Company: Al Dobowi Group
Wealth: 540 Million
When Surender Singh Kandhari launched his first tyre shop in Deira, Dubai, in 1976, he was about the only supplier in the country and quickly managed to corner the market.
The Al Dobowi Group has since morphed into one of the largest tyre distribution companies in the world, with operations in 65 countries across the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia and North America. The 20-subsidiary conglomerate still focuses on its core business of tyres and re-treading but also sells batteries, lubricants, conveyor belt systems, and technical rubber products.
The group today boasts 23 world leading brand partners such as CEAT, GoodYear, Pirelli, Caltex, Hankook, Exide and Bandag, and has even launched its own tyre brand, Infinity.
Based in the Jebel Ali Free Zone, Al Dobowi Group remains privately owned, with Kandhari as its chairman.
A philanthropist, Kandhari also contributed nearly $20m to build the first ‘legal’ gurdwara, a place of worship for Sikhs, in the UAE. The 100,000 sq ft temple was built on land donated by Dubai Ruler Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and opened in 2012. It has seen as many as 40,000 visitors in a day.
Kandhari is also a founding member of the Emirates Golf Club.