Friday, August 7, 2020

Heart of Gold

Firoz Merchant is the Founder and Chairman of Pure Gold Group, and has a story of a determined entrepreneur who never gave up on his dreams in spite of many hardships since youth. Join BTW as we explore his life and humanitarian initiatives.

Early Days

Firoz Merchant grew up in a family of modest means in India. He was one of nine children in a family of six boys and three girls. His father Gulam Hussain, was a real estate broker and his mother Malekbai was a housewife. The family’s real estate business often did not do well and they led a hand-to- mouth existence.

When Firoz was 11 years old, he discontinued his education to support his father in the day-to- day running of the business. Gradually, learning from his father, he was able to grow the family business.

After his marriage, he decided to visit Dubai for honeymoon with his wife Rozina. In Dubai, he was mesmerized by the Gold Souk and he felt a connection to the country and the gold trade. After he left Dubai, he expressed his desire to his father to move to Dubai and try his hand at the gold business. Though initially hesitant, his father eventually gave him his blessings and thus began the next phase of Mr Merchant’s life.

Setting up Pure Gold Group

Firoz Merchant arrived in Dubai in 1986 without much money in hand but nevertheless, a dream to make it big. Initially, he made his living as a gold broker for a minimal commission.

Slowly, he built up a trusted relationship with gold merchants, and after saving whatever money he could, he opened a bank account which enabled him to take on larger orders.

He took a strong leap of faith when he opened his own jewellery store Pure Gold Jewellers in 1989 in Dubai’s bustling Gold Souq.

Within two decades of establishing Pure Gold Jewellers, Firoz grew it to a multinational jewellery chain that is a benchmark for the jewellery industry in the UAE.

From inception, Firoz believed in giving customer service the top priority, and strived to offer unmatched quality products in latest designs and competitive prices.

Today, Pure Gold Group has blossomed into a large retail business with presence in 11 countries- UAE, Jordan, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, France, India, Sri Lanka and Singapore.

Pure Gold Jewellers currently boasts 125 modern retail outlets making it one of the fastest growing jewellery retail chains in the Middle East and India. The company also operates state-of-the art factories in India and China and provides employment to 3,500 people.

As the Chairman of the Group, Firoz Merchant drives the company’s plans to establish 300 jewellery stores by 2018.

“I believe hard work, ethics and a long-term vision are crucial to an entrepreneur’s success. Even when times were hard, I never gave up. I persevered and today, with Almighty Allah (SWT)’s blessings, we are a major player in the jewellery industry,” he says.

Today, Firoz Merchant is one of the most renowned business leaders in the Middle East and widely recognized for both his corporate and humanitarian initiatives.

The most unique humanitarian initiative he is committed to is ‘Forgotten Society’, which aims to help debt-laden prisoners in UAE jails. Starting in 2011, he has helped repatriate 5,500 insolvent prisoners so far spending USD 3 million (Dirhams 10 Millions) till date.

Under his leadership, Pure Gold Group has also contributed to relief work in many countries affected by natural calamities including India, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Indonesia, Myanmar, Maldives, Germany, and Levant countries. Firoz also worked with authorities in the UAE when amnesty was granted to Indian workers to return home.

He is now pledging an extremely generous BD120,000 to help secure the release of thousands of poor workers languishing behind bars and are unable to afford the payment of minor fines.

His philanthropic actions will provide freedom to thousands of poor workers who languish behind bars. He has pledged an annual sum of BD120,000, to obtain the release of those have minor fines but are unable to afford the payment. The aid will not be provided to anyone whose criminal offence is of a serious nature.

His comments came at a press conference to announce the initiative, “Each month BD10,000 will be allocated towards the purpose of paying of fines and securing the release of the prisoners.  In addition, help may also be provided to financially help the released individuals along with arrangement for air ticket to allow for travel to their respective home country,” Mr Firoz explained.

The philanthropist added that he had a meeting with Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowments Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa to discuss the release of prisoners serving sentences in Bahrain’s jails.

MOST READ

Diyar Al Muharraq Partners with Spectrum Co. W.L.L.

Diyar Al Muharraq, one of the largest real estate developers in Bahrain, announced the signing of a joint agreement with Spectrum Co W.L.L, which...

Voluntary Work Award to be dedicated to Bahraini frontliners

His Highness Shaikh Isa bin Ali Al Khalifa, Chairman of Bahrain Basketball Association and Honorary President of Good Word Society, said that the Voluntary...

Fe AlDarb: Winner of INJAZ Bahrain- High School Best Social Impact Award

INJAZ Bahrain has recently conducted the 12th edition of Young Entrepreneurs Competition that witnessed student entrepreneurs from around the Kingdom competing to obtain the...

Bahrain Summer Festival: Together Virtually

The annual Bahrain Summer Festival is back for its 12th edition and is unlike ever before! Bringing us Together Virtually, this year’s highly-anticipated festival proves...

‘Strongest Man at Home’ reflects HH Khalid bin Hamad’s support to youth, sport

Director of HH Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa Media Office, and President of the Organising Committee of the Strongest Bahraini Man at Home...

HH Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad instructs to organise “Your Talent at Home” competition

HH Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa, First Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Council for Youth and Sport (SCYS) and President of Bahrain Olympic...

Education Minister Praises ‘AGU’ Leading Position

The Arabian Gulf University (AGU) has recently attained new achievements in the field of being granted accreditation from prestigious international institutions, as three of...

Cendrawasih Dance at Bahrain Summer Festival

Named after a rare species of beautiful birds-of-paradise, Cendrawasih, this Balinese dance is a relatively new dance with choreography inspired by classical dance routines....

Gulf Air Welcomes Back Kuwait to its Network

Gulf Air, the national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain, announces that it will resume its direct flights to and from Kuwait. Gulf Air has...

UAE becomes first Arab country to develop nuclear energy plant to generate safe, clean electricity

The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) today announced that its operating and maintenance subsidiary, Nawah Energy Company (Nawah) has successfully started up Unit 1...

King Fahd Causeway to reopen for Bahraini trucks on Sunday

Bahraini trucks and their drivers will be allowed to resume their trips to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia via the King Fahd Causeway today,...

Protect Your Plants to Enjoy the Blossoms by Dhananjay Mahadev Datar

When my father retired from business, he handed over the responsibility of Al Adil Trading Co. and its retail shops across the UAE to...

Netflix is letting people watch things faster or slower with new playback speed controls

Netflix is letting people choose the speed at which they want to watch something on their phone or tablet with new playback controls. Netflix will...

Batelco Changes the Internet Speed Standards in Bahrain

Batelco, Bahrain’s leading digital solutions provider, has announced today that fiber speeds will be boosted by up to 5 times for all fiber internet...

SCW, MOICT partner to lead women-owned enterprises into global markets through Export Bahrain

The Supreme Council for Women (SCW) and the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism (MOICT) have announced their new collaboration through "Export Bahrain" in...