M V Kunhu Mohamed, Jaleel Holdings: Story of a driver who became UAE billionaire

Dubai: M V Kunhu Mohamed came to the UAE way back in the 1960s as a driver. Now, 73, Kunhu Mohamed is a billionaire businessman and his tale is a true real rags to riches story.

Once a driver, now a billionaire in UAE

He recalled, “I came to the UAE in a boat way back in 1969. I worked as a driver in the Ras Al Khaimah Sheikh’s palace. The Sheikh had a beautiful garden where fresh vegetables and fruits would be grown. The produce from the garden was absolutely fresh. The garden was so big and the produce [was] a lot.”

“So I started taking some extra produce into the market. Soon the demand grew and I got a driver to come pick up the produce from me and sell it in the market. Soon the business started growing. I got a lot of help – from a monetary perspective – from the Sheikh’s family. They gave me money to expand my little business that I was involved in,” he said.

That was the beginning, the business man claimed, saying: “Soon my sales began to grow multifold.”

M V Kunhu Mohamed with his three sons

The company began as a wholesale fruit store in Deira, Dubai. Over the years they expanded their business diversifying into various other sectors. The company streamlined its operations bringing all businesses under the umbrella of Jaleel Holdings in 2008.

Having a dream

“A dream becomes a reality with sweat, determination and hard work. Today Jaleel Holdings has earned a reputation of trust. Our products and services are delivered in the quickest possible manner, at competitive prices, keeping intact the quality of all products. This is only possible when you have the support of your market and backing of your team and staff. All this happens after years of hard-work.”

“I had a dream and that has borne fruit today. I feel blessed. The organization has stayed true not only to these values but also ensuring the delivery of the finest quality services and products across sectors and I will not have it any other way.”

Reminiscing the past

“Before I came to the UAE I lived and worked in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. But the political scenario was not conducive for business people. So I left the city to come work in the UAE. I arrived in a boat just like many others did during my time. There was sand, sand and only sand. My first job was that of a driver. I worked for the royal family. It was perhaps one of the best days of my life.”

M. V. Kunhu Mohammed recalled how he received immense support from the royal family when he wanted to start his food distribution business