The UAE, a melting pot of ethnicities and a global leader in multiple areas, has been lauded as the epitome of modernity and excellence for so long that sometimes, it is easy to forget that the country used to be scarcely more than a desert with small pearl-fishing communities stretched along the coast until only a little more than half a century ago.One such individual who not only has seen it all, but has played a significant part in raising Dubai from the sand dunes to a metropolis of extremes is Dr. Ram Buxani, Group Chairman at ITL Cosmos. Having arrived in the UAE as an 18-year old from India, Dr. Buxani has become a staple part of the Dubai landscape, watching the city shed its humble path as it transformed into a glittering metropolis.Founded in 1953, when Dubai was part of the Trucial States, the ITL Cosmos Group grew from trading in textiles, to expanding and diversifying its portfolio to consumer electronics, IT and PC products, telecommunications, home and kitchen appliances, photographic products, business equipment, data and storage products, clocks and watches, personal grooming products, household products, office stationery, textiles, linen and luggage, food and personal banking. ITL Cosmos partnered Sharp Corporation and introduced its products, for the first time, in the UAE.
PROMOTING NATIONAL CULTURE
For the 17th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD), Dr. Buxani initiated a novel idea to involve students so that they can get a first-hand glimpse of national activity. In fact, Dr. Buxani volunteered to sponsor the cost of airfare of a specified number to ensure response from students. The idea became viral and some more institutions also came forward to sponsor students. As a result, about 200 students participated in the 17th (PBD). For his initiative, Dr. Buxani was honoured by V. Muraleedharan, Minister of State for External Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs at the Indian Consulate. Dr. Buxani feels students will be a significant part of the future of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas.
FELICITATED FOR HIS CONTRIBUTIONS
Recently, for his entrepreneurial spirit and vision, Dr. Buxani was invited to the Mohammed bin Rashid Library in Dubai for a panel discussion as part of the ‘Global Entrepreneurship Week’.
STRENGTHENING OLD TIES
Dr. Buxani said that the relations between the two brotherly nations have grown stronger in recent times and he predicts that the trend will continue in light of last year’s signing of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) and both countries being members of the I2U2 group. As a result of these mutual areas of interest, there have been increasing visits from senior officials of both countries as they have found common points of interest.
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
For the young generation of entrepreneurs and businessmen, he says that he has high hopes as they are more tech savvy and have tools at their disposal which were not possible in the past. But he adds in a word of caution, saying: “Every market has its highs and lows. The true mark of an entrepreneur is someone who is able to ride out the lows and come out at the top.”