Why Gujaratis shine in business?
Adani and Ambani apart, there are many, many big ticket Gujarati Industrialists and entrepreneurs that proves a point that doing business is in their grains
There is no denying the fact that Gujaratis are born entrepreneurs. They have a high business sense as compared to others. It is also said that 'Business means Gujarati'. Gujaratis hate 10 am to 5 pm jobs. They love 9 am to 9 pm job. They love to work from early morning to late at night. And they are not doing well in India only. They are making waves even in US, UK and Africa too. Many Gujarati arrived penniless in the United States and over time, they have become more successful. Some say that they are some of the most successful people in US
Fond of Fafda, the Gujarati delicacy, Gautam Adani has become the world's fifth richest person overtaking 91-year-old investor Warren Buffett. According to Forbes data, Adani's estimated net worth makes him the richest person in India, $19 billion wealthier than fellow Gujarati Reliance Industries Ltd chairman Mukesh Ambani. Adani and Ambani apart, there are many, many big ticket Gujarati Industrialists and entrepreneurs that proves a point that doing business is in their grains. Even those who are not like Ambani or Adani, they too aspire to become like them. As Gujarat will celebrate its foundation day on May 1, it is to discuss as to why Gujaratis shine in business.
Remember Azim Premji (Wipro), Pallonji Mistry, Habil Khorakiwala (Wockhardt), Dilip Shanghvi (Sun Pharmaceutical Industries), Sudhir Mehta (Torrent Pharma), Pankaj Patel (Cadila Healthcare Limited) and Uday Kotak are also Gujaratis. Uday Kotak belongs to Gujarati Lohana community. He ventured out on his own in the 1980s to start a financial firm which took the form of Kotak Mahindra Bank of today.
Though a Parsi gentleman, Pallonji Mistry ancestors landed in Gujarat from Iran. His wealth primarily comes from being the highest stakeholder in Tata Sons, the controlling entity of Tata group of industries and Pallonji Group.
There is no denying the fact that Gujaratis are born entrepreneurs. They have a high business sense as compared to others. It is also said that 'Business means Gujarati'. Gujaratis hate 10 am to 5 pm jobs. They love 9 am to 9 pm job. They love to work from early morning to late at night. And they are not doing well in India only. They are making waves even in US, UK and Africa too. Many Gujarati arrived penniless in the United States and over time, they have become more successful. Some say that they are some of the most successful people in US.
In the past, not often would you find a Gujarati doing business in the United States. However, nowadays, you may see Gujaratis are doing business everywhere – from small corner shops to big hotels and tech shops that seem to be high-edge. Most of the motels owned by Gujarati Indians are actually referred to as "potels" in US.
With a net worth of $3.30 billion dollars, Romesh T. Wadhwani has made it in the richest people of the United States. His line of business dives into software, launching himself as a self-made entrepreneur and founding Symphony Technology Group.
No matter, how much a Gujarati guy is making from his full-time job, he will always do a part-time job for making some extra bucks in his free time. Almost every Gujarati run a side business after coming back from the job. They work hard all the day and night. And if move to in East Africa, Kenya-based National Cement Company Limited acquired Athi River Mining (ARM) Cement for $50 million. With ARM Cement — once the second largest cement company in that country — in its kitty, National Cement has emerged as the largest cement maker in East Africa, with a capacity to produce 3 million tonnes per annum.
National Cement belongs to the $1 billion Devki group founded and promoted by Gujarati entrepreneur, Narendra Raval. Fondly known as 'Guru', Raval is one of Kenya's most successful entrepreneurs and features among the 50 richest persons in Africa.
Hailing from a tiny town called Maathak in Surendranagar, Raval migrated to Kenya four decades ago and began working as an assistant priest at the Swaminarayan temple in Kisumu.
Like many first-generation businessmen, Raval's entrepreneurial journey is also full of hardships. He worked at a hardware shop in Nairobi before setting up his own shop in the early 1990s.
Raval dabbled first into roofing, and later forayed into the steel re-rolling business. Currently, the group has cement facilities in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. The steel-to-cement tycoon is also known as an expert palmist and astrologer sought by Kenyan presidents and heads of other African nations.
"While Kenya is my 'Karma Bhoomi', India is my 'Matru Bhoomi'. I do not have any business in India," Raval once said. "As advised by India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi during our meetings, I always support India when it comes to imports, and also source manpower from India," he added.
Rajan Dhawan, a noted Delhi-based Charted Accountant, says that Gujaratis are matchless entrepreneurs. They know the risks they have to take in order to achieve desired goals. They have migrated to the remotest corners of the world and opened up any small business. They have the courage to defy all sorts of threats and distractions and keep themselves focused on their business.
Those who have worked with them say that Gujaratis know how to make most of an opportunity. If a job or a project is deemed to fetch them monetary returns they will be happy to do it. No matter what they do they do it with pride and with full enthusiasm for the work.
Gujaratis have always stayed with the trend. Every generation has evolved its business as per their time. Whether it is catching up with the latest textile trends or upgrade their business with the latest technological advancements. That is how they have been able to sustain their business and pass it down from one generation to another.
Well, a Gujarati will always be there for his/her fellow Gujarati community member. Especially if they are in abroad they will always rely on each other for help. This attitude of "growing along with everyone" else has made the community grow stronger collectively.
Last but not the least, Gujaratis believe in 'Simple Living and High Thinking'. No matter how rich they are, they always prefer to wear simple clothes and accessories. They do not spend money lavishly and on expensive items instead save money for the business.
(The author is Delhi-based senior journalist and writer. He is author of Gandhi's Delhi which has brought to the forth many hidden facts about Mahatma Gandhi)