More Than Networking: Relationship Building

01 Sep 2019 8:00 AM | Lindsay McCabe (Administrator)

“Don't make transactions, make relationships” -Vijay Bahl


Bruce Cotterman and Vijay Bahl both joined the BABC in 2013. In 2017, what had started simply as networking with like-minded businesspeople grew into Bruce helping Vijay and his clients walk through the often-complicated world of visa applications and immigration affairs.

Anyone who has had to work with USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services) will know the importance of a 'Do it once but do it right' approach. Even in cases where it is a simple family petition for a spouse or parent, the crossing the T's & dotting the I's is imperative. Add the complexity of applying for business status with employment opportunities and partnering with professionals becomes a necessity.

Vijay, who is Broker/Owner, of Lotus Property Investments LLC, needed someone with familiarity to help with EB-5 applications in his growing business. As an experienced EB-5 business plan developer, Bruce, founder of global management business advisory service BAS Group LLC, was a great fit. The partnership allowed Vijay to provide more EB-5 services across the U.S. with a focus in Georgia. For more than two years, the duo has serviced clients seeking EB-5 business plans, ranging across the globe from Bahrain to Vietnam.

Their story is a perfect example of the partnerships that can develop through being active in the BABC. Often, working as an Expat or a representative for a foreign company can be isolating. Having the support system of others that face the same challenges as you do, or who can address a specific need you may have, is invaluable.

Both Bruce and Vijay say the reward is having a variety of satisfied clients that trust in the services they are offering, from the moment they realize there is someone there to help them. “Each client is our favorite as their country, business concept, foreign investors, timing and approach differs - with each being interesting as well as challenging,” emphasizes Bruce.  

A Successful EB-5 (Employment Based 5) Partnership

The United States offers an Investor “Green Card Holder” Visa Program called EB-5 to encourage foreign investments and economic growth in the U.S. By investing a minimum $500,000 (sourced funds) to finance a business in the United States that will employ at least 10 American workers, eligible Immigrant Investors and their families with children under the age of 21 can become lawful permanent residents. A key initial step for an EB-5 investor is to provide a detailed EB-5 business plan that is legally compliant for submission to the USCIS. This plan must include a strategic employment plan with employment opportunities, hiring dates, responsibilities, and compensations and contributions.

Successful EB-5 business plans require an advisor who is experienced and knowledgeable with USCIS regulations for establishing businesses, construction, foreign and local financing, cash flow pro-formas, employment, supply chain, market analysis and more. These plans must have significant detail over a month, by month period for the first few years and then extend further over a 5 to 10-year period. Bruce leverages his decades of experience with global clients in building and leading businesses to add crucial information to a plan, including potential ROI and number of jobs expected to be generated, both direct, indirect and induced employment.

The working relationship between Bruce and Vijay is one of mutual respect for the other’s experience in the world of international business. Vijay especially praises Bruce’s thoroughness in preparing a comprehensive, yet very specific business plan on behalf of the investor client. “Bruce has shown to have the in-depth knowledge and the extra layer of formulating critical data for different business models, specifically to support the critical employment component of the business study. While Bruce's credentials speak for themselves, the way he engages his business relationship is more vital. If you want a seamless experience then let Bruce take the helm and pen the business plan for your needs, in or out of USCIS.”

Complementary Services

Vijay brings to the partnership 25 years of commercial real estate knowledge in both England and the United States. Vijay is a board member of the ACBR (Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors) with a niche in the hotel industry. A business, which creates a large interest in the number of domestic & foreign clients applying for EB5 status. He has consulted with international investors and foreign agencies to help facilitate the process in the United States from a wide variety of countries, including Vietnam, India, Germany and Kazakhstan.

Bruce Cotterman is President Emeritus of BABC of GA and Past President, Managing Director and founder of the BAS Group LLC, a global management business advisory service. He is presently a management and corporate leadership consultant following his sale of BAS’s client base assets to other management firms.

The BABC congratulates Bruce and Vijay for their successful business partnership. If you are interested in joining the BABC and expanding your networking opportunities with other British businesses and leaders, please contact Lindsay McCabe at

BABC-Georgia is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization. 1395 East Cobb Drive #72721 Marietta, GA 30007

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