Rajendra Hariprashad was born in Guyana, South America in 1977 and moved with his parents to New York in 1989. At 21, Hariprashad walked into the Marine Corps recruiting office and asked for information. Soon he was in Parris Island, South Carolina. During his 4 year tour in North Carolina, 1 of the job description was being a tax preparer on Camp Lejeune. This was the foundation for Ace Tax Services, Inc. In his free time, Hariprashad taught marines to drive his 1998 Eclipse and took them to the Department of Motor Vehicles, where they all got their driver’s licenses. This was the beginning of Ena’s Driving School, named for Hariprashad’s mother.
From 1998-2002, a small town called Jacksonville, NC had a real estate boom. Houses were being sold for about $60,000 and by 2002 the prices jumped to $250,000 to $350,000. Hariprashad called his parents in New York on a daily basis to buy commercial real estate. Harold and Ena Holding Corporation, a real estate holding company, began in 2002 and the rest is history. Thanks to the United States Marines Corp training and family support, he is a proud Marine Semper Fi.
What are you working on right now?
I’m trying to expand all my businesses. I am trying my best to exceed $1 million in sales within the next 2 years.
What does your typical day look like?
Income tax season is extremely hectic. I work 12 hour shift 7 days a week. A typical day after tax season involves waking up once I am well rested, taking long drives, thinking about new ideas and how to grow and promote my business brand. I visit the office on occasion.
3 trends that excite you?
I am excited with the real estate trend of everything dropping. I am trying to increase my property portfolio. I am a bit boring.
How do you bring ideas to life?
With all my ideas and business decisions, it starts with my family: my father Harold, my mother Ena and my sister Natasha. We all talk and have a great deal of discussion. At the end, if everyone agrees, we go forward.
What inspires you?
My parents are my biggest inspiration. My father always told my sister and I to aim for the stars if you miss you will land on the moon. My parents’ sacrifices made my sister and I to try our best at everything. My primary goal was to allow my parents to stop working and to have enough money to do and go anywhere they wanted. I am so thankful this goal were met 6 years ago.
What is one mistake you’ve made and what did you learn from it?
I don’t believe in mistakes. I believe things happen for a reason at the right time and in the right place. Maybe you will not agree with something or think it is a mistake, but God always has something better planned. I thank God for teaching me lessons through everything that has happened in my life.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
If you start a business make sure you become the best at what you are doing. Treat everyone with respect–you never know who you are talking to. A customer that give you the most problems and heartache may be the one that help promote your business the most.
What do you read every day and why?
I read CNN Money every day because I am curious about the economy. I want to know what big corporations are doing and apply some of their ideas to my companies. Oil prices are also a big deal because the higher they go, the lower my profits. I also read entrepreneur.com because they always have little tips to make your business better.
What is your favorite gadget, app or piece of software that helps you every day?
The Iphone is my favorite gadget, my favorite 5 business app are CNN Money, Entrepreneur, Facebook, Craigslist and checkers.
Who would you love to see interviewed on IdeaMensch?
Henry George Jarecki, MD, an American academic, psychiatrist, entrepreneur and philanthropist.
When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
I laugh out loud on a regular basis. Especially during the summer with family and friends. I see my 2 year old nephew on a daily basis; he says and does the funniest things.
Where would you like to see yourself in the next 5 years?
I want my three businesses to at least triple in size. I want to start more driving schools, open new tax locations and buy larger investment properties.
What is the toughest part of your business?
The toughest part of my business is the staff. I always have to make sure everyone is doing what they are suppose to do. It is difficult to find the right staff with the right attitude for the business. I never knew it was so hard to find friendly, kind people who give extra effort to make clients happy.