Danube founder finds his dream in Dubai

Rizwan Sajan.
Updated 03 May 2018
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Danube founder finds his dream in Dubai

  • Rizwan Sajan started his business with only a few hundred dirhams.
  • Danube now has operations across the world.

DUBAI: An Indian who started his business with only a few hundred dirhams in his pocket has said he feels elated that his company’s imprint can be found in almost every home in Dubai.
Rizwan Sajan, founder and chairman of Danube Group, is an example of how Dubai has changed the lives of thousands of expatriates searching for a better future.
“I lost my father at the age of 12. At a time when most boys plan for their dream careers and sports, I had to start selling books and fireworks to support my family,” said Sajan, who comes from a middle-class family in Mumbai.
At age 18, Sajan found a job in Kuwait. “My Kuwait job changed lots of things back home. I was able to provide a good living to my family, but the Kuwait war changed everything. I had to return to Mumbai in 1991. That marked the beginning of a new struggle all over again,” said Sajan, whose company is now worth more than 4 billion dirhams.
In 1993, Sajan arrived in Dubai and since then there has been no looking back. His small trading firm, Danube, has grown into one of the largest building materials companies in the region with interests in property, construction and improvements.
Danube now has operations across the world, including the UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and India, in addition to procurement offices in China. The company has more than 3,000 employees in strategic locations in the GCC, China and India.
“It took me about two decades, but today I say with confidence and pride that almost every home in Dubai has me or my company Danube in different ways. Be it your beautiful lights, furniture or even a tap in your bathroom, we are there with you in your home in some shape and form. That is a privilege that few companies could cherish,” he said.
“The foundation and direction of this country is so solid that it provides an excellent opportunity to anyone who wants to pursue their dreams,” Sajan said. “I have faith in this country and its leadership, and I know me, my family, my business and my workers and colleagues all are protected and blessed here. What other country can give this kind of assurance?”
According to Sajan, even during 2008, when the financial market was struggling around the world, there was no shortage of opportunity.
“We spread our wings and entered the real estate construction business. This is the kind of positivity and faith Dubai gives to each one of us. We never lost hope. On the contrary, we strive for better despite challenges,” he said.


What We Are Reading Today: The River Ki by Sawako Ariyoshi

Updated 25 May 2019
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What We Are Reading Today: The River Ki by Sawako Ariyoshi

The River Ki, short and swift and broad like most Japanese rivers, flows into the sea not far south of Osaka. On its journey seaward, it passes through countryside that has long been at the heart of the Japanese tradition. 

The River Ki dominates the lives of the people who live in its fertile valley and imparts a vital strength to the three women, mother, daughter and granddaughter, around whom this novel is built.

It provides them with the courage to cope, in their different ways, with the unprecedented changes that occurred in Japan between the last years of the last century and the middle of this century.

Sawako Ariyoshi, one of Japan’s most successful modern novelists, describes this social and cultural revolution largely through the eyes of Hana, a woman with the vision and integrity to understand the inevitability of the death of the traditional order in Japan, says a review published on googlereads.com.

Ariyoshi writes with a love for detail bound to a broader understanding of the importance of the geographical and biological forces that mold her characters — and the result is a story that flows with all the vitality of The River Ki itself.