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Meet Rajiv Ruparelia, The 25-Year-Old Who Is Running His Father’s Empire in Uganda and Rwanda

Rajiv Ruparelia was born on 2nd January 1990 and is 25 years old. Rajiv is currently running his father’s business empire alongside her sister Sheena Ruparelia. “The perception people have of Rajiv is of a wealthy man’s son. People knew me for partying, drinking, going out, networking and socializing but this has all changed now, I now run my father’s empire,” he said.

Work

Rajiv wakes up at 7am and works till 11pm or sometimes beyond. He has never left office before 10pm. He wants to make his father’s empire grow bigger and bigger.

About Ugandans

I love Ugandan people because I enjoy the freedom and the opportunities here.

Rajiv

Rajiv What he hates

Rajiv hates laziness; not all Ugandans are lazy but I hate laziness of some people. Also I hate it that when people don’t know something and they don’t ask. When you don’t ask, you never learn.

His love life

Rajiv has a girl friend and she is in the UK. “It’s a long distance relationship, difficult but we manage somehow. She’s understanding and gets it that I don’t sit around doing nothing”,.

What he loves about a woman

If a lady is intelligent, inspirational, loving, caring, and understanding not nagging all the time then he loves that. “A woman who gives you space to live your life”

Being Sudhir Ruparelia’s son

He says being Sudhir’s son has a lot of pressure but its inspiring and motivating. He adds, it is quite pleasant to have a father that you work with and listens to you and lets you make the day to day decisions as opposed to always having to go and conflict with your father because he is your father in business and believes that because he is your father he is always correct,”. One thing he loves about his father is, he always takes the best decision for the company. He will never take it for himself and he will never take it for selfish reasons. He will look at how the company benefits, how does the company benefit and how do people benefit.

Sudhir with his son Rajiv

Sudhir with his son Rajiv

Father’s advise to him

To work hard and it paid off.

What makes Rajiv happy?

He says seeing people around me succeed makes him so happy [adrotate banner=”3″] Future expectations

He wants to be the same Rajiv with greater knowledge, more understanding, bigger decision making, and fast action.

Role model

His dad, Sudhir Ruparelia.

Rajiv’s advise to people

Be honest to yourself, as long as you are honest and work hard people will trust and give you opportunities.

Past work experience

Rajiv did a few internships in the UK to build his CV; He also worked for a charity shop in the UK and extended some help but has not done any work at a professional level apart from running his father’s empire. “Besides working for the Ruparelia Group, I have never had a full on experience with a professional job. I have always aspired to start a business for myself,”

Education

Rajiv says he was a very naughty kid. He didn’t believe in education when he was much younger. “I found it very theoretical than practical but as I grew older all that changed and I started seeing the importance of theory as opposed to just being practical. I also learnt that in order to succeed, the day you stop learning is the day you become stupid”

How he earns

I manage the Ruparelia Group’s property investments in Uganda and Rwanda. “I also help in the day to day running and ensuring that the macro point of the businesses is looked after. I set targets and budgets,”. He is also involved in running of the hotels, education sector, flower business and Meera Investments among others.

Why he works

The reality is I don’t need to work. I don’t need to do anything, I can easily get a trust, and I can easily get money from my father and live a good life. I work for other people actually. I work because I know I’m creating jobs for other people. I put my money in investments where I can see people coming out of poverty, Uganda developing, that’s why I work. And as a good businessman, I work to make sure my company is profitable. I also work to see other people around succeed

What he has learnt from his father

Being good to people and people being good back to you. I also learnt to respect other people. People drive this world.

Rajiv in his car with his dog

Rajiv in his car with his dog

How does it feel to be a young Asian-Ugandan with such a background and family like yours?

I don’t look at myself as an Indian, I see myself as a Ugandan. I don’t believe that the color of your skin defines who you are or where you are from. I think that is a narrow minded thought process. Frankly, I think people who say that jobs are being taken by expatiates should do something about it, they should train themselves better, and they should get the ability to compete with those expats. The problem is not that people prefer to employ experts in Uganda; we don’t have the technicality skills and productivity here to be honest.

Who is to blame?

I would not blame anyone per say; I would blame it on the individuals. If you want to do something, don’t sit around and talk about it, go and do it! You can talk and talk as much as you want, until you are doing it, you don’t know anything. You will only find a problem with the ground when you are doing things.

How do you spend your free time?

In my office working.

Future aspirations and plan?

As long as I work hard, come up with new ideas, come up with investments, invest in new sectors, ensure that my management is stable and strong, I just see myself working in the next 50 years and my work will justify where I be.

His challenges

I don’t face many challenges. I have been to places; I meet people who manage huge funds, CEOs etc. If you ask me in general what the challenges youths find I will say that youths fearing to put themselves out there and fail is the real challenge. My advice is don’t be scared to fail, failure is just part of every success story. As long as you learn from that mistake, and by God’s will, make it a ritual not to repeat that mistake again.

Advise to young business people

I believe that youths want everything too easily. When they watch MTV and see all these rappers getting rich from music they think the rapper got it easy. They don’t know how much hard work the rapper put in. A rapper could have spent 15 hours every day in studio trying to come up with an album, or a song. His passion is his music and from his passion he generates his income. Youths should learn to work passionately.

Any last words

I want Ugandans never to judge a book by its cover.

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