Page 65 - Simply Abu Dhabi Magazine III

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65
S IMPLY ABU DHABI
MUKESH JAGTIANI
CHAIRMAN, LANDMARK GROUP
Affectionately known as ‘Micky’, Mukesh Jagtiani is a Dubai-based billionaire entrepreneur and self-made success story. He experienced
a lot of struggle and hardship in his early days. At the age of 21, Micky lost his brother to leukemia. Two years later both his parents
passed away as well. Initially tempted to return to his native India and devote his life to charity, he decided to invest his $6,000
inheritance and opened his first store – “Babyshop” in Bahrain. From these humble beginnings, billionaire ‘Micky’ is now head of the
Landmark Group conglomerate and one of the most influential figures in the Middle East retail industry. Launched in 1973, it operates
over 1000 outlets in fifteen countries and has a turnover of over US $3.8bn a year. This success has been born from Mr Jagtiani’s sheer
hard work, determination and an understanding of the market he was catering for.
At a time when an increasing demographic of South
Asian expatriates were arriving with their families to
the oil booming Gulf, looking for work, Mr Jagtiani
saw an opportunity. He stocked his store with clothes,
toys, prams and furniture to appeal to the middle class
parents. With no money to spare to hire staff, he grafted
himself to stock the shelves, run the till and even sweep
the floor. And the hard work certainly paid off. Today,
the Landmark Group sells clothes, furniture, shoes,
homewares, snacks & confectionery, operates restaurants,
entertainment centres, wellness clubs and hotels through
a diverse portfolio of over 20 brands created in-house, and
over 30 international franchise brands, across the GCC,
Jordan, India, Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey, Yemen, Sudan,
Libya and Pakistan.
Today, Micky continues to trust his instincts when it
comes to business decisions. He also recognises his own
limitations and by his admission he is not particularly
financially savvy, so he employs a team of advisers and
accountants to analyse his retail outlets and suggest ways
to improve them. For Micky, research is an integral part of
his business decisions, and he ensures that every choice is
the result of a comprehensive research study.
Despite his success, Mr Jagtiani hasn’t forgotten his roots
he is strongly committed to charity, his main charitable
cause being LIFE - Landmark International Foundation
for Empowerment. LIFE focuses on rehabilitating the
less fortunate through various programmes and initiatives
such as delivering non-formal education in rural areas,
setting up health centres in urban slums as well as training
centres for the underprivileged youth and imparting life
skills training.
In 2009, the Landmark Group adopted diabetes awareness
as part of its long term CSR initiative. A campaign that
aims to increase awareness amongst people regarding the
condition, Beat Diabetes was kicked off in the UAE and
has extended into five new countries in 2010, namely
Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain and India. Walkathons
were held across all 6 countries, where over 25,000 people
walked with the Group for the cause and free blood
glucose tests were conducted for over 30,000 people. In
2011, the campaign will be launched to 4 new countries -
KSA, Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan.
Micky’s major achievements and continued hard work
are reflected in the fact that he won the Retail Personality
of the Year at the third Annual Retail Middle East
2007 Awards, entered the Forbes list of billionaires in
2008, and is the 16th richest Indian – not bad for the
17 year old who dropped out of accountancy school. A
committed family man with three children, this powerful
entrepreneur is certainly testament to the power of hard
work and sheer determination paying off.
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