'I began my journey in UAE as a salesman at the age of 19'

Top Stories

I began my journey in UAE as a salesman at the age of 19
Sanjay Kalia

Dubai - Sanjay Kalia, founder of Dana Insurance Brokers, says that the UAE is a country which wants to offer a platform for entrepreneurial talents


Sandhya D'Mello

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Sun 13 Aug 2017, 8:21 PM

I landed at Dubai airport from India on January 15,1980, at the age of 19 with no work experience. My parents received me at airport. In those days an insurance company offered me job in sales at a monthly salary of Dh1,250. There was no confusion of spending as I would give the salary to my mother, the practice I wish I could continue forever.
Dubai was and will always remain close to my heart as it is my extended or second home. When I arrived here I never felt out of place it was like coming home even then. However, I was forewarned to respect the local culture and law of land, which was not at all difficult. The people in the UAE were very friendly and respectful. They are constantly and ever ready to help at any time. This really helped me to settle down in the newly found place of my existence.
After landing in Dubai I also got acquainted with a local friend who introduced me to an insurance company Credit & Commerce Insurance (CCI). The general manager of company interviewed me and offered me job immediately.

Sanjay Kalia back in the 1980s
During my tenure with CCI, I was offered an opportunity for partnership in an existing insurance brokerage company. From CCI, I worked with two other insurance companies in 1992 and was offered a job with brokerage company owned by Abbas Bolorfrushan. In 2014, I entered into partnership with Dana insurance, my son Varun joined to support me, we were team of four in the beginning and now reached 15. We are currently focused on local market operations and aim to scale new heights as the UAE offers abundant opportunities.
I realised there is no shortcut to success, and the UAE always rewards its talents and hard work. Since I had been already working with the firm, the paper work was minimal and I did not have to struggle much with paper work. The work culture has been going through phenomenal change and the approach was far more professional and objective. The nation wants to offer platform for entrepreneurial talent and it is evident in the way the leadership of this nation offers ease in doing business.
With the UAE now moving from e-government to m-government and building smart city, we will only see this nation prosper more.
Professionally I am an insurance broker, safeguarding my clients interest whilst managing their insurance needs. On personal side, at 57 years now, I have discovered 'golf' and it is my new love. The Dubai Creek Golf Club is my favourite haunt and I want to get away with my routine and play here as I enjoy playing it.
I have been blessed in this nation with more than I deserve and I thank God for that. We live in a day of cyber era. I have also joined like million others on social media platforms both for my business and personal purpose. It keeps me connected all the time.
One advice that I would for sure give all new expats - young and old - that there is no shortcut to success. I got this advice from my father and I wish to pass this to everyone. I strongly believe that everyone should learn to live within their means. No loans or borrowing, spend what you have. And always respect law of the land.

More news from