Create entrepreneurs for sustainable growth

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Published: Thu 14 Apr 2022, 10:58 AM

Last updated: Thu 14 Apr 2022, 11:00 AM

Any country that seeks to be a financial power has to nurture an entrepreneurial ecosystem carefully. The countries that have business-friendly policies, infrastructural development and a huge network of creative entrepreneurs automatically march toward the path of sustainable growth. They bear the potential to be global business hubs or financial superpowers. UAE is a classic example of it. I have been witnessing the progress of this great country for the last 38 years. I had landed here when Dubai and other prominent cities were developing with a confident and futuristic strategy. Those efforts yielded fruit today. UAE is recognised as a global business hub with a strong and globally respected economy.

By Dr Dhananjay (Jay) Datar

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The factor behind UAE becoming a developed economy and a global business hub is the efforts by the Rulers and government to encourage trade and support to the business community. I often quote the importance of encouragement to budding entrepreneurs in my lectures. An incident taught me how to create and nurture entrepreneurs at an early age.

Once I visited one of my old friends in Mumbai. He was running a small shop of gift articles. It was a pleasant experience to watch his beautifully decorated shop. A lot of attractive articles were finely displayed on the shelves. Both of us were busy in conversation. Just then my friend’s wife entered the shop with their little son. As she put down the toddler on the floor, he began to run around every corner of the shop, touching and handling the objects. Suddenly an expensive and delicate glass flowerpot fell from his hands and broke into pieces. The frightened child looked at his father’s face. But my friend didn’t show any unpleasant reaction or anxiety on his face. He smiled gently and asked his wife to take the child away from the broken glass pieces. When the child was calm he offered him a cookie. He then asked his wife to bring the child into the shop the next day as usual.

I appreciated my friend for his patience and for not shouting at his son. At that time my friend taught me a valuable lesson. He said: “Look, Jay, if I shout and scold my child today, a fear about me or a dislike about this place will certainly grip his mind. Tomorrow he would decline to come to the shop, which I cannot afford. I want to see my child being a business owner and carrying forward my legacy. I want to encourage him. Let him break the flower pot but not my dream.” Let me tell you that today that little child has become a successful businessman and expanded the little shop into a big showroom.

Friends, if we want to build a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem, we need to encourage the youth to start any business they are comfortable with.

Dr Dhananjay (Jay) Datar is the chairman and managing director of Al Adil Trading.

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