Undisputed market leader
Rizwan Sajan, Founder and Chairman, Danube Group
The Danube Group has grown into one of the largest building materials company in the region. The Danube Group has grown into one of the largest building materials company in the region.
Rizwan Sajan landed in Dubai by the end of 1991 and was involved in trading building materials. After great hardship, he started out on his own in 1993, with his wife being his first employee. Today, Danube Group provides over 25,000 products to its customers. The group takes pride in not just designing and building but also nurturing a long-lasting relationship with clients. It has grown into one of the largest building materials company in the region, with its diversified branches worldwide including the UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and India, in addition to procurement offices in China. Danube has a team of 3,500 plus people working across strategic locations across the GCC, China and India.
"Dedication and hard work of my employees along with a dose of luck helped us to become a distinguished brand in the UAE," says Rizwan Sajan, Founder and Chairman, Danube Group, in an interview with Khaleej Times.
"I started Danube Group as a supplier of building materials to hundreds of projects during Dubai's construction boom. I built this company along with my people as a number one building material company in the region and now slowly and steadily we are moving towards property development and home improvement," he adds.
"What helped me in my corporate success is a simple saying, 'Hard work is the key to success. You did not come this far to only come this far. Keep going!' Being a workaholic I believe that there are no shortcuts to success. Hard work and determination are the keys," Sajan recalls.
He believes that 'A true leader doesn't produce followers. A true leader creates more leaders'. "So, for me, the basic mantra is that find the right people and trust and empower them to run the business. It's my people who are my strength and the reason for our roaring success," the chairman states emphatically.
Whether a new business owner or an experienced one, there are always new strategies that can help maximise the success rate in the marketplace.
Rizwan says, "Encourage employees to talk openly with each other. The management should be creating a steady flow of information. Always remember that people work for people, not companies. Customer satisfaction should be a basic mantra for success and challenge oneself always to keep improving. Also, I strongly believe in current times, with the millennial generation around, one needs to invest in technology and make sure to upgrade regularly to improve the business experience."
For Sajan, his greatest achievements are job satisfaction, Danube's growth across verticals on the professional front and a happy family on the personal front. He stresses that he is passionate about whatever he does.
Commenting on the future of the real estate industry in the UAE, Sajan says, "The countries in the MENA region still offer high growth opportunities for numerous businesses. The UAE market is open and always ready to welcome business entrepreneurs in the region."
He adds that Dubai's regulatory reforms and increased maturity indicate that the market is undergoing a correction. Mortgage caps and compulsory monitoring of marketing collaterals have been established by RERA to encourage buyers in the region. "Another important influencing factor in the property market in the next few years is the gear up to the Expo 2020. Soon after the announcement, we noticed a significant boom in the property sector appreciating the value of property until the Expo 2020 and beyond," he notes.
Sajan stresses that a healthy mind in a healthy body is the foundation of running a healthy company. "There should be a healthy balance between mind, body, and soul. This can be done by nurturing the whole self, including your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs. One should always set aside some time each day to do what makes your soul happy. Additionally, make sure to follow a detox regime as it helps to get rid of toxins in the body and develop the habits that will keep you on track for a healthier life."