In conversation with Mr. Rizwan Sajan – Chairman of Danube Building Material.

“Follow your dreams, but to ensure that you realise your dreams, keep working towards it. Nothing can stop you from achieving your goals if you have a focused attitude and a robust determination to make your mark.” Says Rizwan Sajan 

The Young Vision, in conversation with Rizwan Sajan, Chairman of Danube Building Materials, defining success.  During the conversations he revealed that a good leader leads by practice rather than preaching and at Danube ‘we create values that are driven by a culture.’

The definition of success is different for everyone, how do you define your success journey so far?
Success to me is an on-going journey. Hence, there is no definition per se. However, I would say that hard

work and determination are the two most important factors in the pursuit of a successful journey. I firmly believe that one gets better by doing, trying, and learning. I have capitalised on my mistakes and confronted deficiencies because they give you a chance to learn more. Responsiveness is another key to success. Nothing will advance your business faster than this.

Who has inspired you in your life and how?
H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is a constant source of influence, and I have been able to draw inspiration from his ways of working. His extraordinary vision spawned the construction of several iconic landmarks, among the most noted Burj Khalifa.

Apart from his brilliant leadership skills and acute business mind, I look up to him for his extreme generosity. Whatever difficulties the UAE has encountered, nothing has swayed him from the continued pursuit of his dream, not even a global crisis. It was this inspiration that kept me going even when the construction sector was not doing very well, and emerge as a leader in my industry.

What are some of the most significant shifts that you have witnessed in the industry until now?
The construction and interior design industry is always evolving, hence there is nothing constant. However, one of the most remarkable shifts witnessed by the industry is the capacity to adapt to change. When there was a lowdown across the globe, the focus changed from massive structures to basic projects. Similarly with the crisis taking a back seat, the increase in world-class development projects has triggered developers and interior designers to experience an upswing.

What do you think are the two biggest challenges of the Interior Designing Industry?
Design is perceived as a luxury, and luxuries are not at the top of many consumers’ priority list for spending. This is one reason why many customers prefer simple homes with basic necessities rather than well-planned structures.

Also, the world is moving towards sustainability and interiors is one function where people expect the best use of sustainable products. Though the industry is fast-evolving, the use of such products is limited only to the affluent areas. This poses as another challenge for the industry.

What are the most important values and ethics you demonstrate as a Leader?
I firmly believe that a good leader leads by practice rather than preaching. Hence, at Danube we create values that are driven by a culture. From top executives to the staff at the mailroom, we live and breathe the principles of honesty and integrity every day.

We communicate clearly to our staff about the things expected out of them, be it simple promises to keep, personal accountability, or respecting others in the workforce. Every leader in the company knows this, so they work by these rules. And as a result, everyone else follows.

All leaders have to deal with conflict situations. Describe a recent disagreement or conflict you personally had to handle.
At Danube we work on a transparent module where even the finest of details are shared with everyone concerned. However, like every organisation there are times when disagreements or disdains might occur. But as I mentioned, we work with a value-driven culture, my staff sorts out such differences at their own level, just as I do for my tasks.

How do you maintain the balance between affordable and sustaining a successful business model?you personally had to handle.
At Danube we work on a transparent module where even the finest of details are shared with everyone concerned. However, like every organisation there are times when disagreements or disdains might occur. But as I mentioned, we work with a value-driven culture, my staff sorts out such differences at their own level, just as I do for my tasks.

At Danube we adopt a continuous business model innovation programme to maintain a balance between an affordable and successful business model. This helps us achieve something new on a periodic basis at low variable costs enabling us to reach customers worldwide.

Where is the Interior Designing Industry in UAE heading to?
Given the recent success of Dubai winning the Expo 2020 bid, the construction industry is set to boom and with it, the interior design business will be called upon to unleash new creativity and originality. Also, with the vast number of projects been announced, the interior design industry in the UAE is well on its way to creating international standards in quality, innovation and technicality.

Lastly, we thank you for your valuable time. What is your message for “The Young Vision” readers who are University and High School Students?
Follow your dreams, but to ensure that you realise your dreams, keep working towards it. Nothing can stop you from achieving your goals if you have a focused attitude and a robust determination to make your mark.