From refugee, taxi driver to a multi-billionaire—the story of Uganda’s Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia

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    Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia
    By :
    AT Reporter

    In this Q&A Billionaire Masterclass, Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia shares his life story with Chris Bishop: Tough Life from a refugee boy/ taxi driver to a multi-billionaire. 

    You are a man, whose career was in some ways born out of adversity. You were one of the refugees from Uganda back in the 1970s. The days of Idi Amin, how much do you think that influenced you? Becoming a teenage refugee in England; how much of that influenced you as an entrepreneur?

    Leaving Africa, our lives were protected. I was still a youngster, I was 16 when I left Uganda. Back here, my father had put us in a boarding school when I was five years old. So I didn’t know the real world. There was no networking of any kind with people. And my life was staying at boarding school, going to school, and enjoying holidays. We used to live about 300 kilometres from Kampala, I enjoyed my family during the holidays. And then that’s, the time I would visit and in a way get involved in running my father’s business. That’s the only business I knew. He would make us work in his shop. So life was about school; boarding school and going home for holidays, where we would be busy helping my father in his business.

    Before going to London, I understand you have very deep roots in Africa. Just tell us a little bit about how your family ended up there (Africa)

    In 1897, my father’s grandfather left India and sailed to Mombasa. Five brothers came to Mombasa- they were traders. They moved along with the workers on the railway and would trade within the building sites and the barracks as well as the local inhabitants. They then created a supply chain from Mombasa, all the way as the railway moved into the interior. My father’s grandfather ended up in Uganda in 1903. My father was born in Uganda in 1932. I was born in Uganda in 1956. My son was born in Uganda in 1990. So we are like four generations here.

    It must have been a terrible wrench for you. I mean, you were not more than 17 years old when you had to leave the country as one of the so-called Ugandan Asians, you went to London, you had to find your family, pick up your life, establish yourself. How did that harden you, as somebody who wanted to get on and make money?

    Well, at that time, money was the last thing on our mind. The first thing was to get to England. I think I left Uganda on 5th November 1972 which was the last day of the deadline by Idi Amin. When we reached England at about three o’clock in the morning, the British government people picked us up and put us into one of the Royal Airforce (RAF) camps in Greenham Common. The British were kind and great and accommodating in trying to settle the Asians from Uganda. My grand dad was in the RAF barracks, it was cold, and I had never seen this kind of cold in my life. They gave me a big old coat to shelter me from the cold weather. It was quite heavy. I wasn’t even used to putting on sweaters in Africa and here I was in the UK, very cold.

    You worked a number of fairly well, low paid jobs. What did the pace of London teach you in terms of looking for opportunities and making money?

    Well, my first point of urgency was to first leave the camp, which we did the next day. I had made a friend in the morning, and they were going to London, so I told them that I have some relatives in Finchley Central (in North London). He said, “don’t worry, I’ll come and drop you to Finchley Central.” I wanted to know where my parents were; my brothers and sisters. In Finchley Central, I met a few relatives. The next thing was to find a job. We only had 55 pounds in our pocket, so the priority was how to survive. And, you know, England is not an easy country, if you don’t have a job. The first thing was to get a job, to survive and pay for my accommodation, food and transport. That was my priority.

    What jobs did turn up, when you were looking?

    Well, one of the first jobs that I first did in Finchley was to work in a supermarket. My job was to fill up shelves in supermarkets. Within a week, I had been trained and I was up and running. But of course, when you have never worked in your life, working eight to ten 10 hours a day was a long day.

    In later years, when you later become a successful entrepreneur, and you have to talk to your own workers, what kind of context did this give you; the fact that you would work for not much money?

