A business built from the trash: Amazing business story to motivate you


Emirates Jo Trading Co LLC is engaged in manufacturing of chillers, cold store condensers, glass chillers and trading in refrigeration equipment, spare parts and accessories.

Your story from humble beginnings is awe-inspiring. What ignited the spark in you to start a new business venture or to make significant changes in an existing business? How did the idea for your business come about? : 

Hailing from Trissur district in Kerala, I came to UAE to help my brother in his business. I saw huge opportunity in the area of Air Conditioning in this country and started my business in 1999. I am happy and humbled to say, I currently employ 40 people.

I started off by borrowing the business capital from my brother. The humble beginnings were in Sharjah Industrial Area 2 in 1999. During those times the AC units were mostly thrown out after use as there weren’t many who could repair or re-condition those units. We would pick those units, mostly thrown in the trash, repair, refabricate and paint those. Our customers were mostly laborers. During those days we would work even on Fridays without rest; our shops were open on Fridays too.

It was during those times when there was a huge influx of cheap AC units from China and elsewhere. The demand for re-fabricated AC units dropped. I saw a new area opening doors; I shifted focus to refabricating heavy equipment like the compressors in ships. I remember days when I personally did repairs. We would replace the damaged units with our own units as the ships docked at the port on an emergency. The ships would set sail again, we would have the damaged units repaired and ready by the time they got back.

Soon I ventured into AC rentals too. Many global brands operate in the AC rentals space; we collaborate with them as well.

Soon after, we started manufacturing of chiller units. We developed the technology to cool water instead of air. We provide customized solutions to our customers’ needs; our scope includes manufacturing huge single AC units which are 25 to 30 tons (a normal home or office AC is around 1.5 ton) for Ramadan tents etc. Our home brand ‘JoAir’ chillers have high demand within and outside UAE.

It has been a great journey so far with new learnings every passing day and I couldn’t be more grateful.

If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be? :

Be a part of small business or industry which would give you a complete idea about business operations; this could help you to start your own business. If you work for MNCs whole life long, chances are that you would be confined to being just a part of a large chain and at blindside of the complete processes within the organization.

Where do you see yourself in say, 10 or 20 years from now? :

Life is a circle; you have to make bends at the right places to join back accurately at where you started off.

Our business operations are running successfully here. I am also concentrating on building a business address for myself in my native land.

Why is UAE a great place for businesses to succeed? :

UAE is a land where dreams are realized. It is a land of hard-working people. You hardly find a lazy person here; a hard-working individual creates a better family thereby building stable societies and successful nation.

The political framework is stable; the rulers are efficient visionaries who place the interest of the nation at the forefront. This helps the nation as a whole to develop at a much faster pace unlike many other nations where the race has to restart from the starting point multiple times due to unstable government, changing political parties and policies and so on.

The forward thinking policies and developments create ideal environment for businesses to grow and flourish in the UAE.

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