Jobs and Career

Sudhir employs over 6,000 workers

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Sudhir at his work place. File Photo 

By Edgar R. Batte

Posted  Friday, December 14   2012 at  02:00

In Summary

Icon. Sudhir Ruparelia is a big name in Uganda. A business leader of repute, the magnate employs 6,000 people and more in his many companies under the Ruparelia Group of companies. Recently, Forbes magazine named him Africa’s 18th richest person. Edgar R. Batte sat down with him to ask about his work ethic.

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What do you like most about your job?
I enjoy travelling, walking and trekking, fishing, going to exotic islands and one my favourite places is Seychelles Islands. Plus my job gives me the opportunity to create new projects which are people-related and always have a social impact on society. It gives me the greatest pleasure when I start something from nothing to something and it is successful commercially and otherwise.

What do you find boring?
Weddings and speeches. Weddings are meant to be fun but then some people speak for hours and you sit and listen to one after another.
In ancient times weddings were enjoyed because they were entertaining and the most you would get is a short speech but today the wedding ends up being torturous.

How would you change the industry within which you operate if given a chance?
Uganda has been quite competitive in every aspect of business and the economics itself will create enough competition and it has become a ground for survival for the fittest and anyone who cannot be fit will exit.

What is your philosophy on life?
I believe that if I follow the 10 principles of the 10 commandments and have integrity and honesty in business plus cater for the destitute, orphans and the under-privileged people of society that fulfils my life.

What has been your biggest achievement as an employer?
Being able to create 6,000 jobs and the numbers are continuing to grow.

What’s your typical day like?
My day starts at around six o’clock in the morning and first I go to the gym then I have breakfast. I then catch up with all MDs and managers of all my companies to find out if there is any pressing issues, then I go sight visiting before I go to office where I work up to 8pm.
After that I can go to cocktails or entertain friends of mine and then go home. I sleep at around between 11 and 11:30pm

What makes your day?
When I succeed in my property business or conclude a deal for any of the group companies, it makes my day.

How many hours do you averagely work?
On the average, I work for about a minimum of 12 hours

How many hours do you rest?
I try to rest for five and a half hours

When was the last time you had a hearty laugh and what tickled you?
I always smile but normally I laugh when I am watching comedy movies and also, there is this health club I go to in Bangalore in India where they have yoga and one of the programmes is teaching us how to laugh.

Who is your favourite movie star?
I like Mel Gibson, Sharon Stone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jean Caude Van Damme and my all-time favourite actor is Clint Eastwood.

Which of Eastwood’s movies stand out for you?
I like The Good The Bad and The Ugly and his Spaghetti westerns.

And music, are you a fan?
Yes. I normally listen to soft music, I don’t like the heavy beats.

How do you take off time to relax?
I normally relax over the weekend

What are your other hobbies?
Basically meeting people. I love meeting people and socialising. I like attending fashion shows and enjoy cocktails

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