Life is full of surprises, both good and bad. Teaching your children how to enjoy life is a parent’s responsibility. It means teaching them to be flexible and open to the changes in life’s blueprint. It also means weaving gratitude and what matters most into the fabric of their thinking: health, family and friends above all else. This helps with being able to put life into perspective in the face of setbacks, both personal and professional.
I Anis Sajan, Vice chairman of Danube Group, and my wife are parents to two children: Azhar (23) and Sahil (20). The onus of bringing them up to be grounded has been my wife Rubina Sajan’s.
She has inculcated in them our family values, which make our family a close-knit group. We, my brother Rizwan and I, survived the Kuwait war and when we came to UAE we had to build our empire from scratch. The biggest strength through all the trials has been our bond. The same values are reflected in the bonds shared by Adel [Rizwan Sajan’s son] and my children. Any relationship can’t be forced, it has to come from within the heart and I see a reflection of me and my brother’s bond in the bond shared by our three children. It’s something I am very proud of.
Their humility comes from my wife. Sons are generally close to their mothers and my family is no exception. I am proud of the way Ruby has brought them up and blessed to have her by my side in this journey of parenthood.
Our kids are blessed; they didn’t have to venture too far to gain experience; Danube Group is a big learning academy in itself. Azhar and Sahil both have spent a large part of their holidays in the Danube offices learning the company’s day to day operations. Azhar, who graduated a year ago, set-up and successfully manages UAE’s premier luxury sanitary ware showroom Casa Milano, which features more than 40 of the world’s top-notch brands like Versace, Robertto Cavalli, etc. His prior stints with the group helped him to manage the business alongside his last year of college.
Meanwhile Sahil, who is still in college, comes with me to the Danube head office, attends virtual classes and interacts with all the stake holders, from suppliers to customers. This practice is helping him learn the tricks of the trade before he joins the Milano division post his graduation this year.
Life today is very unpredictable and it is very important that your children are not left stranded, if something happens to the head of the family. I was only 8 when I lost my father, and it was tough for my elder brother Rizwan who became responsible for the whole family. Over the years I have seen many families where the children are caught unaware when they lose the head of the family, and so it’s important to prepare children early on.
Today, I’m 49 and my children are only 23 and 20, but I can say with conviction that my children are ready to take on life.
Educating children from a young age will help them become drivers of their own destiny and help them face the world and pass life’s hurdles with ease and composure.