Sun. Jun 4th, 2023

Sunday Observer
Sunday, 01 Jan 2023

Eric Rajapakse

Sunday Observer E-Paper

The owner of the First Count Down to the Middle East Crown Series-Dunstan Paul Rozairo spoke to the Sunday Observer on his rise to success, future plans for his family on his faith and so on.
Based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Rozairo is also the current Director of External Affairs for the Sri Lankan Business Council. He is also the CEO/Chairman of JMG Group of Companies in the UAE and Australia
Following are excerpts of the interview
Q: Tell us something about yourself. (This includes your educational background, present job, job description, when you started working, your very first work, and the highlight of your career.)
A: I am a mechanical engineer by profession; I have been the Managing Director for Sheikh Mohammed Bin Obaid Thani Al Maktoum’s Private Office since 1998. Sheikh Obaid Al Maktoum back then was the UAE Deputy Minister of Defence, and I have managed to complete several multi-million dollar projects for the last 33 years.
I studied at St. Mary’s College, Dehiwala. I completed a Diploma in Engineering at the Department of Education Sri Lanka and an Engineering Technology Diploma at the Polytechnic College of Engineering in Colombo.
I am currently running multiple businesses in various industries. I am the CEO/Chairman of JMG Group of Companies in the UAE and Australia.
In my opinion, a life without risk is a life wasted. For me, risks shaped me and I am at the core of my ventures’ early stages.
It is the single largest contributing factor that separates good from great and has the potential to shorten the journey to generate scale by years.
Given the opportunity to support my fellow Sri Lankans, I formed the First Count Down to the Middle East Crown Series, which provided opportunities for amateur Sri Lankans boxers to turn professional. I am also the Director of External Affairs for the Sri Lankan Business Council.
Through my events company, M/s DJMC – I also supported the Filipino community by bringing into Dubai a few world-renowned Filipino entertainers such as Arnel Pineda Kokoi Baldo, Engkanto, to name a few. I have also signed a partnership with MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) with the Dubai Sports Council.
DJMC Events also worked in partnership with ABS-CBN, the leading global Filipino media and entertainment network, through the Filipino Channel (TFC), and staged international live events with 1MX Dubai.
They are Miss Teen Bayanihan 2018, Limasawa Philippine Cultural Show and the Kabayan Fiestahan 2018, both in support of the Philippine Consulate in Dubai. Bands and singers like Chocolate Factory, Kokoi Baldo, Encanto, Mommoland and many more participated in these events.
Q: What’s life after work? Do you have any activities you’re involved in which are out-of-work that benefit other people?
A: I am a big supporter of Sri Lankan and Filipino communities and provide assistance to them whenever requests are made. There are orphanages in Sri Lanka for which I regularly provide support as well. People would always come to me for assistance, and instead of just giving financial support, I create and provide jobs whenever possible.
The family is the most important part of life after God. I try my best to spend time with family, make sure that I personally pick up and drop my children from school, take them to all their sporting activities and so on.
I love to keep fit, so I spend one and a half to two hours in the gym during the morning before I start my day.
Q: What were your previous jobs?
A: I was working in Kuwait as an Assistant Engineer at M/s Al Homazi Foodstuff Company during the Gulf war. You will not believe that I was there when Iraq invaded Kuwait and witnessed the whole invasion. It happened on August 2, 1989. We continued to stay there until August 28, 1989. When things were getting worse, and as I ran out of food and clean water I decided to drive out of Kuwait with some of my cousins and entered Iraq. The rest is history.
Q: What do you enjoy about your current work?
A: I had always thought of my knowledge as a gift from God. Any technical work that I put my hands on to, I can solve it by God’s grace, this makes me feel like a doctor in the operating theatre. When I was a child I used to take whatever I can find and dismantle them and re-fix them. If something is broken then I will somehow find a way to fix it. That persuaded me to take up to engineering.
I remember my first day on December 10, 1989, when I arrived in Dubai. It was an early morning flight it and it landed in Dubai around 6.20 am and no soon as I arrived I got a call for a job offer as an assistant engineer for the Ministry of Defense and I was told that I had to attend the interview at 10 am.
I passed the interview and was told to come on the 12th for the second interview where I was selected and started to work on December 15, 1989. Everything happened so sudden. After a couple of months I was asked to attend to a technical issue at the palace of Sheikh Mohammed bin Obaid Thani Al Maktoum who’s was at that time the Deputy Minister of Defense.
After attending and solving the problem Sheikh Mohammed bin Obaid Thani Al Maktoum had arranged to transfer me to work directly under him.
Since then I have been involved in several multi-million dollar projects. Later I was made the Managing Director for Sheikh Mohammed bin Obaid Thani Al Maktoum’s private office in 2005 taking care of all real estate properties, engineering and all other matters.
Q: What are the everyday struggles you face in the industry you’re currently working?
A: There are a few areas that as an employer faces. One is managing manpower. I would say that it is the most challenging issue. Secondly, there are tenants living in buildings owned by us where 95 percent are expatriates.
Sometimes they lose their jobs and find it difficult to survive and some of them are with families. I try to assist them as much as possible.
Q: What were the struggles you endured before you reached this level?
A: As an Asian holding a position like what I do, it wasn’t easy. I had to face many issues. My faith is the only thing that helped me. I always ask our Lord Jesus to take control of whatever situation I am in and he has never let me down.
Therefore, I would say that Lord Jesus is the answer to all our success if you let him in with real faith. He will bring the answer to you.
Q: What’s your ultimate dream for your family and yourself? This includes your future plans and so on.
A: Firstly, it is to provide an education for my children. This is the intangible inheritance that no one can ever take it away from them.
I hope that I can impart advice to my children to be compassionate to people and help them whenever they can and make up friends and not enemies where ever they go.
In my retirement I hope to have a beautiful home either in the Philippines or Sri Lanka for my wife and children and to ensure a secure future. Hopefully, this will happen in the next couple of years.
Q: Anything you want to share with us that is not asked in the questions above.
A: I would like to say to business people worldwide that we are all children of God. Therefore, we all have the right to basics that life should offer.
If you have the chance to make a difference to someone else please do it immediately tomorrow may not come. We came into this world without anything and we will also go without anything – except for the good and bad we carry from this earth, therefore, always help the needy.

The Sunday Observer is the oldest and most circulated weekly English-language newspaper in Sri Lanka since 1928.
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