Raj Dhonota

Entrepreneur, Investor, Mentor

Born and raised in Kent, Raj Dhonota first came to the public eye in 2005 during the first series of The Apprentice. Since his time on the reality programme he has gone on to become a successful serial entrepreneur and investor in start-up businesses covering a range of industries from eCommerce, property, language translation, network marketing, recruitment, fashion and consumer goods.

Having previously studied Law at Anglia Ruskin University, Raj has essentially been self-employed and involved in starting and growing businesses for over 15 years. His various business interests means he often undertakes a number of roles within an organisation including; business development and strategy, leading strategic technical direction, all forms of marketing as well as advising on financial matters.

Following his time on The Apprentice Raj set up and focused on his business Global Proximity. Within just three years he grew the business into a multi-million pound company before selling it in order to pursue further business ventures.
Raj is presently involved in a number of business ventures. One of these is Igniva Solutions, a software development firm that specialises in website and mobile application development, desktop software development and online marketing. Raj has been instrumental in growing Igniva Solutions from zero to a team of 400 with a turnover of around £2 million per year.

Raj’s interests, both commercially and non-commercially, are focused on helping people start a business or helping small businesses grow. As an entrepreneur with an international focus, Raj’s particular expertise lies in taking advantage of new and emerging economies such as the BRICS countries. He also uses this expertise to advise others in how to take advantage of the various international opportunities that are available.

As well as his own commercial interests and investments, Raj is involved in a number of schemes that are set up to help nurture entrepreneurial talent. He often donates his time to mentoring school children through schemes such as Apps for Good; as well as providing advice and guidance through public speaking and The Start-Up Academy. He is also very active in charity work and has recently set up The Caring Enterprise Scheme that aims to recognise businesses that are willing to pledge percentage of their profits to good causes each year.
AI In The Workplace: Why Robots Won't Replace

AI In The Workplace: Why Robots Won't Replace Humans

Whilst we are currently witnessing an explosion towards AI, the technology itself is still rather limited. It's fair to say that robots won't be replacing humans any time soon, as AI technology is simply not at the same level of cognitive thought that humans currently possess.
28/04/2017 14:15 BST
Challenges Of Running A Business In Multiple

Challenges Of Running A Business In Multiple Timezones

Running an international business doesn't mean you need to stay up all night waiting for people to reply to emails and you shouldn't expect your team to do the same. You simply need an effective communication strategy in place, the right management and the ability to stick to plan.
19/01/2017 12:41 GMT
Timing An International Expansion In A Post-Brexit

Timing An International Expansion In A Post-Brexit Landscape

Since the UK voted to leave the European Union, there has been an air of uncertainty that has been looming over the country. From the uncertainty of accessing the single market, the impact on sterling and the defining influences on post Brexit within the global markets, what does this present for the future of the UK economy and businesses in general?
02/12/2016 13:55 GMT
The Budget 2014: Why Did the Budget Ignore Start

The Budget 2014: Why Did the Budget Ignore Start Ups?

For me this budget got it wrong on the start up front by ignoring the value start-ups bring to our economy and doing nothing for them. We may not realise the impact of this up to the election, which is perhaps what the chancellor is counting on, but it's clearly not in our country's long term interest. A budget for 'doers'? I don't think so!
01/04/2014 13:05 BST
The Folly of the Government's Current Internship

The Folly of the Government's Current Internship Scheme

While I certainly don't agree with exploiting graduates and other interns I'm not convinced the whole concept of companies having to pay graduates minimum wage across the board - especially when it comes to micro businesses and small businesses - is a good one.
20/02/2014 14:45 GMT
Over 30s: The Forgotten Generation of

Over 30s: The Forgotten Generation of Entrepreneurs

Sir Richard Branson recently launched the Virgin Start-Up, his not-for-profit venture offering financial support, mentoring and business advice to hopeful entrepreneurs across the UK. However, upon closer inspection, it is yet another scheme aimed solely at 18-30 year olds which makes me wonder why those over the age of 30 do not receive as much support as their younger counterparts.
03/12/2013 15:03 GMT