A leader's odyssey: AJ Kamal's inspiring journey


Published: Wed 22 Mar 2023, 11:45 AM

The journey of Ahamed Jalaludeen Jahuber Kamal is a testament to the strength of the human spirit, proving that with determination, hard work, and integrity, one can overcome adversity and make a lasting impact on the world. While his beginnings were modest, AJ Kamal's life is now defined by his inspiring accomplishments in entrepreneurship and his unwavering commitment to philanthropy. Currently, he serves as the founder and managing director at Allied Motors.

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A Foundation Built on Struggle and Determination

Born in Kilakarai, Tamil Nadu, a predominantly Tamil Muslim community, AJ Kamal experienced hardship early on. Growing up in a low-income family without a father figure meant constant struggles, which shaped him into a resilient individual. This early adversity provided the foundation for his future success, fuelling his drive to create a better life for himself, his family members, and others.

Kamal's journey began when he left India with his wife and moved to Dubai. With dreams of a brighter future, he started working at an entry-level position at CARS, later moving on to launch and manage Western Auto with the backing of its Middle Eastern parent company, Emirates Trading Association (ETA). Kamal's perseverance and determination allowed him to rise through the ranks, eventually becoming the director and then the CEO of Western Auto.

Leadership and Achievements

Under Kamal's leadership, Western Auto received multiple prestigious awards, including the 'Best Distributor Award' by Foton in 2008 and 2009, the 'Best Performance Award' for International Dealership by Ashok Leyland in 2009, and the 'Best Performance Award' for Spectacular Growth Performance from 2012 to 2015. His tenacity and vision led to the company's incredible growth, generating a revenue of $500 million within 12 years and expanding its footprint across the Middle East and beyond. The company has since transitioned to become AG Motors.

His success at Western Auto laid the groundwork for his own future ventures. With a reputation as one of Dubai's most promising businessmen, AJ Kamal went on to found IXFocus, Ambiance Furniture, and Astute Trading. Each company showcased his diverse interests and expertise, ranging from technology solutions for governments and enterprises to interior design and general goods trading.

Kamal's crowning achievement is Allied Motors, a multinational-focused automotive trading company that specialises in new and used cars, spare parts, and after-sales services. Launched in late 2018, his 30-plus years of experience have made Allied Motors his most successful venture yet. Kamal led the company to win the 'Best Business Empire Award' in the region by BAZ in the year 2020. With the motto 'for anyone, anytime, anywhere', Kamal's vision is to make Allied Motors one of the Middle East's go-to automobile trading firms.

A Commitment to Community Impact and Philanthropy

Despite his noteworthy accomplishments in the business world, AJ Kamal remains devoted to giving back to his community. Participating in numerous fundraisers, charitable events, and education sponsorships, he has made philanthropy an integral part of his life.

One of his most significant philanthropic endeavours is the founding of Thondi Jalaludeen Islamic Centre, a school in his hometown that provides secondary education and Islamic teachings to orphans. With well-funded infrastructure and resources, the institution is a reflection of Kamal's desire to uplift those who face similar struggles to his own. In his words, "One of my objectives in life is to give back to the community. When I was a child, our family struggled a lot and we had to overcome many obstacles, so having experienced it first-hand, I have a duty to help the people in need."

Kamal views success as a responsibility that comes with the obligation to use one's achievements for a greater purpose. For him, philanthropy is an essential aspect of a successful life, and he emphasises that 'the charity and philanthropy we do now is what will bring us good later in life'. This guiding principle underscores his commitment not only to personal success but also to the betterment of his community, his family, and the lives of those around him.

Inspiration Through Education and Lifelong Learning

Kamal's life mission revolves around three key pillars: education, leadership, and philanthropy. He believes that discipline, hard work, and integrity, combined with a commitment to lifelong learning, are the keys to success and true leadership. This growth mindset, he asserts, can be adopted by anyone who prioritises education and works diligently towards their goals.

An avid reader of leadership books and a keen listener of speeches by industry and government leaders, Kamal is a firm believer in the power of knowledge. "We are not poor," he states. "When we have knowledge, nobody is poor. What matters is how we use that knowledge to achieve and help others around the community."

His dedication to personal growth and self-improvement has not only led to his own success but also serves as an inspiration for others to follow. By sharing his story and experiences, Kamal demonstrates the value of perseverance, hard work, and a genuine desire to make a positive impact on the world.

The Future of a Leader's Odyssey

As Kamal continues to climb in the world of entrepreneurship and philanthropy, his story serves as a beacon of hope and inspiration for those facing adversity. His unwavering determination, integrity, and desire to create a lasting impact on others are the driving forces behind his remarkable journey. His life is a shining example of how struggle, discipline, hard work, and a commitment to charitable giving and philanthropy can lead to a purpose worth striving for. His dynamic personality, enlightened ethics, and dedication to 'simple living and high thinking' are ingrained in his business empire, creating a legacy that will continue to inspire future generations.

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