly we’d give more credit to the previous Leadership Teams. To be frank, it was done in the last 6 months and we’ve only been here in the last 3 months.”
Vice President, Milan Shamsuddeen Beeru agrees that it’s been a team effort. “It’s all up to the previous Leadership Teams and the founding members of our chapter. Our credo is always “business with a heart”, he smiles. “They have taught all of us who come in to first connect with the heart and business comes automatically.”
Secretary Treasurer, Nitesh Manghnani adds, “I’m proud of every Champions member. I’m proud of the bonding and the support. They truly teach you Givers Gain from the heart.
Celebrations are already in full swing, with a smaller celebration happening after the interview. “We have a big celebration planned at the end of August with all the members and families,” Nick quips.
The Emotional Quotient
In the age of virtual chapter meetings, how do the Champions stay engaged? Nitesh says, “We do try to create an emotional quotient. We realize that Zoom has created a lot of distance between members. So yes, a lot of our activities go toward meeting in smaller groups and keeping the emotional quotient alive. The more you meet, the more you feel, the more you bond with the person. I think that’s something that was lost with Zoom, but I think it’s working for us right now in the last three months.
“Because we’re in the Zoom era, it’s very important that members continue to connect,” Nick adds. “It’s important to get the one-to-ones in person, obviously with all the relevant safety protocols in place. That human touch, that human bonding, that face-to-face interaction, nothing can beat that in business. Especially for the BNI chapter to continue, as Nitesh quite rightly pointed out, you have to keep that emotional quotient raised between new members.
When questioned on what’s working for BNI Champions, Nick is quick to respond with ‘continuous engagement’. “We have business showers taking place next month, an idea we took from BNI Warriors, we thank them for that. Thank you to Sandra, our Ambassador, for bringing that idea to us,” he says.
However, Nick also firmly believes social events play a big role in business. “We have social events which are probably the highlight of our calendar every month. Social events are the real place where business gets done,” he states. “There’s only so much you can do, but ultimately you’ll do business with a friend of yours. Once you become friends, that level of trust is done so you don’t question anything else.”
Keep the Faith
The Champions team ends the interview with some excellent advice for anyone watching or thinking of joining BNI. “Keep the faith,” Nick says. “Sometimes business won’t come straight away, build relationships, look at the seven core values and believe in them.”
Nitesh adds, “It’ll convert into a family and you won’t even realize it’s happened.”
Milan signs off by saying, “Trust in the system, trust in the processes, go through with it. Don’t get disheartened immediately if you don’t get results; speak to members, founding members, new members, and you’ll understand what BNI can give back to you.”
Congratulations to BNI Champions on being named Chapter of the Year, we’re sure this will just be one of many future successes.