Dubai-based Kerala expat who died in Nepal, remembered by colleagues as kind-hearted and bold
Praveen Krishnan and his colleagues at Mushrif Park: Left to right Praveen Thankachan, Nijesh Kunnamal, Sathyan, Praveen Krishnan Nair, Anoop, Krishnakumar and Praveen’s employer Kalandoor Image Credit: Supplied

A very “bold, honest and a kind-hearted person”, that’s how Dubai-based engineer Praveen Krishnan Nair’s colleagues remember him. Nair and family including his wife Saranya and three children Sreebhadra, 9 years, Aarcha, 8 years and Abhinav, 7 years, along with three others passed away at their holiday resort early, Tuesday. They died from asphyxiation because of a gas heater.

"He was like a brother to me", Nijesh Kunnumal, who works as a contracts manager at Kalandoor Contracting LLC in Dubai, where Praveen used to work.

He told Gulf News: “I will miss him, we all will. I have known him for 11 years now, we were like brothers. For six years we even stayed in the same building. Our families were close, we used to meet often. My wife is devastated at the news, she was very close to Praveen’s wife. They were amazing people. After his wife moved temporarily to Kerala, he moved to Dubai Silicon Oasis and then to Sports City. The family continued to maintain their residential visa status and used to visit Dubai every three months.”

“As a colleague, I have always known to be a bold person. Very punctual and dedicated. If he was working on a project he used to be extremely focused,” added Kunnamal.

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To his subordinates, he was very kind. Kunnamal added: “If a colleague went to him with a problem, he would genuinely lend an ear and do something about it. He wasn’t like those people who would hear and forget, he would make it his personal problem, regardless of their position.”

He was also studying on the side, he recently completed a course from the Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow through classes held in Dubai.

Nair who joined as a Project Manager, soon became the Operations Manager, only second in command to the CEO of the company.

Nair’s colleagues are mourning for their friend and fellow employee left for Kerala on January 16 evening especially for this Nepal trip. Many of them have flown back to Kerala today, to Praveen’s house to join his grieving family.

His employer Kalandoor says he has lost one his top employees. “It is hard to find men like Praveen. Not only was he a strong and decisive personality, he was always ready to work and that too with a smile.”

“He always spoke for others and the company, almost never for himself. He knew how to lead, so I could trust him to make the most difficult of decisions. He was so honest, a quality so hard to find these days.”

“Though we are a small company of just 400-500 people with more blue-collar workers, he led them well. If there was a problem, he was smart enough to take a call. He knew what was to be done and how. He was always caring of subordinates,” added Kalandoor.

“He used to handle and solve problems before they reached me, ‘I will manage the issue for you he used to tell me’,” said Kalandoor.

Kalandoor who is flying back to Kerala too, said: “They are waiting for the post mortem procedures to be completed before the body can be brough to Praveen’s home. We are heading there today.”

“The company Kalndoor Contracting completed 20 years today. There were celebrations planned, but it has turned tragic for us. We have lost a very good colleague,” he added.