Indians are leading some of the top companies in the Gulf and making billions. A recent acknowledgement of this comes with the honouring of 100 Indian origin businessmen in the region, however that does not portray the complete story of Indians in the Gulf region.
The Forbes Middle East magazine has honoured over 100 Indian businessmen and executives based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for their successful ventures in the Arab world.
Titled Top 100 Indian leaders in the Arab world, the list consists of the heads of the region’s top companies, as well as the most influential of experts, Forbes said in a statement.
The collective net worth of these businessmen is USD 26.4 billion, and they are all billionaires of Indian origin based in the Gulf. The top three individuals, who are self-made billionaires in the UAE, have a combined net worth of more than USD 12 billion.
At the top of the chain is retail magnate Yusuff Ali M A, managing director of LuLu Group International. The Indian tycoon is the third-richest self-made billionaire in UAE with a net worth of USD 5 billion, Gulf News reported.
Businessmen B R Shetty, another Indian origin, UAE resident, holds a net fortune of USD 3.6 billion, followed by Ravi Pillai, who has a net worth of USD 3.5 billion.
Earlier limited to operations in the UAE, these moguls are now expanding their footprint in the Arab region as well as India.
Ambassador of India to the UAE Navdeep Singh Suri said, the Indian community across the UAE holds key positions in all the different aspects of life. “The work Indian leaders are doing in the region displays the finest aspects of India and we are privileged to have these leaders being ambassadors to the UAE and bridging the gap between the two countries,” he said.
Suri elaborated that the Indian businessmen have not only shined with their business successes, but that they also have been a contributing factor in India’s success in various sectors, including healthcare, retail, construction, hospitality and manufacturing. This has subsequently helped in the creation of jobs and better infrastructure in India.
The Indian community is the most populous expat community in the Gulf. Many are long time residents of the region, having come to the Gulf much before the advent of oil that prospered the local economies, the statement said.
The significant others
Indian workers in the Gulf frequently make the news – while this time around the headlines are singing praises of the affluent, there have been reports of suspicious deaths, monetary frauds, and confiscation of passports, which the labourers face in the Gulf.
The UAE has the largest number of Indian migrants in the world, who number 3.31 million. Official data also shows that there are more than six million Indian migrants in the six Gulf states of Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman.
Unfortunately, there have also been reports, between 2005 and 2015, stating the demise of more than 30,000 Indians in the Gulf states, questioning the value of Indian lives in the Gulf.