From A Poor Pakistani Boy To A Billionaire Industrialist In UAE
Courtesy Anjana Kumar from gulfnews.com
In Grade 8, while many of his friends were living their normal lives, Lal Chand was struggling with issues that would have a strong impact on him and shape his life in ways he could not imagine.
At that time, Chand’s family was poor, and he would learn the hard way how financial insecurity can take its toll on people. His mother, who suffered from a heart condition, passed away as the Chand family could not afford a by-pass. The wound still haunts the now 60-year-old businessman.
Chand narrates how they could not afford to buy oil to light lamps in their house, let alone pay for the treatment of his mother.
Chand, who now lives in Dubai, says, “It is not easy watching your mother die in front of your eyes and feeling so helpless about it. But I did. And worse, we could do nothing about it. We just watched her go. That day, I decided I have to turn my life around.”
The day his mother died, Chand realised that the reason his mother was no more with him was that he had no money in the house. That day, he decided to change his circumstances.
Chand was born in Taluka Bhatoro, Sindh, in 1960. His father was a well-to-do businessman. However, the family’s business suffered in the Indo-Pak wars of 1971.
His family’s business suffering did not have much of an effect on him, but his mother’s death did.
He says, “I never wanted to be in a situation again where there was no money for basic necessities of life. It is one of the saddest things for a family to go through.”
He became convinced that his education would help him get out of his situation.
He worked hard in school, and started working with his brother in Sindh in the family business.
Following school, he decided to pursue college education, studying during the day, working during the evening.
He managed to win scholarships and got himself enrolled at the Mehran University to study Civil Engineering, graduating in 1985.
Seeing his father’s failure in business did not stop Chand from pursuing that path. In 1989, he ventured into the real estate business, which was followed by him going into the stock exchange a year later.
In 1993, he left his job of a lecturer at a university and moved to Karachi to expand his business.
But the real growth came when Chand moved to Dubai in 2001. When he came to UAE, Chand had made about 5 million dirhams. Today, his company’s turnover is above a billion.
Following his move to Dubai, Chand began a trading and property business. Due to the economic boom in UAE, he saw quick growth, taking his business to London in 2005. He started a betting company in the UK.
He returned to Dubai to expand his business further, adding investment to his portfolio.
When the 2008 recession hit, Chand invested in a number of properties. When the recession ended, the value of the properties doubled.
Chand believes that one must tap into opportunities for success.
Now, Chand business interests range from real estate and software to restaurants and general trading.
But Chand has not forgotten the pain he went through due to his mother’s loss. Not having money left a mark on him. Chand thus started a non-profit entity called LC Well, a wellbeing organisation that offers free classes of yoga, meditation and counselling.
Chand said that his life had changed 180 degrees and the success he had was the blessing of the universe. “I want to give back to the society. when I have achieved success, I feel it is the right time to help others,” he says.