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“Look positive towards your life and the success will follow you” - Mr Sahni

Deepika Nambiar; Photo: Anwar Sadath Thalasserry Tuesday, April 5, 2016
“Look positive towards your life and the success will follow you” - Mr Sahni

"Every one of us has a goal. It’s the one who identifies his goal reaches there. When we fully pursue our goal with true values, great things can be achieved," says Mr Jagdeep Sahani, Managing Director of Al Othman and Al Bisher Trading Co.

What he says is absolutely true - and he has actually proved it by catapulting Al Othman and Al Bisher Trading Co (OBTC) from a fledgling local store to the sole importer and distributor of over 60 powerful international brands spread across its various divisions, employing over 180 staff. Today he is listed as one of the top Indian leaders in the Forbes list of Top Indian Leaders (Owners) in Arab World 2015.

After a span of more than 16 years in Sales and Marketing in India, Mr Jagdeep Sahani was forced to come to Kuwait to support his family. He had worked in various companies in Kuwait including Kuwait Airways and National Bank in various departments. Never satisfied with the monotones office jobs, he identified his forte is in sales and marketing. He loves to talk to people. He loves to sell ideas and products.

Mr Sahni came to Kuwait in the year 1973. Various jobs he worked never satisfied him as his urge was to work for himself and not for someone else. Soon he realized that a 9 to 5 job is not his piece of cake. He wanted to do business and did some research till he realized that food is a great business to start in Kuwait. While working for an Automobile Company he started part time business selling Candy and Indian food products.

“Look positive towards your life and the success will follow you”, says Mr Sahni, who at that time took the courage to borrow money from friends to buy a brand new car for selling food items when he did not have enough money to pay for his room rent!

With his skill in sales and marketing, many companies offered him sales job. Little realizing that the companies are using his skill for them, he started thinking of using those inborn skills for his own benefit. One day 2 Kuwaitis overheard his conversation with a grocery shop and got impressed in his marketing skills and invited him to their office. The company was selling products and they wanted someone to run the business. This was a turning point in his life and a new era started on 1st September 1976. “After that there was no looking back", says Sahni. There the OBTC was formed, which is now run by Mr. Jagdeep Sahani, Managing Director, Mr Faisal Ali Al-Bahar, Director and Mr Othman Al-Bisher, Director.

Mr Jagdeep Sahani was the first person to start the business of Frozen food in Kuwait. Various construction contracts at that time helped him to grow his business. Catering contract for the construction of Kuwait Tower, contract of Kuwait Shipbuilding Yard Company to cater food to 1000's of employees who were working there, Distribution of cheese for School Meals etc was a big boost for Mr Sahni. "All these contracts I bagged with my confidence. We were not having any finance to take care of such big contracts. But the strong believe that 'I wanted to do it' helped me to achieve this," says Mr Sahni. "I believed in my staff", he said. Within a short span of time, he was honored as the Largest Importer of German Processed cheese in Kuwait.

The hardship came in the form of Iraq invasion. After the invasion, he called all his Indian staff to his home in Delhi. The staff encouraged him to come back to Kuwait and restart the business. "All my staff was with me for around 4 months without any salary. They all lived with me at my house in Salwa. We cooked food, morning went to office, to build up the lost business", Mr Sahni said.

After the invasion, the company decided to diversify their business. Today their Household division includes more than 53 International Brands under its belt, includes renowned marquees such as ovenware from Marinex and Corelle dinnerware sets from the United States. The division also represents RCR Crystal from Italy, Queen Anne silverware from the United Kingdom, Bormioli Rocco glassware from Italy and Lock & Lock from Korea. The Germany vacuum flask manufacturer ‘Emsa’, and the Australian serving ware designer Symphony, as well as a host of other leading kitchenware brands from around the world are also represented by OBTC. They also have few Indian brands including Vijay Steels, etc.

Mr Sahni also diversified his business into Disposables and Cleaners division comprising of 10 brands that are household names in Kuwait, include the US-based disposables brand Classic, the Swedish paper napkin manufacturer Duni and Lotus paper products from France.

The companies major division, which is food, with 12 international brands, includes consumer favorite names such as Barilla, the world’s No. 1 pasta brand from Italy and Parle, the Indian brand recognized as makers of the world’s largest selling biscuits — Parle-G. The internationally renowned Danish cookie brand Royal Dansk and MDH Masalas is also in the portfolio of this division of OBTC.

"Selling is my passion. That took me here today. It’s not the money which makes us happy, it’s the passion", says Mr Sahni, a true Punjabi who settled in Mumbai. This passion made him to reach in the list of Forbes Top Indian Leaders in Arab World 2015 Owners list. Mr Jagdeep Sahani is the third Indian businessman from Kuwait on the Forbes list at 66th rank. His son Mr Jatin Sahni is the General Manager of Al Othman Al Basher Trading Company in Kuwait. Only daughter is settled in Dubai.

Mr Sahni also opened his business in India for importing international brands.

With its commitment to selling only branded and internationally renowned products to all segments of the market, OBTC considers its brands to be its pride, quality to be its trademark and customer service a passion. "Success of my career is the success of my products” says Mr Jagdeep Sahani. You should have the attitude and aptitude for success in life. You make money only in opportunities and the opportunities are abundant. It’s how to identify the opportunity, that is more important, Mr Sahni concluded.

Deepika
Deepika Nambiar is a Freelance writer. Currently working for Lemonade International as Administrative Manager. She is part of the IIK Team and IWIK Core Team.Does regular contributions to the news portal IndiansinKuwait.com and also for Timesofindia.com.
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Shahid Khan
Thursday, April 7, 2016
Wonderful article.
As Mr.Sahni truly said It is only positive attitude which makes person successful but sorry to say that it is never taught in school, college or university. It is we who has to develop with in our self. I admire Mr. Sahni for his great article and wish him great success and Good Health. Difference between light and laser: Laser is focused and that's why laser cuts. So we need to be positive and focused then see the success follows as Success is a process , it never happens overnight.

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