    The truth is I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I wanted to travel all over England, as I find where I wanted to settle. And in the process, I and another uncle of mine ended up in Bakersfield. He had a friend there who was to refer us to get a job with the Ford Motor Company in Ilford, Essex, London. I said right, I’m on. I was 17 and I said, right, let’s go there. But we didn’t tell this gentleman at Ford that we were coming, because those times we didn’t even have mobile phones and communication as you know, quite difficult. So when we reached his house at six o’clock in the evening, we found there was nobody there. And we kept waiting and waiting hoping that he will come back in the evening. Come eight- nine o’clock is getting colder and colder. So I told my uncle, that listen, we got two pounds remaining, we have a choice- either we stay hungry for the night or we go and eat something and warm up our stomachs and we’ll find what to do in the morning. So anyway, we had either hamburgers and chips. We waited for these people till 11 p.m. Nobody came home. I then told my uncle, that I’m tired, let’s go to the front door of this man. We will find some old boxes around and we put them on the floor. I said I’m going to sleep. Let’s wait for the guys to come in the morning, otherwise we go somewhere else. Of course, we slept the night outside in the cold winter in England. And then I think in the morning, these people came around eight o’clock. In the morning, the first guy to pass us was the milkman. In England, you know, either you get a postman or you get a milkman. So the milkman was the first to see us, you know, two Indians sleeping outside, somebody’s front door. And it was not the order of the day those days, but he just walked past. The guy whose house we went to, his child was sick, so he had gone to see a doctor friend and doctor told him to spend the night there. Anyway, it all ended when they returned. We had some warm tea, and we started looking for a job. He took us to Ford Motor Company. And of course, we wouldn’t get a job because Ford Motor Company is a closed shop. The unions had very strong conditions, where only the children of the workers who worked there got the priority. So we had no chance in hell. But I continued looking for a job and I got one which paid me 12 pounds a week. One day I was passing Ilford, Essex, London and I saw a Royal Airforce recruitment centre. I told myself, I’ve had enough of these things, let me go and join the forces. I went I did my aptitude tests, as they called them, I don’t know what they call them now and I passed those. The only problem was that I was underage. Anybody under the age of 18 needed a parent’s consent. So I had to ask my mom and dad to sign. My mom refused. She said she’s not going to sign the consent. She had just left Uganda and had seen how the military behaved and psychologically in her head, she couldn’t accept me to join the forces. Anyway, I then got another job and started working there.

    So you did work for quite some time in London. And that’s where you made your first sizeable amount of money. And just before we get into broader subjects, I’ve got a question here from Mike Segawa, in Mukono, Uganda, he is asking, what was your breakthrough project, that you think helped set you up to be a success?

    You see in England. I did, many, many jobs. There was not one job I was doing; at some point, I had three jobs at a time. And then also, I was going to school during the daytime. So I used to work the night shift in a job that I used to drive taxis at the weekend. And then when I met this girl, who used to work at a supermarket. I found out she was working at a supermarket on a weekend job because she was studying, I said, I’m gonna come and join you as well. So I worked with her for, you know, a few weeks. And then I was kicked out because I was just always around her. But, I can say having 2-3 jobs at any one time but most importantly, to save money. Luckily for me, when I was 20 years of age, I managed to buy my first house. I had saved about 5,000 pounds, and I got a 12,000-pound mortgage, and I managed to get my first house.

    Another quick question from Mr. Chandra in the UK. He says the UK is open for business right now. Have you got any plans to invest there at the moment?

    I think the UK is right, but I think to me, Africa has more opportunities than Europe at the moment. According to me, you know, in Uganda especially, we find that there’s a lot of oil that has been discovered in Uganda. And I think that we’re just waiting for a final investment decision between the government and Total and China National Oil Corporation. Once they sign, they’re going to invest around $15 billion into Uganda. So we feel that Uganda and other African countries have a huge opportunity.

    And just one thing to say as an African billionaire, not just as yourself, how do you perceive the African continent right now, in terms of not just only amassing wealth, but also creating an impact? How do you perceive it?

    You see, western markets are saturated. Many players are doing the same thing. Now when you have your vision, something you want to create, and you are exposed as a person who travelled a bit, you can bring your new ideas into Africa, implement them and make them into reality far better than the rest of the world, I think. And Africa, as you know, has got a population of 1.4 billion probably, growing by some 3%. Most of the resources are available in Africa and the growth opportunities are phenomenal.

    How do you perceive these opportunities that you took, as an African billionaire? How’d you comprehend them? And find them and identify them?

    First of all, there are things which, you know, a growing economy requires. Second thing, there’s a really large middle-class segment that is in Africa with disposable income, well exposed and travelled with high expectations. So, you need to create things that meet these high expectations. In Africa, we still are behind the rest of the world. So there is time and space to introduce and catch up with new ideas here.

    Ivan Okuda and Alex Isagara from Kampala, are asking, what are the three life lessons you would like to share with young people who want to get on and follow your footsteps?

