An exclusive coverage on the life of ‘Masala king’ – Dhananjay datar.
“It was a warm and shiny day. I arrived at the Mumbai International Airport late morning eagerly. I was thrilled as it was my first air travel. My mother and younger brother Sanjay accompanied me to the airport to bid me farewell. A pleasant surprise was awaiting me there,” he says.
“That day, in the passenger list, a little boy and I were the only young adults traveling alone. A kind-hearted lady on the ticketing counter affectionately upgraded our economy class to business class. As a result, we got special treatment in the flight. I had never tasted such variety of chocolates and cheese before. Those three hours were really delightful”.
And then began his journey of becoming a Masala king.
Born in Akola district in Maharashtra, living in Kalina, Mumbai, his lifestyle was simple and unimpressive. He used to see a lot of people traveling to Dubai and returning with expensive gadgets, clothes and what not. That impressed him a lot and compelled him to move there and follow his dad’s footsteps.
Back in 1984, when he was only 19 years old, is when he decided to move to Dubai to live the remaining phase of his life.
But then the situation turned unexpectedly, when his father left his job and started a grocery shop in Dubai.
His dad wasn’t really in favor of allowing his son to come join his business as we was just finishing up his graduation.
He wanted him to do his post graduation and take up a professional carrier. But then, since his dad needed a helping hand in the business, he let him come join anyways in the business.
“I had only three notes of Dh10 each in my pocket when my plane landed at the Dubai International Airport. I made a phone call to my father and informed him of my arrival. He asked me to wait outside the airport, for a vehicle he was about to send. Soon the vehicle arrived and I bursted into laughter. It was a goods carrier,” Datar reminisces.
“Another pang of disappointment hit me when I had my first glance of the shop. It was a tiny shop with a warehouse behind. I got only a little corner for my baggage and bedding. That was my first day in Dubai – started with thrilled anticipation and ended in crushing disappointment.”
Jay shares some similarities between Dubai and Mumbai as both are situated at the bay and multi cultured people can be seen in both the places.
“My father had developed good contacts in Dubai’s business circle. Within a month, I got a job, as an intern in one of Dubai’s largest super markets. That job lasted for four months.”
Datar’s father had invested his entire savings and used to pay Datar for work and there was little scope to start any new business venture. He owrked with his father for 10 years and acquired the set of skills needed to run the business. He then moved ahead took a load and opened his new business venture.
“Back in the 1980s, Dubai was in a developmental stage. There was a huge potential for establishing large, medium and small new businesses. My father also grabbed this opportunity and set up a small shop there. Today, Dubai is an international business hub. The infrastructure development is complete. But the opportunities are still open. The business-friendly policies of this country, the continuous support of the rulers to the industry world, multi-cultured clientele and strategic location of this country are the benefit factors for entrepreneurs,” he explains.
Dhananjay Datar says the UAE gave him a chance to prove his caliber. He said: “The UAE rewarded my hard work, honesty and integrity with a great fortune. From a small shop, we progressed and evolved as a multi-national business group and a chain of super stores. I was honored with various international awards here. The UAE has given me complete contentment.”
Datar believes in life, honesty, hard work and skill never go in vain. This is not only mere advice, but a value inculcated in him by his parents. “Ice on the head and sugar on the tongue(meaning don’t lose your temper and always be polite while dealing with customers)….is the most useful rule when dealing with challenges and customers. Follow the proverb – honesty is the best policy,” he added.
Today, this billionaire in turn attributes the growth of his business empire to his wife Vandana , reaffirming the fact that ‘Behind every successful man there is a woman’. “Thanks to her undying support and commitment to the group, our turnover grew by 50% in 2010, and this despite a severe recession in the UAE,” Datar says.
Recently masala king Dhananjay Datar has been ranked 32nd in Forbes middle east honors.
Dr. Dhananjay Datar, who is currently theChairman & Managing Director of Al Adil Trading and is selling spices under Peacock brand was recently honored by Forbes Middle East as one of the top Indian leaders in the Arab World 2017 – Retail award, ranking 32nd in the prestigious list.
Forbes middle east is hosting this evening for the fifth conscutive year. Announcing this in a press release Dr. Dhananjay Datar, popularly known as the ‘Masala King’ said, it is a great honour to be recognized by Forbes ME, which is one of the most credible media houses in the world. Recognizing their passion and contribution to the advancement of the Arab region, Forbes Middle East revealed its long-awaited list of the Top Indian Leaders in the Arab World at an impressive ceremony hosted recently at The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, Dubai. Guests of honor at the event included H.E. Mr. Vipul, Consul General of India to the UAE.
“Our gala to recognize the powerful and influential Indian leaders shaping the Arab world through their vision and investment is one of our most prestigious and popular events. These trailblazers have set up some of the most successful companies in the Middle East, using their vision, ingenuity and formidable leadership to bring capital to their shareholders and into our economies,” said a spokesperson of Forbes ME.
The ranking is the result of in depth research and analysis into Indian professionals residing and/or operating businesses in the Arab World. Forbes Middle East serves as a major reference point for business information and collaboration, supporting key decision makers and investors across the region’s sectors, as well as furthering the economic development of the Arab world. This recognition is bound to yield good results for the global economy.
After receiving the award Dr. Dhananjay Datar said, “Honors and recognition add more responsibility to what we do. I strongly believe that we will strive to provide enhanced value to our customers in a socially responsible manner. I wish to thank Forbes Middle East for the honor. It is also a reflection of the dedicated team effort of our entire organization. I wish to thank the Rulers of this great country who support and encourage us in our endeavors. It is evident from the fact that a majority of the Top Leaders and Business owners are based in UAE, which is a clear reflection of the support that we get from the leaders of UAE”.
Al Adil Trading under the dynamic leadership of Dr. Dhananjay Datar has been instrumental in bringing 9000 Indian products in the UAE. Al Adil has a network of 36 supermarkets, 2 flour mills and 2 spices factories in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Ajman and also a branch of Mumbai Export Division in the name of Masala King Exports (India) Pvt. Ltd in Mumbai, India. Al Adil is on an active expansion mode and has recently opened new outlets in Oman and Bahrain. The company has also diversified into import and export under the special class establishment with trade lines in the US, Canada, Tanzania, Kenya, Switzerland, Italy and Eritrea as well as Kuwait, Oman and the UAE.