Mr. Asgar Patel

COURTESY Jenilyn Calatero
RELATIONSHIP: My Employer/Boss

Born in India on 28th February 1939, Mr Asgar Patel was a dreamer. Having already founded Patel Roadways, Wall Street Finance Ltd. and Natasha Constructions in India, he yearned to go International.
On the recommendation of Mr Hyder Habib (Habib Bank AG Zurich), he came to Dubai in 1976. Starting in a 1-BHK in Gold Souk, he began trading in construction material.
In 1982, Patel and the esteemed Mr Sultan Bin Sulayem and Mr Mohammed Al Lauz founded Wall Street Exchange Centre. This company, headquartered in UAE, grew to 30 branches employing over 600 people locally and expanded internationally into the UK, USA, Hong Kong and Canada.
In 2005, Emirates Post purchased a majority stake in the company, and Patel continued as Vice-Chairman till 2012, when Emirates Post, under His Excellency Mr Obaid AlTayer, Honourable Minister of Finance, bought out the company entirely.
Patel kept his focus on Dubai Real Estate, with Mr Hamza Aljawi and Yana Jamieson as Managing Partners, making significant investments in upcoming projects contributing to the real estate boom from 2003 onwards.
Various local publications have recognized Patel’s contribution to the UAE economy.
Today, he continues to be a contributing member in Dubai, active in the Indian community and Golf circles. He spends his time managing his portfolio of investments and mentoring new arrivals in the country that he loves and has, in return, given so much to him.
Truck driver to a worldwide business owner, Dubai, with its visionary leadership, has been pivotal in Patel’s success.

His success story is representative of his passion and grit. The way he re-build his empire in Dubai proves that he is a dreamer, creator, go-getter, leader and perfectionist. Mr Patel is known as a Mentor rather than a Boss as he nurtures employees, many of whom run their independent businesses today. My biggest takeaway from him and his journey is his open-mindedness towards learning and people. There is no shortcut to success- as Robert F. Kennedy famously said, “only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly”.

As Mr. Patel’s Executive Assistant, I have had the opportunity to work closely with him over the past 7 years and our interactions have contributed a great deal to both my professional and personal growth.As my mentor, Mr. Patel has always encouraged me to think beyond ordinary conventions and valued and rewarded my unique expertise. Over time, I have been exposed to many of his ideologies, thoughts and practices - some of which have stuck with me. Disciplined, visionary, risk-taking, passionate, empathetic and communicative, to list a few of his characteristic/traits. A philosophy he lives by is,“if you can dream it, you can achieve it”.For him, no dream is too big or small, too absurd or not. Another I see abundant value in, is his belief in the power of the teamwork. He often says "We over you or me". Working in teams and running branches across the globe, clear communication became of paramount importance. He urged his staff to think, reason, contemplate and own their decision and opinion. While talking to his management, Mr. Patel would laugh and say, "if you and I always agree, then one of us is unnecessary”. As his Executive Assistant, his advice to me is often, “delegate but don't abdicate”. Oftentimes, there are a more capable resources to execute certain jobs, but as Mr. Patels’ main point of contact, my job is to take onus and follow-up on the result without leaving it undone.

Contribute to this journey.

Share stories about the early dreamers of our nation within your family.