    Well, first of all, when you have your vision of doing things in life, don’t give up. You may not succeed first, second or third time, but continue with it. But create a vision that you can achieve. Don’t create a vision, which is unachievable. And secondly, in my opinion, create and get into a line of business or entrepreneurship, which you enjoy doing. Every day, when you wake up in the morning, you will want to go to your office, Don’t be in a business because your friend is successful. You need to notice what you like- are you a people person, are you an IT specialist; whatever you are, you must enjoy doing what you are doing and then focus on how you can expand on that to make a living out of it.

    Let’s get down to the deals, that African billionaires like yourself have struck, how do you interact and transact when you’re going into a deal in Africa?

    Well, first of all, I think you need confidence in yourself. And the second thing is you must know the line of business you are going into, how it will work and how you will implement it. You know, people talk about feasibility studies and all that. Honestly, in Africa, I feel that, if you have a vision for something you create it first, and then you create demand for what you created. You know, a lot of times people go to the banks and they say make a feasibility study. 99 out of 100 times in Africa other than in established economies like South Africa that does not work.

    Do you think that there’s no place for business plans here in Africa?

    You have a sixth sense that tells you, if I do this, I will make it work, I will create demand for what I’m doing. And this how I have succeeded. Maybe I’m wrong. It may not apply to other people. But even today, the projects I do, I know that I can create demand for what I’ve done.

    There’s a gentleman called Matthews from Premier Roses. He’s asking that as a fellow East African, what are your plans for expansion in other East African countries- Kenya, Rwanda and possibly Burundi in the future?

    Love is in the air

    We are already in Rwanda. We have quite a big investment in Rwanda. But I feel there is still an opportunity in Uganda. One of the biggest expansions, we are planning for is in agriculture in Uganda. One of my businesses at the moment is growing roses. We’re expanding. We are producing around 350,000 roses per day, we have to expand it so that we can produce about a million roses every day for export to Europe. So that is one line of business we are very much in target for. And of course the other agriculture products like avocados and macadamia nuts and vanilla, cocoa. So these things are an opportunity. Uganda, despite having some of the most beautiful and fertile land on the globe, we, except for sugar and tea, do not have organised agriculture farms.

    We have Racheal from Kasangati, again in Uganda and she is asking, how do you know, when you have reached the point of success or sort of break even in the business? How do you know that?

    I don’t know, how do you equate success? Is it the amount of money you create or the value you’re sitting on? Well, frankly, my success is when I see that I started a project, I create employment for people and at the same time, you know, the people who are using our establishments are also making money from it. That is my success. And you know, for all the time we create new products, we create new real estate developments, people who are with you, they must make money, you should not make money alone. Because every time that you set up a new project, you have a line of people who want to invest with you.

    Pretty Sasha Massa in Kampala says she calls you the most inspiring man in Uganda. Now, the question for you is if you’re in her shoes today, with a capital of $10,000, what would you invest in?

    I think I would at the moment, first let the Covid-19 thing settle before I invest in a new venture as I monitor the available opportunities. You see, during Covid, you had certain opportunities and pre-Covid was a different opportunity. You know, during Covid-19 if you go into mask-making, you start a small home business- either masks or the hygiene products such as sanitisers- although I think we have missed that boat. I think sanitisers will be here to stay for another few years, so there is still an opportunity to get into. It doesn’t take much money, but it requires a little bit more thinking because there are many players now.

    Alternatively, there are a lot of business which are down now and because we are at the bottom of the graph, the economy is going to come up and you will make some money. There was a friend who called me and said, look, I want to start a hotel, where can I start a hotel. I told him, if I was you, there are so many hotels on sale, pick one up and nourish it, and, and this is the time to get into it. So there are a lot of opportunities, in businesses that have failed due to Covid-19 and you as a second owner will be more successful than the first owner. So those are the opportunities we should pick up now. We picked up so many real estate in the last two, three months at rock-bottom prices, and give next 10-12 months, it will triple in prices.

    There’s another question from Grace Kentaro, she says there’s a trending debate in Uganda at the moment about educated versus those who are not educated, and that the educated in fact, don’t know how to make money and get rich. Now, her concern is how do you advise the young generation- which way is the best to succeed in life?

    Well, first of all, I think I would beg to differ because in Uganda for the last 20 years, the government has given free education to primary and maybe 15 years now for free education to secondary. So we still have a very large population, which is educated with a basic education. Then there’s the elite, who are extremely, extremely qualified and highly educated. The problem is, when you are sometimes too qualified you, tend to get risk-averse, you always look for a secure job, probably with government, NGO, or, you know, aid agencies. So I think you need to come out of the box and dirten your hands and create your own opportunity.

