Richest Indians in the UAE 2018

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Rizwan Sajan

Rizwan Sajan


Danube Group


Founder and chairman

The evolution of Danube Group, one of the established building materials companies in the Middle East, is directly linked to the journey of its founder and chairman, Rizwan Sajan.

Born and raised in a middle class family in Mumbai, India, Sajan is a man with the ‘Midas Touch’.

Having built his company into the undisputed market leader for building materials in the GCC, he is now slowly and steadily moving his footprints towards property development and home improvement.

Danube Group recorded a turnover of $1.3bn in 2017 and has been growing steadily ever since. Under Sajan’s guidance, the company has charted a path over the last 25 years that transformed from being just one shop with one employee to a global operation of over 3,300 people based in over 50 locations in nine countries. Danube Group occupies more than 5.5 million sq ft of land in Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza), making it one of the biggest tenants in the free zone. The warehouses across the UAE stock more than 50,000 products.

Being a top ranking business icon, Sajan has been a source of inspiration to millions. He says it is his business strategy and the ability to think differently are the reasons for the growth of his empire. He creates his own unique selling proposition rather than competing with others.

Sajan’s success story is made of a very simple lesson: A man’s grit and hard work can turn a small organisation with humble beginnings to become a brand to reckon with. It was not just his experience but his foresight, perspective and commitment that built Danube from a two-person team to a strong business empire with a global presence.

His mantra for success is very simple: find the right people, then trust and empower them to run the business and this is exactly how he has steered his company to success.

A workaholic, Sajan has always believed that there are no shortcuts to the top. Hard work and determination are the keys to his success.

In March 2018, Sajan forayed into publishing, re-launching the Filmfare Middle East magazine, which has a clear focus on films, fashion and lifestyle and in-depth exclusive interviews of top figures in the industry.

He also believes in giving back to the society and in November 2012, Sajan started the Danube Welfare Centre, which offers a number of free training courses to help unskilled workers improve their language skills and further develop their careers.