Excerpts from the Article “NOTHING SUCCEEDS LIKE SUCCESS”
The quest for a tomorrow that is better than today - measured in terms of wealth, is what defines the business or mercantile aspect of the Gujarati community. Kalpesh Shah, President, National Association of Realtors – India (NAR-I), believes that the Gujarati community is an apt example of India’s success story: “It is about being unwilling to accept life as it is; the willingness to work hard, take calculated risks and work towards a better future.”
What sets the Gujarati work ethic apart? It is not just ‘hard working’, but also ‘smart working’, focussed on not just earning, but also the creation of wealth, adds Shah. The one Gujarati who has ‘top of the mind’ recall for Shah is the Late Dhirubhai Ambani. “He went from rags to riches in a way that India wants to emulate,” he points out. As President of NAR-I, Shah represents the ‘global best practices’ being implemented in India’s real estate sector. “Traditionally, the ‘middleman’ in Indian real estate was the ‘grease’ that ensured smooth business. The evolution of the broker or dalal into a professional who is ‘in sync with global trends’ as a member of NAR-I also mirrors the change that the Gujarati community is undergoing,” Shah explains.
“From ‘traditional’ to ‘high-tech’, the Gujarati success story over the years, is one that will continue growing in the future.” Talk about the community being patriarchal and male dominated in nature, and Shah counters. His better half, Neeta, is an equal partner in the business, and she shoulders her share of the daily business decisions. “The concept of being in business is almost ingrained in the Gujarati psyche, and Gujarati women are making their presence felt, both as self-employed professionals and in business,” adds Neeta.