    There is a question from a Mr. OJ Odedra, he is asking, what’s your morning routine as an entrepreneur? How do you deal with stress, and how do you get yourself to peak performance as an entrepreneur?

    Ruparelia family on a game drive in Kidepo Valley National Park

    I think, in your life, stress is part of your daily routine. But I don’t let the stress overcome me. You know, in Africa, you can’t structure your management, like you do in, established countries like UK or America where you can plan and anticipate things. In Africa, we sometimes have what you call management by crisis. So in the morning, when you wake up, you have a crisis and you deal with that and start your day to day work. And in the English term, we say management by crisis. So you wake up in the morning, if any of your businesses have, you know, issues, you firefight this, and after the fire goes, then you get to your office and you deal with your emails and, and then in the afternoon, you plan for your expansion.

    When you come to a deal, as an entrepreneur or a new venture, I’d like to know, how do you assess risk? When you’re going into something? What sort of little benchmark things do you do?

    Well, first of all, like every other businessman, I work out my rate on the return on my investment. And if I don’t get a certain amount of return on my investment, then I will not touch it, I look for another opportunity. So every business that we would look into, is to say will I get 18% return on investment or 20% or 25% and then I work out what is a juicy deal for me and we work on that. I sit with my daughter and my son and they know exactly how to work those things out with me. And then they prepare the project and the final figures and I look through them because I’ve trained them to do so. And they know exactly what my expectations are and the company’s expectation.

    Someone else is curious here online, they are curious to know what you think of the most common mistakes people make in business.

    One of the most important lessons is to pick up the right people, the right management structure- get the right people with you. You can’t always be 100% right, but you need to get the right people and the right team to work with you. Once you identify that and is how you mould them. Give them the authority, the leeway, and they should know what your expectations are. And I think it is one of the most important things you got to pick up in our part of the world.

    And, again, another question online from an anonymous person- what would you do, for example with a tiny investment like $1,000?

    Nowadays, you know $1,000 doesn’t go very far, unfortunately. My view is, create an opportunity for increasing your cashflow e.g get two or three jobs, to supplement your income. Creating cash flow is very important. This is because, you need a certain amount of money for existing- your house rent, your transportation, your food, your drink etc. So you need to create an income that is greater than what you need to survive. The key is cash flow, cash flow, how much you can save. And you see, my view is that after your basic expenses are covered, if I have 100 shillings left, I’m only entitled to 10 shillings out of Shs1000. The rest of the 90 shillings must be reinvested in the business. And I think this is where a lot of people make mistakes. Once they start doing something, well, they start getting into expenses, maybe how many wives and then girlfriends. So you start diverting your money, even with the little success you have? And I think eventually it drowns you.

    With all these kinds of hurdles, what would you advise entrepreneurs? I mean, they’re going to face everybody, tax, people letting them down, investments that turned bad; how do you maneuver them? What advice would you give?

    Don’t give up, and you see, sometimes you end up in a bad situation, but the people you meet along your journey, become part of your networking. You build a relationship with the people do not give up. If you fall down three times, five times, get up again. Now there’s a very famous American saying, when somebody is trying to join an insurance company, as a salesman, one of the things that they teach them is say, look, please knock the house of anybody 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 times, if they said no to you. They may not buy, but every time they think of buying insurance, who do they think of? Of course, the guy who’s been knocking on his door? So he will come looking for you? Or the 11th time you knock on his house, he will maybe say come in. So, don’t give up.

    There is an Oscar online, who is asking about business partners. I mean, are you interested in taking on partners in your business? And if so, how do you find them? How do you find the right person?

    I’m skeptical about partners. Because, you know, partnership in Africa doesn’t work. In England and other places, you see partnership lasting for 150-200 years. I think, in my opinion, partnerships help sometimes, however, it must be a very defined partnership- who’s supposed to do what because 99 out of 100 times, have ended up in a problem and a quarrel, which is sometimes more expensive than when you started.

    One thing I want to say to you is that I’ve seen as a journalist, many many partnerships, people with good intentions, good skills, they get together they work hard, and then there comes a point sometimes where money can drive people mad and make them reckless and destructive. Have you had to deal with that in your career?

