Lessons I learnt from my forefathers: Ajmal Perfumes CEO


August 15, 2023 | By Rupkatha B

Lessons I learnt from my forefathers: Ajmal Perfumes CEO

When third-generation family member and CEO of Ajmal Perfumes, Abdulla Ajmal took to stage at the THINK! I CAN! symposium, what we saw was the unfolding of an over seven-decade old inspiring journey.

For context, Ajmal Perfumes is a farm-to-fragrance brand. It owns 10 million-plus agarwood trees in Assam, India. Today, Ajmal is one of the largest perfume manufacturers globally with a 150,000 sqft state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Dubai. A fully automated packaging division and extensive research and development facility. The company produces more than 100,000 bottles of perfumes every day. The company has showrooms across 50-plus countries with products available across 1,000-plus global distributors and dealerships. Its export division supplies products to key global shopping destinations, while travel retail products are available at many airport duty free spots and aboard several international airlines. In addition, Ajmal Perfumes has built a robust online presence. The brand is adding new products and expanding its retail touchpoints every day.

“Now, if I had to summarise our journey in a few words, the first will be ‘care’. Because care starts with courage. Why courage? That’s because my grandfather, who founded our family business, escaped from his home in a remote village in Assam in search of business opportunities, defying family pressures to become a farmer, like the previous generations. That was the real start of our journey.”

“The second word will be ‘action’. My grandfather wasn’t even a graduate, but he had the courage to try something new. When he realised that agarwood is a highly demanding commodity among Arabs, something that literally grew in our backyard, he promptly took action to make it available to his potential customers. He ultimately arrived in the GCC in the 60s and built strong relationship with prominent people from royal families and high net worth individuals.”

“The third word is ‘empathy’. When I joined the family business, one of the things my father – Mohamed Amiruddin Ajmal, Chairman of the Board and Managing Director of Ajmal Group – said to me something that he continues to practice, ‘Reflect on what you did right. Did you do anything wrong and if so, how can you fix it the next day.’ Empathy for our people, communities we operate in and for the environment is something that we live and breathe. If anything, this is the legacy of our family business,” Abdulla concluded.

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