'I didn't even know what a computer was': How Dubai cleaner became company coordinator through hard work

When he first landed in the emirate which he calls 'city of dreams', he had no idea what lay ahead of him


Nasreen Abdulla

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Published: Fri 30 Dec 2022, 4:24 PM

Last updated: Fri 30 Dec 2022, 7:30 PM

A Dubai-based worker, who was honoured and recognised in this year’s Taqdeer Awards, has credited the city with helping him realize his dreams. “When I first came to the country, I didn’t even know what a computer was,” said Prashant Poojary. “Today I am an engagement coordinator at Emrill, whose primary job is computer-related. Everything that I am today, I owe it to this city and my company.”

An employee of the facilities management company Emrill, Prashant arrived in Dubai 17 years ago as a housekeeper. His inspirational rise through the ranks despite a health challenge prompted Taqdeer Award to make a short film about his journey during the ceremony last month.

“When I was first told that they were going to make a short film about me, I was shocked,” he recalled. “After the video was shown at the event, a lot of my colleagues called and congratulated me. I feel like a star now.”

The Taqdeer Awards were launched in 2016 to honour companies operating in construction, manufacturing, and service industries for ensuring exceptional labour welfare and productivity.

Rising through the ranks

Hailing from the Indian city of Mangalore, it was a dream for Prashant to come to Dubai. “I used to scour the newspapers for job advertisements,” he said. “That is when I came across the ad for Emrill. I applied immediately and got selected.”

When he first landed in Dubai which he calls “city of dreams”, he had no idea what lay ahead of him.

“I started as a cleaner,” he said. “After a couple of years, I was made the office boy when a colleague went on leave. The client liked me very much, so I continued on.”

At the time, Prashant realised that computers were the way forward and wanted to learn how to operate them. “My boss encouraged me and guided me to learn computers,” he said. “I practised using computers during the weekends and after work. I made several mistakes but with time, I started getting familiar with them.”

Soon after, he got promoted to the role of a dispatcher and then progressed to his current role as engagement coordinator.


Overcoming obstacles

Just when everything was smooth sailing, Prashant got the shock of his life. One day, he lost consciousness at work. “I don’t remember much. All I remember is standing there and then everything went blank," he recalled.

After fainting, Prashant fell into a coma for 20 days. When he woke up, it took him several weeks of tests and therapy to be able to return to work.

“When I first regained consciousness, my first thought was how I was going to settle the medical bill,” he said. “But my company stood by me and after two months, with the medical care I received from the UAE Government, I finally felt well enough, and I was able to rejoin for work.”

Working as an engagement coordinator is something Prashant enjoys. “It is challenging,” he said. "I like being able to help people and fix any issues they may be facing. I enjoy the challenge, it’s very rewarding, and I enjoy interacting with people.”


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