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Mr Asad Khan – an astute businessman without distinction between work and leisure

IIK Staff Reporter; Photo: Anwar Sadath Thalasserry Saturday, April 18, 2015
Mr Asad Khan – an astute businessman without distinction between work and leisure
“A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play; his labor and his leisure; his mind and his body; his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he is doing, and leaves others to determine whether he is working or playing. To himself, he always appears to be doing both.” ? François-René de Chateaubriand

The above statement defines how some are serious in their leisure hobbies as like their work or business. Here is a magnanimous personality and an astute Businessman, who is equally serious in pursuing his vision of excellence through whatever he do, being it his job or his hobby.

Asad Khan hails from a prominent and well known family of Hyderabad. His Great Grand Father was Nawab Naser Nawaz-ud-Douwlah, his mother is Begum Surayya Sultana and his late father Mohamed Abdul Naeem, was a UK qualified Engineer. Mr. Asad Khan’s family was close to the Nizam of Hyderabad. Being brought up in palace surroundings, royal ambiance has naturally made Asad Khan’s personality majestic and regal. This instilled his admiration for the antiques from his childhood.

In 1977, impressed by the charismatic personality of young Asad Khan, Mr. Bader Musaed Al-Sayer, son of Hajji Musaed Al-Sayer, the founder of Al-Sayer Group of Companies, invited him to Kuwait from London to look into the possibility of joining the Al-Sayer Group with a view to further diversify their vast business empire. Asad Khan came to Kuwait in 1977 and joined Al-Sayer Group. In 1982, Al-Sayer Group started Kuwait Swedish Cleaning Services Company (KSCSC) with just 90 staff and tie-up with Sweden's AB Electrolux Company. Under the astute management of Mr. Asad Khan, the company achieved steady growth year after year. Today, Asad Khan, as the General Manager of the company, controls a huge team of staff numbering almost six thousand of different nationalities and diverse background. He is also a partner in G5 General Trading & Contracting Co., an important unit of the holding company.

“Hajji was like a father figure to me. He was my mentor – a true philosopher and guide. Being a worldly wise person, street smart person, he taught me a lot and what I am today, I owe it, to a large extent, to him. His wisdom, his innovative ideas, his noble gestures and his way of thinking were all a great source of inspiration to me. He treated me like his own family,” says Mr Asad Khan.

Asad Khan’s passion for collecting watches has its birth in his childhood days. Asad Khan’s Great Grandfather had a fairly large collection of artifacts, arts and fine watches which upon his death was inherited by his sons and grandsons. He used to see all watches and its complications from early childhood.

"The first watch I procured was a Seiko Chronograph" he says. Now his collection is priceless, which include more than a dozen rare minute repeaters. His unique piece in his collection, a Patek Philippe minute repeater was used by then maharajas and bought in an auction. In his 37 years of watch collection, he never come across such a unique master piece time machine, he vouches.

"Watch collection is an ocean. I am only a pie of sand from that ocean", the otherwise soft spoken Mr Asad Khan become emotional when talking about the time machines.

Asad Khan hails from a prominent and well known family of Hyderabad. His Great Grand Father was Nawab Naser Nawaz-ud-Douwlah, his mother is, Begum Surriya Sultana and his father Mohamed Abdul Naeem. Mr. Asad Khan's family was close to the Nizam of Hyderabad. This opened him the door to the world of antiques during his childhood. He used to listen to all watches, its complications, and follow the catalogues from early childhood.

The first watch he procured was a Seiko Chronograph. Now his collection is priceless, which include more than a dozen rare minute repeaters. His unique piece in his collection, a Patek Philippe minute repeater was used by then maharajas and bought in an auction. In his 37 years of watch collection, he never come across such a unique master piece time machine, he vouches.

Asad Khan came to Kuwait in 1977 to join Al-Sayer Group. Mr. Asad Khan worked in various divisions of Al-Sayers Group and gained rich administrative and business experience. In 1982, Al-Sayer Group started Kuwait Swedish Cleaning Services Company (KSCSC) with just 90 staff and tie-up with Sweden's AB Electrolux Company. Under the astute management of Mr. Asad Khan, the company achieved steady growth year after year. Today, Mr. Asad Khan, as the General Manager of the company, controls a multi-national group of staff of five thousand.

Asad Khan's passion for collecting watches had its birth in his childhood days. According to him, a watch is unique as how complicate its design and mechanics is. Some of them are limited edition or manufactured exclusively for a single celebrity. Mr Khan has large number of such collections. One of his collections is a hand crafted gold- plated Double Hunter pocket watch with minute repeater. The precision in making the liver sound is unbeatable. Minute repeaters are the one which makes sound in pre set minutes.

The beauty of a watch collector is that all his collections are in full working condition regardless how old it is. One of his collection, a limited edition, a hand crafted Corum watch took more than 2 years to manufacture. This costs more than 250000 US$ in international market. The difference in time will not be in 100th of a second in this Corum Tovubillion.

His one button chronograph from Montblanc is a limited edition where the company made only 58 pieces. The beauty of his collection is that he owns the 23rd watch produced by the company in this series. This Montblanc Collection Villeret is an exclusive innovation that differs in many respects from anything that modern watch has created until today.

Asad Khan’s Great-grandfather had a fairly large collection of artifacts, arts and fine watches. This inherited the desire in him, which resulted in collection of anything Ivory other than the time machines.

His Girard-Perregaux is a unique piece with four complications along with a taco meter. Mr Khan's Zenith Open heart model watch is unique as such we can see the 'heart' of the watch through the dial pad. His collection is not only limited to gents watch. The beauty of his Ebel watch is that it is one of the smallest watches in his collection.

Jaegar, Gubelin, Piaget, his collection of watches are endless as well as priceless. But his regular use is an old model of Omega speed master. However his favorite of his collection is a 1946 model Rolex.

The quality and precision in these time machines also influenced his business life as such the motto of his company is that on time and without compromising quality.

Aside from watch collection, Asad Khan is also a sport enthusiast especially of football and cricket. He is an honorary adviser to the Thai Football Association, has connections in FIFA. Under his patronage, he has formed a Cricket team for KSCSC.

Further, as befitting his Nawabi aristocratic lineage, he has added kindness and compassion to his virtues and always lends a helping hand to people in distress – the hand of a Royal Gentleman and as the saying goes “a friend in need is a friend indeed”, Asad Khan being a true friend in need, who is admired and respected in society and held in high esteem by his staff and amongst the Indian community in Kuwait.



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