How many times do we hear the success stories of our fellow Indian men making it big in a foreign land? Numerous. How often do we hear stories of people who go on from being a janitor to a multi-millionaire and still have their humility and integrity intact? Rarely. However, rare doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist and one such person who went from rags to riches is 76 year old Ghanshyam Jethanand Pagarani.
Currently the chairman of the multi-million worth Yogi Group of Companies, it wasn’t all hunky dory Pagarani. Hailing from a large family with ten siblings, and the financial troubles his family had been going through, he started to work since his college days as a salesman, earning merely Rs 30 per month. In early 1967, Pagarani came to Dubai where he initially worked as a janitor in a showroom that his brother-in-law worked at. With long working hours and less pay, and add to that, the scorching summer heat of Dubai, life wasn’t easy for him back then but he had to work hard to financially support his family in India.
Ghanshyam Jethanand Pagarani was more than a mere janitor. With his natural flair for languages, he was able to pick up the native language in no time and that was a major plus point. He soon learnt to read the manuals of bikes and cars and their spare parts and with his acquired knowledge, he started getting better job offers from various suppliers. With a sole determination to support his family back home who had been struggling with financial challenges, at one point in time, he used to work as long as 19 hours a day.
The turning point in his life came when a personal incident led him to quit his job to start something on his own. On September 5, 1974, the birthday of his eldest daughter, Pagarani set up his first company ‘Twinkle Import Export’ in Dubai that dealt with import and export of cement. However, with no major ROI and having been cheated by his sponsor, his business was in the brink of collapse within few months of its establishment but soon afterwards, an aide came to his rescue and there has been no looking back since then.
Today, Pagarani is the chairman of Yogi Group of Companies and runs several subsidiaries under it. The company has its presence primarily in real estate but also works in other realty-related sectors like construction, import and export of building materials and interior manufacturing. It houses over 1200 employees with more than 500 clients under its fold.
Pagarani’s is the typical rags-to-riches story. His never-give-up attitude and his diligence are something that all of us can look up to. More importantly, it is to be remembered that it is his humility and kindness that garnered him supports during various phases of his personal as well as professional life. Even to this day, despite being a multi-millionaire and having built a business empire for himself, he is highly touted for his generosity.