    Well, I have been very lucky that I’ve had extremely very few partners, and I don’t believe in partnership. I would rather employ a professional, or somebody good at what he’s doing and pay him well, to manage the things. So that is my way of doing things. Partnerships can start very well but when the cash starts coming in, then the stronger partner wants to then dominate and get rid of the other one. So you know, it all ends up not in a good way. So I will suggest, where you can manage, yourself grow up to that level, then you should look at equity funding or something like that to support your next growth.

    Let’s get to the issue, of banks, as a general rule of thumb, how would you deal with banks when you’re trying to raise capital?

    Well, I think you know, the simple rules of the bank is very easy, very, very clear. Banks will give you when you have money, banks are supposed to give you an umbrella when you need it, not pull out the umbrella when you need them. So first, whatever you do create a certain amount of capital yourself. And I find it very skeptical that, if your business depends on a bank loan from the start, I think there 95% chances in Africa that you will fail, because the cost of borrowing is extremely high and the tenure of the loans you get is very short term. It’s not like in Europe, you can get a loan for 20-25 years at 2-3 per cent. Here, in Africa, you have to pay a very high premium for getting loans.

    Would you advise anyone who starts a business to, after a few years, diversify to say, start buying property or some other form of capital or to try to increase their stock?

    You know, properties are the safest form of investment in Africa. However, it is also one of the most dangerous business to be in, if you borrow money to develop properties. Because when the market becomes stagnant, you are stuck with a huge deficit in the cash flow- negative cash flow, and your bank loans are running. So in the beginning, try and get into real estate, in a way you can sustain and manage. And then when you create three or four properties, and you have income from three or four different sources from within the property sector, then you go and get a fifth property where you are assured of the continuity, of being able to repay the loans, then is safe. But if you are in another business where you’re trying to get cash flow and borrow money for real estate, I think it’s a bit risky in this part of the world where the financial sector is not, you know, competitive.

    Sticking with the capital theme, we’ve got a question here from Dr. Ansell William. He says, how would you advise raising capital for startup entrepreneurs in Uganda? The bank loans have high-interest rates, venture capitalists fear on the ground, any advice on the source of capital for startup entrepreneurs?

    Well, I think the simplest way is to you know, first get a job and then have some pieces on the side. You need to create your own and save your own cash flow to get your basic minimum capital. Right? And always look for a business that will give you a positive cash flow. And that is something that only you can do. Do not rely on one job or one sector. Two or three different sectors, you know, because if something is slow, in one sector, you’re always getting something from the other sectors.

    How important is it as an entrepreneur to stick to your guns? I mean, I use the example that we’ve talked about before, like the time when you said no, to selling a hotel to Muammar Gaddafi. I mean, not many people on this world actually had the courage to say no to him when he was still alive. But what is your view on these things about just saying no, no matter how unpopular it makes you?

    Well, I think, you know, one needs to look at two things when you have a project which is ripe and mature and it is cash-generating and then somebody comes up and offers you a price, it it’s a right price, where you can use that money, then you consider it. If they offer you, you know, money which doesn’t work, money which does not have a comparable rate of return on the money you’re earning, decline it. I give an example when Gaddafi came to Uganda, he stayed at our resort (Speke Resort Munyonyo) for the African Union Conference.

    So he told his people, that buy this resort, because you know, he wanted to make sure wherever he went, he stayed in his/Libyan establishment. So those people came to me and asked me how much I wanted, and i told them that I wanted $200 million for my resort. So the people in between said, Look, we will need $25-30 million commission. I said no, the international norm for a commission is about 10%. I told them, I can pay you 10% in a legitimate entity, because I have to account for the Taxes on my side, so I said I want $180 million in spite of what you do. They were dilly-dallying, I think Gaddafi wanted them to buy the property, but I stuck to my own principles. And in the meantime, Libya had its own problems and things didn’t work out. But for me, I have no issue because I’m still earning money from the resort.

    One thing that you’re known for, Sudhir, is knowing the value of all your assets. Now you’ve got quite a large business empire, it must be a full-time job surely going around, and revaluing everything you’ve got, how’d you handle that?

    Speke Apartments, Plot No 19, 21 Wampewo Avenue, Kampala

    You know, honestly, speaking, I know in my head what the values are, but I’m not really interested in the value. My most important thing is, how much do I get out of this business? To me that’s more important- the cash flow, than what the building is worth, because the building can be worth $20-30-40 million, but then I’m not going to sell it. Because what is my interest is how much income I’ll get from the building. And it’s more important to me and our group, than the value of the building.

