Member Spotlight: Ravinder Deol
Grand Central is home to many fantastic businesses and entrepreneurs from various walks of life. Within our coworking community we’ve been lucky enough to stumble across some brilliant minds and wanted to shine the light on one of our long-term members, Ravinder Deol.
We recently sat down with Ravinder for an interview where we discussed entrepreneurship, travel and his advice for success.
Grand Central: What do you do for a living?
Ravinder Deol: I run several online businesses, mostly focusing on education, so I’ve produced quite a few courses on coding, cryptocurrency and blockchain. Over the past couple of years my team and I managed to build a database of over 100,000 students with these courses. We also provide agency services where we offer content marketing surrounding crypto and blockchain (Compounding Copy).
One of our more recent projects, “No Code” (Command Codeless), is essentially a program that helps people to build software with no code necessary. I often refer to it as visual coding because you use building blocks to create parts of the software, no complicated code necessary!
Lastly, another project I’m involved in is an online newsletter, Incognito Weekly, which is about online privacy and just helping everyone to become more conscious.
GC: That is impressive! How do you keep up with all of this and what would you say is your best productivity hack?
RD: My go-to productivity hack is The Pomodoro Technique. So I do 25 minute stints and then have a 5 minute break. It’s basic but very effective and it helps me break down my work, especially if I have a huge task. I also use a tool called Notion which helps me to plan and prioritise everything. It’s like the operating system of my life!
GC: That is really cool. What work-related accomplishment are you really proud of?
RD: I’d actually say the friendships that I’ve made through work. I met a good friend of mine in Austria who I came across on a freelance hiring platform five years ago and we’ve been great friends since.
GC: Great answer, even if it wasn’t work-related. How did you end up living and working in Malta?
RD: Well, I actually came here for a one-week holiday in March 2017 then returned home to England. I decided to move to Malta in December that year and ended up staying for 18 months. I tend to travel a lot but I always try to visit Malta at least once a year.
GC: There’s quite a big expat community here, so it’s not surprising coming across someone from the UK.
RD: Exactly, that helped quite a lot and so leaving the UK didn’t feel like such a big life change.
GC: And what do you like to do on the island in your spare time? Are you into water sports, hiking…coding?
RD: I like taking walks mostly. One of my favourite towns to visit is Mdina and it’s one of the most beautiful places to walk around. I also love exploring nature, you’d be surprised at how much there is to do on such a small island. Malta is such a great place and there’s a nice work-life balance here. We’re in the Mediterranean, we shouldn’t be working 24/7!
GC: Agreed! And when you started working in Malta, were you initially looking for co-working space? How did you come across Grand Central?
RD: Yes, I was looking for a co-working space and initially found Grand Central through a Google search. It appeared on a map out of several options but I saw the location, checked out the website and then went for a site visit.
It was just so incredibly easy and the owners (Iain and Sarah) were extremely helpful. The space had everything I needed, 24/7 access, my own desk and just overall great facilities. What I really liked was that it was in the capital, so it was close to where I lived which made the decision easier.
As much as I travel, whenever I come back to Malta I just have to renew my membership because I love the space that much!
GC: That’s so good to hear! What’s your favorite thing about the space? Is it the people? That community feel? The barbecues on the rooftop!
RD: The barbecues definitely helped! I’m kidding, it is the community here. I’ve been to a lot of co-working spaces and honestly, they just seem like glorified, pretty boring offices! Like, I could have sat in a nice coffee shop instead and not spend that much money!
The community aspect was the biggest aspect for joining Grand Central and the space is actually extremely beautiful. There are fantastic views over the rooftop and the facilities are just great.
GC: What would you say is one of your best memories at Grand Central? Anything funny or sentimental?
RD: I’d say there’s quite a few memories but one thing that’s nice is seeing the space grow and develop. There’s always improvements and that just makes it a better space for co-workers.
I’d also say in general, there’s a nice social aspect in Grand Central that I didn’t notice in other places and because of that I have so many pleasant memories. Everyone is so friendly and so welcoming. I don’t think I could recommend a better space.
GC: It’s a great testament to the members and owners because whenever you do come back to Malta, you always go back to Grand Central as opposed to looking for somewhere new.
RD: No question about it. Grand Central is like a home away from home. Such a lovely hub.
GC: You’ve mentioned so many nice things about Grand Central, but just to sum it up what would be your top two reasons when recommending the place?
RD: The location, it’s so convenient and so close to all the nice bars, restaurants and coffee shops. It makes it easier to meet new clients for lunch as well. And, I’ve mentioned it before but definitely the community! I’ve been able to meet people from so many different industries as well.
GC: If there was anything you could change or add to Grand Central, what would it be?
RD: Well, I did recommend some hammocks for the rooftop.
GC: Isn’t that a health hazard?
RD: Maybe, and that’s probably why the owners haven’t installed them! But they would be good for afternoon naps.
GC: You mentioned earlier that you tend to travel frequently. What’s going to be your next move?
RD: I’ll be living and working in Austria for a while then later I want to travel to Poland. Hopefully I’ll be able to make it back to the U.K. for Christmas!
GC: Amazing, and would you have any advice for running a business?
RD: Firstly, there’s opportunity everywhere and right now it’s never been easier to start an online business. I say this gingerly because it’s not easy in the sense that you can just throw a project out there and expect people to pay you.
In terms of access, it’s never been easier. There’s so much information and research at your fingertips and so it makes it easier to learn a new skill or build a product. For example, if you did want to create a marketplace you don’t necessarily need to know how to code. There are plenty of other options.
It’s just a matter of learning and being obsessed with your craft.
Being able to make money online has become simple. I’d say learn a new skill like Photoshop or a no-code program like Webflow then master that tool and teach others how to use it. This is probably the easiest way to make money online right now.
Also keep a lookout for new programs because it’s likely that there’ll be a demand for experts because companies don’t have staff trained in that program. You can position yourself as an expert in that field and make more money from it.
GC: Thank you so much for taking time to answer all of these questions. It’s been fun!