As a Businessman
The Launch of Patel Roadways:
The fascinating and awe-inspiring story of “House of Patels” began in the year 1959 when Asgar Shakoor Patel returned from the United Kingdom to India, all geared with a vision of his own. He didn’t want to fill his father’s shoes in running the cap business and instead embarked on a long journey, creating multicrore conglomerates on the way, with a well deserved reputation for strong business values, quality services and unflagging corporate excellence.
When I was working in the car company, I met a financier. He suggested that I buy a truck and go into business. So I borrowed money at an interest rate of 28%, bought a truck and started driving. Having nothing to carry, I approached Glaxo, the pharmaceutical company which was headed by a Scotsman. My marketing skills must have helped, because he was convinced and handed me his consignment. I transported his consignment and delivered it all in record time. As his confidence in me grew, the number of consignments increased and soon I was a contractor. This was the beginning of a legend - ‘Patel Roadways Limited’ (PRL) and soon I was labeled as “one man, one truck, one vision”. My vision was to create a brand that would create an emotional sentiment amongst people. Soon PRL grew to have 800 branches all over India. Along the route, we had also diversified into glass, fish processing and exports.
Creating One Brand that became a generic name in every Indian household was not enough and I was soon setting my sights beyond the boundaries of India. Infact, on a flight to the US, I met a businessman from Dubai who suggested I do business in Dubai. I noticed many labourers queuing up outside the Indian banks, waiting to send money home. I though that since I was already transporting goods, there must be a way to transport money too. So, I went back to India, got the necessary permissions and started Wall Street Exchange Centre (WSEC) in Dubai. It started off as a small two bench corner shop in Naif Road, but eventually grew to nine branches in the UAE. India at that time was in urgent need of foreign exchange and the Gulf region was growing rapidly. We hired the best managers, bought the latest technology and soon Wall Street expanded exponentially into an international organisation with a network of branches in UK, USA, Hong Kong, Canada and till date, remains one of the most leading, trusted and profitable companies in the foreign currency business.
Building on the trust of its 1000 customers & associates, Mr. Patel went for growth oriented diversification into courier & cargo consolidation business, construction, finance, foreign exchange and money remittance business.