Rebel With a Cause – How a Dubai Entrepreneur went from AED 1000 salary to AED 70 M Deals

Inder Bhagnani and I met when we concluded a real estate transaction. He was an agent for the seller and I was the buyer.

Inder was dressed in the style favored by 30 somethings in UAE, you know, tight fitted pants, a nice slim fit shirt, perfectly groomed beard and he had that Dubai energy about him. I thought, ah yes, probably parties at Barasti every weekend.

One day, I found a tweet from him that said, “Feed a labour (sic) week 222”. I got curious and I called Inder and asked about it. What he told me blew me away. It was a humble reminder for me not to judge a book by its cover.

Here’s Inder’s story, and I promise you it will blow you away too.

Inder comes from a middle class family and is the younger of 2 sons. Inder’s father is a self-made man who runs a textiles wholesale and trading business in Bur Dubai, called Kunaltex Trading. Inder’s older brother joined the family business.

For the major part of his adolescence and teen years, Inder was the blacksheep of his family. He was getting in trouble at school, failing in his classes, got suspended from school and almost didn’t get to write his board exams. However, Inder’s family, especially his father continues to be a source of great inspiration and strength for Inder. Throughout all his troubles, his father tried to instill in him a sense of responsibility and accomplishment with love and understanding; never berated him.

When Inder was almost banned from writing his board exams, he buckled down and was so motivated to prove everyone wrong that he passed with flying colors. In those days, you had to go down to the computer café and log in to see the results. When his father first heard what marks Inder got, his father wouldn’t believe it and sent the older brother to check the marks again. His father was so over joyed that he bought laddus (Indian sweets) for all their friends and neighbors to celebrate. His father also made Inder bring sweets and a “Sorry” card to all his teachers. Honestly, my eyes were moist when he told me this part. What a great Bollywood scene this would make.

At one point, Inder even dropped out of school and worked as a TV Salesperson at Carrefour earning AED 1000/- in salary. He believed in himself and was very confident he would make something of himself one day. His teachers and peers couldn’t see his vision. Inder was cut from a different cloth.

He kept moving up to find better opportunities and decided that Real Estate was where he wanted to be. This was in 2008. He applied to 50 odd companies before finding a job in a Real Estate company as an assistant. He would even get tea and coffee for his colleagues and customers. He worked hard there trying to learn the business and as luck would have it, he lost the job during the crash.

What surprised me about Inder, is his tenacity. Even when everyone was running away from Real Estate, Inder doubled down and set to find another job in Real Estate. He did do so and worked 5 years squirreling away his savings. He stopped spending money on parties and cut expenses on what he couldn’t really afford. He focused on his dream.

After 5 years, he took the plunge and started his own company RK Property. Today his company closes deals worth AED 70 Million in a year. Inder has obviously come a long way from being a wayward, rebellious teen to be a well-regarded, highly successful entrepreneur in a super competitive field.

Guest of Honor

Inder says that what he has learned most from his troubled teenage years to his life today, it is that one should remember
to be grateful and gracious.

 

 

 

Feed a Labour, initiative was borne out of Inder’s humility and memory about his humble beginnings. For nearly 5 years, every Saturday he and his family have been supplying laborers at construction sites with food or toiletries or other non-perishable products for daily use.

Inder never takes cash and does not distribute cash as it is against the UAE laws. Inder and his team of volunteers identify construction sites that are active, take permission from the site supervisor and sets up their cars with the goodies to distribute.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They distribute anything that is non-perishable or can be consumed immediately such as Laban, Fruit, Biscuits, toiletries such as soap, tooth brush, toothpaste, shampoo, laundry detergents etc.

Inder or his team wont miss a single Saturday of "Feed a Labour" initiative. . People who want to help must physically go to the sites and participate. The teams set up in different locations so that at least 1000 laborers get some goodies every Saturday.

If you would like to participate, please contact +971558017567 or www.facebook.com/groups/feedalabour

 

 

 

 

 

What I learned from getting to know Inder:

1. Love is the best way to help a young person see their potential

2. We should look at our academic programs and assess if it truly is the best indicator of how a young person will fare in life. Not everyone who dances to their own tune is a dunce or abnormal. We need better safety nets to catch those rare diamonds that may look like jagged rocks.

3. There is no short cut to grit, determination and hard work.

4. In Inder’s own words, “I got knocked down many times, but I never gave up. I always got up.”

 

Choose a Rating
Thanks for Rating
You already Rated