Miraj BarotHe was born with a silver spoon that he has turned into gold
Rarely does a father entrust his life’s fortune to the stewardship of a toddler. But Miraj Barot, 23, began running his father’s business empire when he was only 14-years old.
His father, Hashad Barot, is the chairman and founder of Tirupati Development, a leading real estate company in Uganda.
The family moved to Uganda from a small village in India two decades ago and the young Barot was raised and had his short stint of formal education in Uganda.
The young tycoon considers business to be his calling in life. He revealing that this was the reason he dropped out of school early to nurture his business acumen.
“Business is my life. Right from the start I didn’t want to waste time having realised that I was born to do business and become successful at it. I go about my work passionately,” he says.
The passion for business and the desire to build on what his father had already started took hold in him early. Having successfully run his father’s business empire, Miraj decided to start his own company, Tulip, also dealing in real estate. Tulip has got branches in India. In total, he is a director of eight companies some of which are in India. He is the Joint Managing Director of Tirupati Development and a shareholder in the same company.
Miraj sees his father as his mentor and business coach, a friend with whom they share ideas from time to time.
“I got all this passion for business from my father. Whenever we would sit down we would talk about business, my father taught me a lot of things, he taught me what some rich fathers wouldn’t teach their children,” he says.
Miraj says he thrives on hard work and taking on new and challenging tasks each day. He says that his life would be incomplete if he did not put in his life’s best in execution of his business tasks.
“Every time I wake up in the morning, I look at myself in the mirror and say that I have to do something, even more than what I did the previous day,” he says.
He keeps a busy schedule; waking up as early as 4a.m. By 6a.m he is i n office, and thereafter heads to the field to inspect various projects and meets various people connected to his many businesses. He says his schedule is occupied by signing contracts, sourcing deals, initiating major projects, planning for the company, all of which leave him with little time for himself. However, he finds time for his family.
He says determination and perseverance are his driving force. Unlike others who would succumb in the face of to failure, he says he has since learnt how to master failure and disappointment given that it is part of business.
“If you have started business and it’s not working out don’t give up, at least you start and fail and discover why you have failed. Many people say business is hard even before they ever started. Start and learn how to go about the failures,” he advises.
Miraj, as a few lucky young people have, would have rode on his family’s success and not done much for himself. However, he argues that people should not look at the current status of the so-called rich people, without considering where they have come from or how their parents started. He reveals that his father began with only US$ 200 and today their business empire is worth over 1 billion US dollars.
“It’s true that my father worked hard to bring the business to a certain level, but it has been my duty to bring it to greater heights. What I can say is that I was born with a silver spoon and turned it into gold. It’s important to consider how people started and get to learn a few things from their struggle than looking at their current status,” he contends.
Miraj has endeared himself to numerous young people around the city who consider him their icon, one who is humble and generous. His ambition is to initiate more development projects and employed the youth.
Tirupati has operated in Uganda for five years. The company boasts a number of shopping malls and classy apartments around the city, offices, warehouses, and business parks. Mazima Mall in Nsambya and Ovino Market are some of Tirupati’s outstanding projects.
Tirupati is also venturing into sugar production starting this January. The company has a sugarcane plantation in Nakasongola stretching over 9,500 acres with a sugar factory in Najjera, Wakiso District. The sugar project, which has cost over US$88 million, is expected to employ over 30,000 Ugandans and produce 2,500 tonnes of sugar per day.
The company is constructing a business park along the Northern Bypass which will consist of 253 warehouses, modern offices, and shopping malls. This project, with a total cost of over US$100 million targets 6,000 Small and Medium size enterprises (SMEs).
Tirupati says its investments in the last five years are worth US$500 million, and the company employs 47,500 Ugandans directly and indirectly.
Car: Range Rover EVOQUE
Food: Indian Cuisines/pizza
Drinks: White wines and Coco-cola
Ideal woman: Beautiful, hardworking from Hindu culture
Memorable moment: When he is with his family
Hangouts: Entebbe Lido beach and friends homes
Famous quote: Success depends on how you behave when you have everything and when you have nothing.