One major contract, and rest is history
I am quite active on Snapchat and a bit on Instagram, and yes I handle it myself.
Dubai - Now at 43, I don't think I ever had any disappointments from anything in the UAE. The biggest proof is even after all these years, I am still living here - I got married here and my kids were born here.
Published: Sat 20 Jan 2018, 8:23 PM
Last updated: Sat 20 Jan 2018, 10:28 PM
I was hardly five years old when I arrived in the UAE from India. We were living at Al Muraqqbat area in Dubai, a place busy with people and cars throughout the day, I was just like any other school kid who used to wait for parents to take me out for lunch outside during weekends. Life was simple back then and everyone seemed happy.
Now at 43, I don't think I ever had any disappointments from anything in the UAE. The biggest proof is even after all these years, I am still living here - I got married here and my kids were born here.
During my job hunting time, a friend recommended me to a trading company for building material in Deira, which was looking for a person to support their day-to-day business. I still remember the owner who interviewed and asked me about the expected salary. I told him Dh1,000 and surprisingly he offered me Dh1,050. But I needed to sit on the reception and learn how to handle all coming calls and customers and my job was also to handle all coming shipments at Port Rashid, It was tough as I felt like I was doing everything without much guidance but I have to confess that it taught me a lot of stuff especially how to deal with people and how to negotiate and get things done.
After I quit that job, I joined two-three other companies and in the meantime, I got my master's degree. One of the companies later I worked for was a major player in the interior design industry and I started in the procurement department although I wanted to work on projects and get into sales. My boss was reluctant and I told him to give me six months and I would prove myself. Looking back, I feel I was lucky. I managed to win very important deals and was rewarded and was appointed as the project manager on the Grand Hyatt Residence Hotel project. However, I didn't feel I was getting paid enough and I made my mind and decided to quit as I was planning to get married as well.
I always wanted to have my own company and I didn't feel it's an impossible task as everywhere I worked, I used to bring good sales within a short period. I didn't have any capital investment but my customers encouraged me and asked me to take up their interior jobs for them. This motivated me as I was getting good money. After saving approximately Dh70,000 in two-three months, my dream became true. I opened my interior designer firm in Bank Street in Bur Dubai, which was the commercial hub of Dubai then.
I didn't struggle much although I put all the money I saved to rent a small office and get the trade licence. To open a corporate bank account, those days, one needed a minimum of Dh5,000 which I didn't have. But in a month's time, I won a contract worth Dh200,000 for a huge project and the rest is history.
I own two companies now: Rectangle Interiors and a specialised interior design and fit-outs company that caters to the commercial and residential sectors. A few years ago, I opened a business setup company in Dubai which is called Identity that helps in forming and assisting companies to attain a strong foundation in Dubai. Personally, I spend a lot of my time with my family (wife and kids) and I have many friends here and we meet regularly and catch up.
I never believed that I will have such a good life in the UAE and I thank god and my family for believing in me. I had many achievements and the fact that I kept my company running until now despite all the winds in the past and I was even able to start another company in a different industry are good proof that I achieved something. I was also awarded by Dubai Municipality in 2015 with the 'Designer of the Year' award, which is a testament for the hard work we have put in the company.
I am quite active on Snapchat and a bit on Instagram, and yes I handle it myself. I believe social media nowadays keep you updated about what's going on around you with the people you know and care about therefore I prefer to handle my account myself.
My father once told me to believe in myself and that I can always get somewhere if I put my mind to it and work towards achieving what I am aiming for and I made it happen. Never give up, life will always pull you back but you have to keep moving.
The UAE will give you as much as you give to it, so work hard and you will get the chance to shine.
I admire His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, I am someone who witnessed the change of this city and have seen its transformation into a global city that attracts tourists and investors from across the world. And I believe that Sheikh Mohammed's vision and that of the late Sheikh Rashid are the cornerstone that has put Dubai on the world's map.