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Dinesh Dhamija, Adding value

Themes: Entrepreneurship, Guest speakers

Adding valueCambridge alumnus Dinesh Dhamija, former Chairman and CEO of, discusses operating in the high octane world of the Internet

Raise money when you can and do not be upset by how much the banks make are just two examples of advice recently given to Cambridge Judge Business School MBA students from one of the country’s business leaders.

Cambridge alumnus Dinesh Dhamija founded and raised sales of $23 million in 1999 to $1 billion by 2004. It became one of the most successful Internet travel agencies in Europe.

In his Leadership Seminar, ‘Operating in the High Octane World of the Internet’, he took his audience through the e-Bookers story.

His advice included raising money where they could and not being upset by how much the banks charge. He added that, along the way, they might annoy a few people but they could ‘live with that’.

Afterwards, Mr Dhamija singled out key learning points.

“I would suggest keep your eyes and ears open; nothing is too small to look at. Don’t think you are above anyone else and just see if you can add value. If you can add value to a customer, then you have got a business.”

He added that building what he called a ‘Rolls Royce’ prior to launch was not good strategy.

“Don’t think of every angle in a business before you launch. Launch it so that you have the first mover advantage. The media can then help you in promoting it but they won’t help if you’re the second or the third entrant.”

Dinesh Dhamija was the Founder, Chairman and CEO of from 1996 to 2005. was based in 12 countries and became one of the largest travel agencies in Europe. He is now Chairman of the Copper Beech Group, managing investments in education, ecotourism and real estate in India and Romania.