Stone Bank

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Stone Bank's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Stone Bank is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
44 | STONE BANK
Managing Director Vijay Odedra
The Stone Bank team
Stone Bank Investments oversee a wide range of different
services, including the operation of care homes,
investment in property portfolios and wider investment
opportunities. Currently managed by Vijay Odedra, the
company was started by his father and has remained in the
family ever since. By focusing on breaking tradition, Vijay
has been able to grow and develop the business. Through
emphasising the installation of proactive and highly qualified
staff in key roles, he has been able to reduce his day-to-
day responsibilities while ensuring the continued success of
his company. He explains the heritage of the firm and his
innovative management style.
We were originally founded by my father. At its inception, the company
concentrated on large supermarkets. As the business developed, we began to
focus on investment in various properties before making them available to rent.
We were run with various partners, many of whom were members of my extended
family, as is customary in the Asian community. My father brought over his siblings
from Kenya, and they were immediately running the business. The family-run firm
continued to thrive, and we were able to add the portfolio of care homes that we
still run and operate.
Within our community, it was expected that the eldest son would become involved
in the family business. I have been engaged in helping with the running of the
FACTS ABOUT
STONE BANK
»Managing Director:
VijayOdedra
»Founded in 1980
»Based in Birmingham
»Services: Property investment
and care homes for the elderly
»No. of employees: 50
»No. of clients: 120
Stone Bank
45STONE BANK |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
company from a young age. My
father was the director, and many of
the members of our family, including
me, have held the role of partner. As
time went on and I became older, my
responsibilities grew. In the last 20
years, my father began to take a back
seat and I came to the forefront.
Breaking tradition
In August 2014, my father passed
away and I assumed control of the
company. I immediately decided to
change and innovate the way the
company was run. One of my first
steps was to increase delegation, and
I began to place greater responsibility
on the two full-time staff members in
the office. Although this may seem
commonplace, it was a drastic step in
our local community. This increased
delegation allowed me to spend less
time in the office, and I was able to
travel with my mother, who was still
grieving the death of my father.
I also began to renegotiate the deals
my father had made, many of which
were heavily skewed in favour of the
other party. This included a dispute
over the running of four of our care
homes, which I promptly traded for a
more lucrative deal for our company.
I instituted a total change across the
whole business, including changing
both our banking services and our
solicitors. These sorts of changes
can often be essential, as having
the right support can significantly
affectproductivity.
After successfully navigating this
difficult transition, I turned my
attention to our portfolio of care
homes. It was immediately clear
that they required a complete
overhaul. The staff needed to be
replenished, and I prioritised the
hiring of experienced and high-quality
employees. All of the staff were let
go, and I endeavoured to change the
entire atmosphere of these homes.
I also hired a designated member
of staff to oversee the running
of these care homes, increasing
the delegation that had been so
successful previously. A lot of time
was spent training these new recruits
and ensuring that they met the high
standard I expected. I also hired a
highly experienced personal assistant
to deal with the day-to-day running of
the business.
This proved to be a successful move,
and I strove to create a happy and
productive workforce. This included
the provision of extra perks for all staff,
including private healthcare. It is my
sincere belief that if you treat your
workforce well, they will return the
favour with an excellent work ethic.
My father, the original
founder of the business
It is my sincere
belief that if
you treat your
workforce
well, they will
return the
favour with an
excellent work
ethic
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
46 | STONE BANK
The care homes are now in very high
demand, and we have been forced to
instigate waiting lists to try to cope
with this increased interest.
Profitability immediately increased.
Initially, I had put the care homes up
for sale, but I soon removed them
from the market due to their drastically
increased performance. The increased
self-sufficiency of these practices
allowed me to reduce my personal
involvement and allowed me to focus
on the investment side of the business.
Contrary to belief, a company can be
widely successful without excessive
input from directors and managers.
By ensuring a happy workforce and
setting clear standards of expectation,
I have been able to decrease my
dailyduties.
Creating a proactive and
independent workforce
The business is now performing better
than ever before. I am now able to
work from home, staying in contact
through phone and emails, and I
have been able to target lucrative
investment opportunities. These
include new property opportunities,
as well as more opportunistic
investments: I recently made a
sizeable profit from investing in
number plates.
The key to this growth has been
the installation of talented and
motivated employees in key positions.
By promoting a happy atmosphere
within my workforce and setting
clear standards of best practice, the
business has been able to develop
andgrow.
Looking forward, I am continuing to
search for appropriate investments.
Mydesignated care manager has
identified a group of five care homes
that we could add to our portfolio,
expanding our existing service and
establishing a new base in Coventry.
We are not, however, desperate to
expand, as it is not necessary at this
time. Excessive expansion can lead to
problems further down the line and
may interrupt the smooth running of
our business.
I am currently looking at cost-
efficiency improvements and have
begun to target selected properties
that will significantly enhance
our current range. We are also
developing new relationships with
financial service organisations that
are able to provide us with larger
loans in a far shorter timeframe. By
continuing to promote the excellence
of my employees and setting high
expectations, I am confident that our
company will continue to expand
andgrow.
By promoting a
happy
atmosphere
within my
workforce and
setting clear
standards of best
practice, the
business has been
able to develop
and grow
My mother, a constant
source of inspiration and
support

This article was sponsored by Stone Bank. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister