NIRANJAN GIDWANI: Genuine Success extends beyond material possessions


Success is a subjective term with varying definitions for different individuals. While some may view success as a lofty goal, others may perceive it as achieving small objectives. Nonetheless, it is a desired outcome that requires determination and a grand vision.

For Niranjan Gidwani, a long-time resident of the UAE and an Indian national, success is guided by his personal mission statement and vision. It entails the ability to transcend momentary difficulties and rely on one’s imagination. It involves empathy for both the big and small players, promoting inclusivity, connecting with a larger world, and giving more than one receives.

Niranjan currently serves as a Consultant Director, Board Advisor, Member of the UAE Superbrands Council, and a member of the HBR Advisory Council. Additionally, he advises the board of a new B2B ecommerce company, TEXUB. Recently, he received an invitation to be a founding member of a new society established under the supervision of the UAE authorities. Niranjan holds an MBA in Marketing and a degree in Mechanical Engineering. During his school years, he ranked high in state boards and received the Government of India National Merit Scholarship for six consecutive years. With a career spanning over 40 years, he maintains that financial gain is not the ultimate goal in life but a byproduct of one’s hard work.

His work journeys

Niranjan commenced his career in Mumbai and New Delhi, India, where he worked for eight years. He then relocated to Hong Kong, where he served for a brief period before being transferred to Dubai in 1992. Since then, he has been based in Dubai, with intermittent two-year stints in Singapore and Germany.

In his previous roles, Niranjan worked for major multinational corporations such as SKF bearings, HSBC, and Xerox in India, as well as transnational groups, a Chinese government-owned enterprise, and a group listed in Singapore. Niranjan’s most recent post was as CEO of Eros Group in Dubai, where he served for 14 years with the support of the owners, his boss, and his team. Under his leadership, the Group transformed into a billion-dollar enterprise and became one of the most respected distributors and retailers of consumer electronics, appliances, and mobile devices in the GCC region.

“My work has allowed me to travel on a frequent basis to 59 countries covering all continents. My main area of specialization has been the consumer durables industry, mainly electronics, appliances, mobiles and digital convergence products,” he said.

When TheTimesofUAE asked him what he likes about his current job, he said that work is a part of his life, a passion, and a hobby for him as long as the environment is conducive. He has never accepted the concept of retirement. Simply re-directing one’s occupational goals.

“My most gratifying part about my entire work life also has been; taking talent on a regular basis and investing loads of time to ensure that a majority of them move up the ladder as future leaders, leaving a legacy at work which is better than the one I inherited,” Niranjan added.

Before attaining success

Niranjan, like any other accomplished individual, has faced significant obstacles that have helped him become stronger. He hails from a middle-class family with strong principles. Until he began working at 24, his parents and two elder sisters lived a meager, tough existence, struggling to meet even basic necessities.

He credits his parents for teaching him the importance of leading a dignified and respectful life. Growing up, he and his siblings learned the significance of staying grounded and adhering to universally accepted values from observing their parents. At a young age, his family Guru and father encouraged him to read the Holy Quran in English to develop a more comprehensive outlook on life.

The Covid pandemic was a defining moment in his life that profoundly impacted him. The two-year period was a difficult time that affected everything, and he lost many friends, family members, and acquaintances, leaving him with deep scars that persist to this day.

During the peak of the covid pandemic, out of the blue, one day after the 75-day lockdown period in Dubai ended, he was asked to step down from his role of CEO. His company owners, who have always been like family to him, wanted their sons to take over. For Niranjan, all corporate decisions, no matter how painful they are for him, must be respected. Till this day, he enjoys extremely cordial relations with the owners’ entire family and all his ex-bosses and colleagues.

Since the decision was a major setback and turning point in his life, he thought a little, and then took a call and decided to spend the first 18 months working pro bono and assisting the truly unfortunate as a small way to repay this city for what it has given him.

“My wife, children, sisters, in-laws, and several very close friends and work associates have always stood by me as pillars of strength. I owe a lot to each of them.”

His life after work and his ultimate dream

By nature, this man is extremely disciplined. He always ensures that everything is in balance. As much as possible, he does not like to keep anyone waiting, as his belief is that he has no right to steal someone else’s time. Of what use is it to wear the most expensive watch and not be mindful of someone else’s time.

He enjoys traveling with his family to see new places, try new cuisines, and set a weekly walking and stretch exercises goal for himself. His other interests include reading, music, watching movies and cricket. Recently, he has taken up writing on subjects of business, marketing, corporate governance, leadership and mentoring. His articles now get frequently published in Indian and Gulf publications.

Niranjan states that he has never led an extravagant or ostentatious life, and that he never pursued purely material gains. Make no mistake about it. Money is very important to him and his family, but it must be a byproduct of hard work rather than an end game in and of itself.

Actually, his ultimate goal is to stay as close to and happy with his loved ones as possible, and to prioritize family and friends. Finally, he stated that he considers himself fortunate that his family is always by his side to support him. From his side, Niranjan’s life policy has been that he will never give up on any relationships he has built along the way, no matter how difficult or how many misunderstanding may occur. He does realise that a fair amount of reciprocation is a must for good relationships to flourish.

An anchor with NABC TV for almost 10 years. Also co-anchors prime-time market shows like Morning Breakfast, Traders only, Markets Mid-day and NSE Closing Bell.

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