An Authored article by Mr. Niranjan Gidwani, Consultant Director | Member UAE Superbrands Council | Charter Member Tie Dubai | Hbr Advisory Council
Success is a subjective term with varying definitions for different individuals. While some may view success as a lofty goal, others may perceive it as achieving small objectives. Nonetheless, it is a desired outcome that requires determination and a grand vision.
For Niranjan Gidwani, a long-time resident of the UAE and an Indian national, success is guided by his personal mission statement and vision. It entails transcending momentary difficulties and relying on one’s imagination. It involves empathy for the big and small players, promoting inclusivity, connecting with a larger world, and giving back more to life than one receives.
Niranjan is a Consultant Director, Board Advisor, and Member of the UAE Superbrands Council and HBR Advisory Council. Additionally, he advises the board of a new B2B marketplace company. Recently, he received an invitation to be a founding member of a contemporary society established under the supervision of the UAE authorities. Niranjan holds an MBA in Marketing and a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He ranked high on state boards during his school years and received the Government of India National Merit Scholarship for six consecutive years. With a career of over 40 years, he maintains that financial gain is not the ultimate goal in life but a byproduct of one’s hard work.
His work journeys: Niranjan commenced his career in Mumbai and New Delhi, India, where he worked for eight years. He then relocated to Hong Kong, where he served briefly before being transferred to Dubai in 1992. Since then, he has been based in Dubai, with intermittent two-year stints in Singapore and Germany. In his previous roles, Niranjan worked for major multinational corporations such as SKF bearings, HSBC, and Xerox in India, as well as transnational groups, a Chinese government-owned enterprise, and a group listed in Singapore. Niranjan’s most recent post was as CEO of Eros Group in Dubai, where he served for 14 years. With the support of the owners, his boss, and his team, the Group transformed into a billion-dollar enterprise several years ago. It became one of the GCC region’s most respected distributors and retailers of consumer electronics, appliances, and mobile devices.
“My work has allowed me to travel frequently and regularly to 59 countries covering all continents. My main area of specialization has been the consumer durables industry, mainly electronics, appliances, mobiles, and digital convergence products,” he said. When asked what he likes about his current job, he said that work is a part of his life, a passion, and a hobby for him as long as the environment is conducive. He has never accepted or understood the concept of retirement. Simply re-directing one’s occupational goals. “My most gratifying part about my entire work life also has been: taking talent regularly and investing loads of time to ensure that a majority of them move up the ladder as future leaders, leaving a legacy at work better than the one I inherited,” Niranjan added.
Before attaining success: Niranjan, like any other accomplished individual, faced significant obstacles that helped him become more muscular. He hails from a middle-class family with solid principles. Hailing from Pune, India, until he began working at 24, his parents and two elder sisters lived a meager, harsh existence, struggling to meet necessities. He credits his parents for teaching him the importance of a dignified and respectful life. From observing their parents, he and his siblings learned the significance of staying grounded and adhering to universally accepted values. At a young age, his family Guru and father encouraged him to read the Holy Quran in English to develop a more comprehensive outlook on life.
The Covid pandemic was a defining moment that profoundly impacted him. The two-year period was a difficult time that affected everything, and he lost many friends, family members, and acquaintances, leaving him with deep scars that persist to this day. During the peak of the covid pandemic, out of the blue, one day after the 75-day lockdown period in Dubai ended, he was asked to step down from his role as CEO. His company owners, who have always been like family to him, wanted their sons to take over. For Niranjan, all corporate decisions must be respected, no matter how painful they are for him. To this day, he enjoys highly cordial relations with the owners’ entire family and all his ex-bosses and colleagues.
Since the decision was a significant setback and a turning point in his life, he thought a little and then took a call and decided to spend the first 18 months working pro bono and assisting the truly unfortunate as a small way to repay this city what it has given him. “My wife, children, sisters, in-laws, and several close friends and work associates have always stood by me as pillars of strength. I owe a lot to each of them.”
His life after work and his ultimate dream: This man is highly disciplined by nature. He always ensures that everything is in balance. He does not like to keep anyone waiting as much as possible, as he believes he has no right to steal someone else’s time. What use is it to wear the most expensive watch and not be mindful of someone else’s time? He enjoys traveling with his family to see new places, try new cuisines, and set a weekly walking and stretch exercise goal for himself. His other interests include reading, music, watching movies, and cricket. He recently wrote on business, marketing, corporate governance, leadership, and mentoring. His articles are now get frequently published in Indian and Gulf publications. He plans to write a book covering random subjects and thoughts.
Niranjan states that he has never lived extravagant or ostentatious life and pursued purely material gains. Please make no mistake about it. Money is significant to him and his family, but it must be a byproduct of hard work rather than an end game in and of itself. His ultimate goal is to stay as close to and happy with his loved ones as possible and to prioritize family and friends. Finally, he stated that he considers himself fortunate that his family is always by his side to support him. From his side, Niranjan’s life policy has been that he will never give up on any relationships he has built along the way, no matter how difficult or how many misunderstandings may occur. He realizes that a fair amount of reciprocation is necessary for good relationships to flourish.