Alhaj Mr. Syed Mohamed Salahuddin is the illustrious son of noble parents - Mr. Mohamed Abdul Hameed Haji alias Kannadi Wappa and Mrs. Fathima. He was born in 1942 in the coastal village of Kilakarai in Ramanathapuram Distict of Tamil Nadu in India.
As the managing director of the Dubai-based
ETA Ascon Star Group, he has perhaps scripted one of the most successful stories of the India diaspora. At the helm of a multifaceted $6 billion business conglomerate, he is a name to reckon with not just in the UAE but globally as well, considering that the group operates in 22 countries more than 50,000 employees worldwide.
Mr. Syed M. Salahuddin is looked up to as much for his entrepreneurial leadership and farsighted vision as he is for his unswerving integrity and humility,characteristics that markedly set the man and his mission apart.
He received the prestigious
Pravasi Bharatiya Samman
from the President of India His Excellency Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam on January 9th 2007 at New Delhi, for his outstanding achievements as an NRI businessman and his efforts to promote the interest of India and the overseas Indians as well his work in the sphere of charity.
"When I received the award from the President of India, it was a pat on your shoulder. I was receiving it on behalf of all my colleagues in the ETA Ascon Star Group". said the businessman, who is reticent about his generosity.
Mr. Salahuddin further said,"It gives me great satisfaction that we have been able to generate large-scale employment for Indians not only in Dubai and other parts of the world, but also within India. India is endowed with natural resources like mining materials and water as well as vast human resources. Besides the skilled labour, over the years, it has developed a large managerial and entrepreneurial class. It also has a big market. So, naturally, India has to grow. No one can stop its growth. Our knowledge power is our unique strength. We are definitely better than others. No other country has chosen a scientist (Dr. Abdul Kalam) as its President", he noted.
He credits his achievements to his family background. "My family motivated me to believe that it is not money that counts, but respect you earn. I was always told that it was more important to be a good businessman than a big businessman."
A great believer in the positive influence of the rich Indian culture, he says that he is happy to live in a tolerant country like the UAE that allows him to practise his way of life. "My culture teaches me to live in harmony with others," he says. "The motto that keeps me going is, be good to people, don’t hurt or humiliate anyone and lead a humble life."
Mr. Syed Salahuddin's reaction was much the same when he received the prestigious Asian Business Award Middle East for 2007 on December 8, 2007 in Abu Dhabi in recognition of his outstanding contributions to development in the Middle East. On receiving the prestigious award, he said, "The ETA family is extremely honoured to receive this award. We thank each and everyone who has contributed to our growth and success. The success of Emirates Trading Agency, which has been 'Built on Trust', is also a reflection of the group's power of partnership, its strength in diversity and the family’s deep value systems."
He raised the organisation along with his cousin, Mr.B.S.Abdur Rahman (Sena Aana) and a reputed Al Ghurair family, from 50 people to 50,000 and it is now a great pride for the Indian society that the ETA Ascon is one of the top class company in the Gulf and of course in the world too. In ETA ("Engum Tamil Aatkal" as he used to say), one can see communal harmony,peace, tranquility apart from employee's dedication in their work which is due to the unparalleled leadership of Mr. Salahuddin.
For over 35 years now, Mr. Salahuddin has done the UAE and India proud with his relentless work for the social and economic upliftment of society. Significantly, the 50,000-strong employee force of the highly diversified ETA Ascon Star Group mainly consists of Indians from back home.
Besides providing employment, the ETA group is also associated with several educational institutions, both schools and colleges, aimed at empowering the youth. In an effort to make Indian education a global brand, the group has introduced BITS Pilani Dubai and the Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Dubai. Both the institutions are sought after in the emirates for high standard of education they impart.
Mr. Syed M. Salahuddin's contributions in the upliftment of the community have been widely acknowledged. Employment and education apart, he has contributed to the welfare of the community by donating generously to provide food, healthcare and other essential services.
Actively involved in charities, educational institutions and social organisations, both in the UAE and India, the group makes a concerted effort to contribute to society. It is a mission that is ingrained in his business philosophy. A mission that entails growth on the one hand and goodwill on the other.
As president of Indian Muslim Association (IMAN), since 1976, Mr. Salahuddin has been involved in sponsoring higher professional education to underprivileged meritorious students in India, irrespective of their religious affiliation. Also, thanks mainly to his largesse, and that of IMAN, during holy month of Ramadan, meals are provided for about 4,000 people in mosques in Deira.
Mr. Syed Salahuddin, who values human value as the greatest asset to the company.
Gentle and persuasive in his ways, he has the ability to get the best out of his workforce.
He always insists that punctuality, discipline, dedication, perfection and pro-activeness are the key factors for the success of any organization.
A man who keeps his ears to the ground, he has been quick to catch the public pulse. The key to the phenomenal success of his business is perhaps best described in his own words. "When a farmer selects fertile soil and sows genuine seeds, ploughs, deweeds and irrigates his land while constantly being vigilant, he will eventually enjoy a bumper crop." "Similarly," he adds, "in business, one must identify the right potential field, both in terms of discipline and the geographic location, and work relentlessly towards a goal. Success will surely come with the right workforce, patience and above all, the Almighty’s blessings.
He further said "When the business world is taking a big leap running towards various dimensions, we should also be running and not be just bystanders and watch the change. Instead we should put our efforts in new ventures with proper planning, which are key points."
Not surprisingly, his managers and business heads are given ample freedom and empowerment although they work under a broad corporate framework of policies and guidelines. There is a constant effort to identify entrepreneurs from within the system and encourage them to generate business.
He is an industrious businessman and great explorer of God-given opportunities, never tired of marching his 50,000 dedicated work force. With his sharp vision and wise leadership, he has made tremendous achievements in making his firm a Global business conglomerate. He is one optimist with an indomittable will. This business captain is a role model for the younger generation. A self-made man, his integrity and self-effacing demeanor are awe-inspiring and add rare value to his achievements.
ETA Star Properties, a leading real estate developer in the UAE, has been awarded the prestigious Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (MRM) Business Award. It is the only winner in the category of Real Estate Development at the 4th edition of the Awards. Syed M. Salahuddin, MD, ETA Ascon Star Group, has received the MRM Business Award on behalf of ETA Star Properties from HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai in 2009.
An MoU was signed between TIDCO and ETA Star Property Developers Ltd, Dubai in the presence of the Hon'ble Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu on 25th May,2007.
Syed Salahuddin's father is "Kannadi Vaapa" Mohamed Abdul Hameed and his mother is "Maami Laatha" Mohamed Beevi Fathima. His paternal grandparents are Syed Mohamed Saahib and Aisha Ummah. His maternal grandfather was Sehu Salahudeen and his maternal grandmother is Safa Maryam. He has a brother named "Seena Thana" Syed Abdul Cader.