By Claire Valdini
PNC Menon will open education institutes in Oman and India
Dubai-based businessman PNC Menon plans to give 50 percent of his personal wealth to charity, he told Arabian Business.
Menon, the founder and chairman of Sobha Group of Companies, will open education institutes in India and Oman, he said.
“Once you make all of the money I don’t think you should keep all of it for your family, a large portion of it should go to society. I have decided that 50 percent of mine should go to society,” he said.
“My view is very simple; I am lucky to have made my money. After a certain point in time money cannot make a difference in your life. I feel that its not even called charity, it’s about accountability and the responsibility of society,” he added.
Menon was ranked the GCC’s 21st richest Indian with a fortune of $600m, in a list published last month by Arabian Business. His firm established Sobha Heritage and Sobha Academy in 2006 to provide education and social welfare to around 2,500 families in two villages in India, Vadakkenchery and Kizhakkenchery.
Sohba Group was listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange in 2006 and employs 28,000 people across the Gulf and India. The firm, which was established in Oman, plans to expand its operations across India and the GCC, said Menon.
The firm will break ground on its Dubai-based Meyden development in the next two months, he said. Sobha will also expand its business to include a three-star hotel management company called Strada. The subsidiary has identified land in Mohammed Bin Rashid City for its first property, a 250-room hotel, and hopes to manage up to 100 hotels across India, Africa and the Middle East.
“There is a huge market if we can manage such a group and manage it very well, there is a huge potential. We are looking at building up 50 to 100 hotels. We’ll be managing but initially some of the investments will be done by us and then over time we’ll only manage the hotels,” said Menon.
The firm will also announce plans for a second major real estate project in Dubai in the next two weeks and expand its operations in Qatar and Saudi Arabia, he added.
I have often complained that lot of what we see in local papers regarding accomplishments are stories about flashy cars/apartments/yachts, sons of rich people, and meaningless records. I am glad to finally see someone who is not only self-made but happily giving away huge amounts of that wealth for the greater good.
I only hope this can galvanize some change in the region. I look forward to the day that we read about construction companies treating their workers well, and GCC residents making world records for things like giving to the less fortunate.
Lets see how far his giving back to comunity goes ones he start his new Development next to Medan.
There is a nice old Airstrip what is used by a few hunderd people with model airplanes. Is he going to put down and alternative lets see. I am not willing to bet my money on this one but everybody gets the advantage of the doubt! Let see if he puts his money where his mouth is!
I like what he says
â€œMy view is very simple; I am lucky to have made my money. After a certain point in time money cannot make a difference in your life. I feel that its not even called charity, itâ€™s about accountability and the responsibility of society,â€ he added."
Thats an excellent thought, Just like someone said " charity is not in how much you give , but its in how much you retain for yourself"
well done Mr. Menon , you bring hope in this selfish world.
May God bless you Mr Menon!
Good show ! makes the heart soar that persons like you step up do and good things. Your people will praise you and you shall receive many blessings . : )
Interview would have been more impactful had it been conducted after he had done what he plans.
Very well said, kingkaiser. I also wish our Muslim businessmen will follow.
Plenty of annual literature will show you GCC residents contributing to humanitarian causes and securing global top spots, through the UN or other channels.
Calculation varies by absolute terms, percentage of population giving, charity per capita, or whatever other formulas.
What do GCC get back in return? More negativity and whining.
How do GCC react? Don't care because they want to please the creator instead of the created.
Funny world, the smae week one person making big fuzz becuase his fortune was under estimatde by few billions and another one offering 50% of his fortune to the needed.
I let you guess which one will get more respect for the people in this world
Isn't Sobha the same contracting company whose workers protested at their poor living conditions and food last year...at which point the official spokesperson went on record saying that "300 to 400 DH per month is a justified salary" - or words to that affect.