A Quarterly Newsletter from the UAE and Oman member firms of the PKF International Ltd.

VOL 15, Issue 04 October 2013

Interview

Mr. Raju T. Jethwani, is the Chairman of Eurostar Group, a well-diversified business conglomerate with interests in Tablets, Digital Satellite Receiving Systems, Consumer Electronics (CE), Multimedia-Pay TV, Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), Trading and Commodities, Logistics, Telecom Projects, Real Estate, Convergent Technologies (B2B), LED Solutions and Solar Energy. The Group has a global network that spans over 50 countries with core interests in Digital Satellite Receiving Systems, CE and other businesses all over the Middle East.

Raju, who has a keen business sense, believes in expansion and diversification and backs it with R&D to help him achieve his vision. After having spent 17 years in Saudi Arabia, he landed in Dubai in 1992 and set-up the satellite business. The business, which was solely into marketing and distribution of a range of satellite products in the 80s, has gradually forayed into the CE and home appliances market and now has around 75 categories on offer.

Q. You are known as “Eurostar” Jethwani in some circles! Any inputs on this self-explanatory nickname?

A. Personally speaking, I wish to have the brand Eurostar at the helm of all affairs and I keep my name after the brand and I am proud that the brand is well-known in the MEA Region. It has taken over 3 decades to build the brand Eurostar and along with my strong team I am able to accomplish many milestones and look forward to this journey of success to continuing.

Q. The Eurostar tablet is called the king of tablets in the market. What innovations have you planned to retain this title?

A. Eurostar is the leader in Thematic Tablets, because we are able to anticipate the customer’s requirements and make the latest technology available to them. Our distribution and reach, combined with the flexibility to react quickly and pro-actively to the market is an inherent strength which leads our constantly evolving strategy.

Q. Innovation and market penetration has been the key to Eurostar’s longevity and success in the dynamic and cut-throat market of consumer electronics. What in your opinion are the principal factors for your Group’s enduring growth in this region?

A. The key factor in Eurostar’s enduring growth over the last three decades is the diversity in the business’ verticals, each of which, in turn, is governed by the organization’s vision. This diversity has enabled us to manage risks and grow across differing market situations. Today the organization has eleven verticals and is constantly exploring new opportunities and business ventures. This variety enables also empowers cross-departmental sharing of strengths.

Q. Nine business divisions and yet your group maintains its brand value. What is the secret behind this?

A. The secret to having 11 businesses verticals, all of which are highly successful lies in having a common vision, whereby the Group’s business leaders lead with an uniform direction. The organization vision enables us to integrate various divisions and even internally harness the strength from one division to another. A strong leadership and constant focus on business excellence is a critical element that I demand from all my business divisions.

Q. What importance has corporate governance been given in your group?

A. Having the right people at the right position is the key factor. At Eurostar we groom our employees and recognize people capabilities to give them the right role. Attracting and retaining the right talent enables the corporate governance, where the business leaders are aligned to a corporate vision and direction.

Q. Given the number of burnt out CEOs lately, do you believe in workaholism or a work-life balance?

A. Over the years I have held multiple positions, from working with a small team, to being a full time chairman for the Eurostar Group. With operations and partners across the world, a lot of my time is spent in travelling and networking. On a social level I am involved with a number of business groups in different capacities but, on a personal front, I make adequate time for my family and make sure that even my staff have an off-work life as well. I have organized multiple wellness programs and motivational speakers in Dubai for the public which reinforces my strong belief on a work – life balance.

Q. Do you have any words of wisdom for the future generations? What can aspiring entrepreneurs in this field hope to achieve in this competitive market?

A. My key message to the new generation is ‘make your job your passion and then you will never feel like you are working’. No matter how qualified a person is, unless they are driven by passion and a genuine interest, they will never be the best and will soon burn out.