In business, spread your wings

RetailME Bureau

I came to the UAE towards the end of 1986 and opened a jewellery shop in January 1987. Our first location was Abu Dhabi, not Dubai. At that time, there were few jewellers in the Gold Souk area, mostly from Gujarat. There were hardly any from South India. But the customers were mostly Keralites. They liked to spend their savings on gold jewellery, preferring to buy gold jewellery and gold bars here to take back to India. That’s because the price difference was quite high.

I thought this was a good chance to start a jewellery shop to meet the demand from the Asian sub-continent – India, Pakistan and Bangladesh – mostly for -22karat jewellery. So, I set up the first store in 1987. The same year, I opened a second outlet in Dubai for the obvious reason that the emirate, even then, served as a business hub.

Aside from tourists from India, other GCC-based Indians also liked visiting the Dubai Gold Souk. We wanted to cater for them as well. In fact, ours was the first gold outlet in the Gold Centre, the others being fashion, footwear, food and even a cassette library. Now, gold and jewellery retailers dominate the place.