London: Thomas Alva Edison, widely known as the wizard of Menlo Park, invented the electric bulb as a result of his continuous research from 1878 to 1880. During this research, He reportedly failed ten thousand times. He said in a speech following this successful discovery that, ” I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” It is a fact that “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.” The life story of Joji Thomas, owner of Thomson Foods in Ontario and a native of Pala in Kottayam district, underscores Edison’s words about the defeat. Joji Thomas has not just lost once or twice. When he failed in his first snacks business, when he failed the Canadian radiographer exam three times, and when he lost his job during the 2007 recession…..always, Joji Thomas decided to keep trying. Eventually, hard work and firm confidence paid off. Today, the life of Joji Thomas, owner of a business with a turnover of over one million dollars, is a great reminder of the truth that ‘there are no shortcuts to success’
Joji Thomas, who was just average in his studies, entered the business world in 1990 shortly after graduating from college. His first business venture was snacks manufacturing. Due to inexperience and misfortune, his first venture became a huge failure. As the debt piled up, Joji’s parents helped him to get out of all financial troubles. Disappointed with the collapse of his first venture, Joji was advised by his aunt to study radiology and get a job in the United States. Thus Joji went to Bangalore and started studying radiology. After the study, his aunt in Canada helped him to get a visa. In 1996, Joji Thomas arrived in Canada. But what happened next was contrary to expectations. Joji’s future became uncertain after failing the exam to qualify as a radiographer three times in a row. According to him, It was a time his decision to come to Canada even seemed wrong. The question of ‘what next?’ began to bother Joji terribly.
Since 1997, Joji Thomas started working in a factory and earned a living. It was in ’98 that he met Rekha Joji, a graduate and an IT diploma holder. They tied the knot. When looking back, the couple recalls that the first years of their marriage were pretty difficult. Both of them made a living by working in low-paying factory jobs. In the meantime, on the advice of a friend, the couple moved to St.Thomas to find a better life. The change to St.Thomas became beneficial abruptly. Both got jobs as assemblers at the Emerson electronic company plant. It was a time they were almost relieved that life had taken a new turn. That’s when the most unexpected thing happened. As a result of the global recession of 2007, Emerson electronic plant closed. When the two became unemployed together, life again became very precarious.
That was a time of great frustration due to successive defeats. As she decided not to go back to factory jobs again, Rekha Joji began studying nursing. Joji, who had to find a livelihood for the family alone, worked tirelessly to find a job. He eventually succeeded in getting a job at a Japanese auto parts company. But once again the misfortune happened. Joji was forced to take an EI break. With that, he became unemployed again. At a time when life is in turmoil, Joji found Elgin business resource center. The mission of this business resource center was to support those who wished to become entrepreneurs. Joji Thomas approached this business resource center with his idea of starting a restaurant with high hopes. But when they heard the idea, they straight away rejected the plan, saying it was unlikely to succeed. But despite the disappointment, Joji Thomas decided to work hard.
After much hard effort and homework, Joji Thomas approached the business resource center again in 2014 with his plan to start a snacks manufacturing unit. This time they could not disappoint Joji Thomas, who came up with clear planning and outline of the business. They approved the plan. That’s how he started producing snacks in 2014 on a 1,300-square-foot manufacturing unit. The beginning of that manufacturing unit was a turning point of Joji Thomas’s life. What followed was the triumphant journey of Joji Thomas as an entrepreneur. Thomson foods aka Real Snacks has made waves in the market with its leadership in quality and productivity. Joji’s business, which started with just 2 products, has grown to 13 products today. Meanwhile, the production of the spices brand, which was started, also became a huge success. He also runs a profitable frozen food supply called ‘Rusingo‘ from a Dubai-based company. Now, Joji is also supplying instant cooking products and whole spices successfully.
Today, Joji Thomas is one of the partners of ‘Mint Leaves‘ restaurant. Joji, who realized the restaurant idea that was once rejected by the business resource center in the past, proves that nothing is impossible. Joji, who owns a business with a turnover of over one million dollars and more than 20 employees, today exports his products to south and north American counties as well. Joji says that although he is not a good student or a language proficient, the reason he succeeds is because of his strong passion for cooking and business. His wife Rekha Joji, a nurse, and their children provide all the support for Joji Thomas’s ventures. The eldest son, Jeremy Thomas, is a health science student at York University, and the second son, Jonathan, is a business student at Brock University in Niagara. The youngest daughter Jadyn Thomas, is a 6th standard student. Without a doubt, Joji Thomas is a personality that those who are tired of failures should learn from. Let’s hope that more people will follow the footsteps of Joji Thomas, who has worked tirelessly for success.