For many, Golf is just another game. For Anand Narain Kapoor, it is the epitome of precision and skill. On the greens, Anand is not just conscious of his own swing, but is constantly gauging the dynamics of the game as well as the immediate and long-term challenges. Golfing sense, for Anand Kapoor, is synonymous with business sense… a business sense that has catapulted him to the Forbes’ list of Top 100 Indian Leaders in the UAE.
“My birth place is in the heart of Uttar Pradesh – Kanpur – and Jaipuria has had a lasting effect on my life. I have done my schooling from Jaipuria School, Kanpur and after my graduation from Christ Church College in Kanpur, I pursued a post-graduation from Jaipuria Institute of Management, Lucknow. Iwas part of the first batch that graduated from Lucknow in 1995. The college had just been set up, and it was conscious of the factors that constitute good management education and it endeavored to provide the students with a transformational experience. Jaipuria Lucknow gave me the platform to learn the dynamics of the corporate world and empowered me to innovate and establish myself as a successful entrepreneur.”
The 40 year old Indian entrepreneur is currently based out of Dubai. After passing out of Jaipuria Lucknow in 1995, Anand moved to Uganda to work for an East African Bank. After spending time understanding the local business climate, he set up a FOREX bureau in Uganda. In 1999, he purchased a 40 acre site on the banks of Lake Victoria near Entebbe in Uganda and started growing and exporting rose stems. He further consolidated his business by taking over an international school in Uganda. However, the best was yet to come.
His biggest venture to date came with the birth of MiDCOM, the telecommunications arm of the Midland Group. In Africa, he secured the distribution for Nokia in Rwanda and set out to establish a deep distribution network. Alongside growing MiDCOM from 2004, Anand also continued to diversify his business portfolio by foraying into Real Estate. He set up a state-of-the-art commercial complex in Kampala, Uganda, and followed it up with Kololo Greens, some of the most luxurious residential apartments in Uganda. He also initiated a commodity trade division involving sugar, rice, paper and tyres. With a formidable presence in 12 countries, Anand Kapoor’s company is now a prominent player in the Indian, African and Middle Eastern markets. His most recent venture is in the dairy sector, where the group has set up Pearl Dairy Farms. Anand carries his desire to excel over to the golf course as well. He recently lifted the Chairman’s Cup on the 25th anniversary of the Emirates Golf Club in 2013.
“Being a part of the Forbes’ list was certainly on my bucket list; it’s just that I did not expect it to happen so early in life. On the face of it, being listed in Forbes and being awarded amongst the top Indian leaders in the UAE seems like an individual achievement. While it is an incredible feeling and makes me very proud, the fact of the matter is that the credit goes to the entire team whose hard work has enabled my organisation to grow and reach where it is today. In this era of cut-throat competition, focus, competence and passion are the determining factors for success.”
Anand admits that he has been rather bold with some of his business decisions and entered countries where businesses usually fear to operate. But he’s very happy about the fact that he has spent the majority of his professional life making a difference to the African community with his business. He advises the youngsters at Jaipuria that being ‘innovators’ is not enough; a good entrepreneur has to be a ‘dreamer’ and a ‘worker’.
“Don’t be afraid to follow your dreams,” Anand concludes with a knowing smile. “They will take you places.”