Rajiv Ruparelia is the 25-year- old son to tycoon Sudhir Ruparelia whom many believe is his right hand man in business. However not much is known about the young flamboyant businessman and manager because of the limited time he spends on the public domain and also partly because he is a busy man who spends most of his time running his father’s multi-billion projects alongside his sister Sheena Ruparelia in Uganda and Rwanda.
In the social circles, he has been seen attending some concerts in town like Bebe Cool’s Friend’s Of Bebe Cool concert at Kampala Serena Hotel and because of that, some sections of the media and tabloids labelled him a socialite. However he says he is a different man.
“The perception people have of Rajiv is of a wealthy man’s son. People knew me for partying, drinking, going out, networking and socializing but this has all changed now, I now run my father’s empire,” he said in an interview.
He spends most of his time at work where he works till 11pm and confessed to having not left office before 10pm and has been long enough in Uganda to tell some good and bad things about the country. He says he likes the freedom and opportunities as well as the warmth of the people though he despises laziness seen in some Ugandans.
Rajiv also agrees that sometimes, being a son to a rich man comes with a lot of pressure and expectations. So how does it feel like being the son of Sudhir Ruparelia to him?
“It’s a lot of pressure, inspiring, motivating, but all in all, it is quite pleasant to have a father that you work with and listens to you and lets you make the day to day decisions as opposed to always having to go and conflict with your father because he is your father in business and believes that because he is your father he is always correct.”
He understands his father’s ways and principles of loyalty, hard work and dedication that is what has made him who he is today no wonder his father is his main inspiration.
His ideal woman must be intelligent, inspirational, loving, caring, and understanding not nagging all the time. “A woman who gives you space to live your life”. He adds
Seeing people succeed in life makes him happy and he aspires to be the same Rajiv with greater knowledge, more understanding, bigger decision making, and fast action in the next 10 or so years.
Asked whether he has ever looked for a job or been interviewed for a job before;
“Yes, I have done a few internships in the UK to build my CV; I also worked for a charity shop in the UK. I extended some help but not really at a professional level.
Besides working for the Ruparelia Group, I have never had a full on experience with a professional job. I have always aspired to start a business for myself.”
And this is what he had to say about his education background.
“I was a very naughty kid. I didn’t believe in education when I was much younger. I found it very theoretical than practical. But as I grew older all that changed and I started seeing the importance of theory as opposed to just being practical. I also learnt that in order to succeed, the day you stop learning is the day you become stupid.”
I manage the Group’s property investments in Uganda and Rwanda. I also help in the day to day running and ensuring that the macro point of the businesses is looked after. I set targets and budgets. I am also involved in running of the hotels, education sector, flower business and Meera Investments among others. “
Being a rich man’s son and being a businessman himself, some people would think Rajiv would have it easy in life and nothing to push him to him to work hard. However on the contrary the young entrepreneur spends most of his time at work. So what inspires and drives him this hard?
“The reality is I don’t need to work. I don’t need to do anything, I can easily get a trust, and I can easily get money from my father and live a good life. I work for other people actually. I work because I know I’m creating jobs for other people.
I put my money in investments where I can see people coming out of poverty, Uganda developing, that’s why I work. And as a good businessman, I work to make sure my company is profitable. I also work to see other people around succeed”
And asked what kind of challenges he faces as a young upcoming businessman;
“I don’t face many challenges. I have been to places; I meet people who manage huge funds, CEOs etc. If you ask me in general what the challenges youths find I will say that youths fearing to put themselves out there and fail is the real challenge.
My advice is don’t be scared to fail, failure is just part of every success story. As long as you learn from that mistake, and by God will, make it a ritual not to repeat that mistake again.” He concludes