He claims to have begun his career at his father’s building materials empire aged just 13, when he would quietly shadow him around the headquarters of UAE-based giant Danube Group.
Today, Adel Sajan is a successful businessman in his own right, having established the company’s home decor and furniture arm, Danube Home, which he calls a “one-stop destination” for anything and everything that has to do with interior design.
The brand, which was formerly known as Danube Buildmart, was launched by Sajan when he was still a student studying finance and marketing at university, having set up a chandelier division first, before venturing into newer product segments in home furnishings.
Adel worked his way up while “understanding different nuances and dynamics of the business on the job,” he told Arabian Business in April.
Under his leadership, Danube Home showrooms have expanded beyond the UAE, to Oman, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, while its portfolio has grown to comprise over 50,000 individual products.
The young Sajan aims to open eight new stores every year, adding as much as 500,000 sq ft retail space over the next five years. In 2018, the brand launched four franchise stores in the Seychelles, Tanzania, Lebanon and Uganda. In 2019, it will open in Egypt, Armenia, Sudan, Zambia and Malawi.
As a young man, Sajan says he “always knew the weight of the legacy I carried, watching over the shoulders of my father [Rizwan Sajan, founder and CEO of Danube Group]. Watching my father handle the business with ingenuity, hard work, unquenchable passion and single-minded purpose was a learning I couldn’t have received anywhere else.”
It is these same qualities he hopes to take with him as he aims to continue expanding the family business and taking it to “unprecedented heights, infusing the company with new ideas and fresh perspectives,” he says, referring to his modern mindset.
“The UAE’s interiors and furnishings space is a highly acclaimed industry, constantly evolving and on point with global markets and designer trends. It is this aspect that I want to build on and leverage when it comes to Danube,” he says, adding that he never shies away from “taking risks, pursuing a different path and introducing new ideas”.