Dubai: Tony Jashanmal is as urbane as they come. Not surprising for someone who can put forth a point – persuasively at that — in seven languages.
As executive director of the Jashanmal Group, he is quite hands-on in charting the course for the family-owned business as it moves with the times. This will see it add to its collection of choice retail interests as well as widen the distribution base.
Jashanmal dissects what could be in store for the group and the sectors that it is exposed to.
Gulf News: Is it by accident that the group – which is known for its department stores – now has so many standalone outlets for brands as varied as Burberry and Kate Spade?
We will not try to take brands which compete directly with each other. That’s not fair to the people that I work with, I have to have niches. Everything has to be organised - we’re a 90-year old company and at that age you can’t take super big risks.
You respect what people did before you and you have to leave it for the next generation. We need to stay that way at least for the next 90 years.
Would this mean changes at the group will be a work in progress?
There is nothing in business that is not a work in progress. And work in progress is made up of two things.
It is established by what happens in the country your business is in plus what do you want to do and what you think you can do.
I’d love to do something which is fantastic and modern. But do I see a market for it? We are a professional company and not in the business of satisfying personal fantasies.
We only have three family members working in the entire Middle East and India and none of them is the CEO. We have professionals working and they have to deliver.
We have never felt that we missed a boat. As a matter of fact, every move has been made in a calculated way.