    And another question that I’ve seen many entrepreneurs struggle with across Africa is this issue of growing too fast. A lot of businesses will have success, all of a sudden they got four offices, 20 cars, etc. How do you advise entrepreneurs to guard against overstretching themselves?

    Well, I think I’m sometimes in a similar scenario where my children mostly move very quickly. And I have to make sure I hold them back and say, look, grow organically, you have a certain amount of cash flow coming in, you do just projects which you can fund. Then my son will say let’s borrow and I said, I’m not going to borrow. I wanna sleep at night, I don’t want unnecessary stress. So I think, try and grow according to the cash flow you have where you’re creating. It is probably the best option. Because the opportunities come all the time and when you’re sitting on cash, take those opportunities.

    And that’s the question I have to ask you. I mean, at this stage in your career, are you completely debt free? As we speak?

    We don’t have a debt. Our group has zero borrowing.

    Incredible. Another question I’ve got as well, which most entrepreneurs in Africa have to deal with. How’d you deal with the politics and politicians? What’s your advice with entrepreneurs, when it comes to something that is always going to be there, and every day of our lives, for the rest of our lives?

    You know, politicians and bureaucrats are part and parcel of the society we live in. You can’t detach away from them. But also in Uganda, politics has matured and politicians don’t have much, except when they’re making laws in the ministries, for the good of the country. Now, where even if they’re making laws, we are, you know, we are going to ask for an invitation so we can make an input. look at the invite our you know, ask for an invitation. So we can also look at those laws, which are good for business people for the business community, or the business in general, in Uganda. So we try and see how we can have an input whether with the ministries or whether at the parliament when hey are making the law and you see even in the parliament here, the committee’s invite you to make your input and you tell them why, if they put this what are the consequences? What are the negativity? And people listen.

    As an entrepreneur, how in your business, do you see that money is not being diverted from the core business to other things, when people start growing? How would you advise someone integrating business to guard against that?

    Well, I think in any business, the nerve centre is your accounts department. We have created structures where you know you have the management side, and you have the accounts side. So we make sure that the account side are independent of the management. And they report directly to us, the directors and and then you know, and then the cash flow is managed by me, my son and my daughter. We manage the cash flow. So we don’t go wrong, and we don’t divert money to the wrong sector. So if any new opportunity comes, we sit together and decide and we manage cash flow.

    What should we do to nurture our generations, our children? What are the five principles of management that you would teach them?

    Victoria University Council Chairman Dr. David Byatike Matovu unveils the new fees structure in the presence of Ag Vice Chancellor Bill Nkeeto and University Directors Rajiv and Dr Sudhir Ruparelia

    One of the things that I would always encourage from parents is that when your children are young, take them to your place of work, make sure that, you know if they’re young, you know, and, and then give them a plain paper, or they do drawings and cartoons or whatever/ Get them to the building sites of your building, because most people in Uganda end up building their own houses. So take them around, make them understand what you are without putting too much emphasis on what you’re trying to teach them. Don’t teach him lead him, lead him to where you want him to. And let them mould themselves into the kind of things you want them afterwards without them without putting under pressure on the children. Because if you put conditions they would rebel against the idea of authority. But once you mould them and you grow them into your line of business without, you know, putting pressure on them, it is easier for the succession.

    Do you have any regrets at all, in your entrepreneur career?

    Well, I think I’ve been very fortunate in my life that whatever I tried to do, and whatever projects I have actually invested into here have been successful. There’s a man up there who does look after me. And of course, the family is there together with me. It’s part and parcel of that success. And like they say, to be in the right time with the right place, with the right project.

    I have one final question here from a man who says he’s a friend of yours in Perth, in Australia, I’m sure you can find him. I’ll give you his name afterwards. But he says, boss, when are you retiring?

    You know, I’m only 65 years of age and I still feel a lot of energy in me. I don’t think people like me would ever retire in the sense that I will go to the garage and do my hobbies. I don’t think I’m meant for that. I will be around. In life, what I like to do is also travel a lot.

    Once we get to a level where I am confident that the next succession or the successors will tow my way of thinking, then I will try and every six weeks travel for a few weeks and see the world. But for people like me and so many others in this world, if you give up, you become a cabbage and I don’t think I meant for that.

    How would you like people to remember you?

    Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia

    Well, I just want people to say, I know Sudhir is a good man, a man of his word. And I think, to me, that’s the biggest consolation I can get from people. That’s what I want.

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