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Name: Surender Singh Kandhari
Organization: Al Dobowi Group
Established in: 1976
Industry / Sector: Management Services
To be the leader in the Tyres, Batteries and Retreading business in the Mideast and Africa, one should be specialized in the automotive field through services. Born in 1948 in India, Surender Singh Kandhari is the Chairman of Al Dobowi Group, started his journey from Dubai to grow his family business and in 1976; he established this massive organization. Kandhari was educated and graduated with honors from Loyola College Madras, where he was the Students Union President. The initial days to establish a base in the lucrative Middle East market went in trying to establish Kandhari himself like setting up things. Though getting a trade license was not difficult in the big supermarket, where everyone from the Middle East was buying but kandhari had a strange experience in choosing the name of the company. Finally, the name AL DOBOWI- The man from Dubai in Arabic was given by the officer of the Dubai Municipality.
Today, the Al Dobowi Group is the leading management services provider in the UAE and has grown to have over 2000 employees and have a significant presence in Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Ghana, Europe and Canada.
Al Dobowi’s Value-Added Products and Services
Al Dobowi Group is the largest tyre distribution companies in the world and has branched out into batteries, lubricants, conveyor belt systems and technical rubber products. It is committed to excellence in quality, reliability, on-time delivery and continuous improvement. They want to make sure that their experience is flawless every time when a customer interacts with the group. Even while interacting with their website, customer service people, sales personnel, finance people, etc. They want their service to be predictable and consistent. Since the group’s inception, on-time delivery has been a core element for Al Dobowi value proposition. They also empathize with their customers’ needs to keep their products ahead of the competition.
Over a long time, the group has learned how to develop a world-class supply chain to ensure how to respond to their customers’ needs in the timeframe. Whether the group manufactures it by them or they distribute the product from their partners, Al Dobowi always stands behind their customer and waiting for the customer’s regards to any concern on quality. Al Dobowi recognizes that their value of excellence will only be realized if they continually raise their own bars. For this reason, Al Dobowi’s Executive Management Team leads the company with a continuous improvement program known as Quality Leadership. The emphasis of this is to use data, to drive improvements in the business processes, service & support and manufacturing sectors.
Successive Holistic Way of Approach
The knowledge and clear understanding of tyres by V. Narayanan and RNR Gandhi was admired by Kandhari. Narayanan is the Managing Director of Goodyear, India who introduced Kandhari to the business in a very holistic way by offering him a book named “How to Win Friends and Influence People” written by Dale Carnegie. He also taught the leader to look at the good virtues of people by informing Kandhari to appreciate their good work and learn from people’s good deeds. Kandhari says “Even Narayanan personally never criticized anybody and his knowledge about the industry was amazing. During his time in the seventies when there was an acute shortage of tyres in India, his head was always held very high and looked after his colleagues, dealers and the consumers. He always had a soft heart for people and this won him a lot of friends and admirers like me.”
RNR Gandhi, President of CEAT Tyres India is the mentor of Kandhari, who was very close to the leader’s father and his father always took advice from Gandhi in business matters as well as social and personal issues.
Inspiration to Overcome the Fear of Failure
One must build up the confidence to overcome the fear of failure and hold to achieve much more. During Kandhari’s lifetime in Dubai, he had been completely supported by his family. Kandhari also mentioned “People say that behind every successful man is a woman – telling him he is wrong! In my case, this is only partially true. Standing shoulder to shoulder with me is definitely a strong woman, my wife Bubbles Kandhari, but she is not telling me that I am wrong. Instead, she is strong enough to be my rock and gentle enough to be the wind beneath my wings.”
Awards and Achievements
As a vivid golfer, Kandhari is the Club Captain of the Emirates Golf Club and also a founding member of the World Trade Centre Club. He is the Chairman of the Guru Nanak Darbar, Sikh Temple, Dubai – the First Sikh Gurudwara in the UAE – the will of his grandfather, Atma Singh. He has also attended the G20 Interfaith Summit held in the Gold Coast Australia in 2014 and Malaysia in 2015 as a delegate of the UAE Government to promote Interfaith Harmony & Tolerance. On 30th October 2017, Kandhari attended the 2nd Athens International Conference on Religious and Cultural Pluralism and Peaceful Coexistence as a delegate of the UAE Government.
Kandhari was awarded as “Jewels of Punjab” in 2017 by Former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. On13th April 2017, Guru Nanak Darbar Gurudwara holds the proud Guinness World Record title holder of ‘Most Nationalities Having a Continental Breakfast’ and on March 18th, 2018 declared the official Guinness World Records title holder of ‘Largest Distribution of Saplings’.
Leading With the Professional and Social Ideas
In an economy characterized by the convergence of globalized commerce with widely available information and rapid technological progress, innovation and entrepreneurship are the crucial factors in sustaining and growing as a successful leader. While sharing about the future plans, Kandhari states “Professionally, my goal is to become a Billion Dollar Group; Socially, my goal is to do Sewa to the underprivileged by the way of education and serving the community at large.”
Content Reference: Insights Sucess website