Raghav and Abhinav, sons of Deepak Arora have all the makings of the next generation illustrious scions poised to expand their family business with youthful vigor. Their family business is the DRA International Group; a large construction conglomerate that also specialises in joinery, interior decoration and trading. We caught up with them in their office casually over a cup of coffee and were quite taken by their level-headed approach to everything business and personal.
If not the family business, then what would you have chosen to do?
Raghav: “I would have probably gone into a career in finance. Since I did my MBA, I realised I had a real interest and understanding of that world.
Abhinav: “I might have tried to become a Bollywood actor… [laughs]. On a serious note,however, I have always been interested in building and construction, so I might have gotten where I am in any case”.
Your dad’s shoes are really big to fill. Daunting?
Raghav: One might think it would be daunting to try and live up to the legacy of a man like Deepak Arora, but Raghav finds it inspiring. “I believe as a younger generation, we must carve our own niche in the business world. Yes, our father is well-connected and experienced, but that can only take us so far”. He firmly believes that at the end of the day, it is his and Abhinav’s performance at work that will help gain respect with clients and colleagues. “It is challenging to go through this phase but we are lucky to have a father who guides us”.
Abhinav: His first response was that his dad’s shoes cannot be filled and Raghav and him can only try to continue his legacy. “We cannot say where our destiny will take us; however the challenge to carry on the family business is exciting and demanding”.
Professionally, what have you learnt directly from your dad?
Raghav: “Discipline, the value of treating everyone with equal respect and being honest in what you say and do. Never to take on debt and to live within your means. He always stresses on the importance of working to produce good results rather than just a heavy paycheck”.
Abhinav: “Being calm under pressure, always doing the right thing whether it affects the bottom line positively or negatively and most importantly, being true to yourself”.
Do you find it complicated working together?
Raghav: Personally, he finds the experience of working with his father and brother extremely amazing. “We can rely on each other because trust is never issue. Also, we all have the same goal of wanting the business to grow, not just for our family but also for the families of our employees”. The only con to this he says is that there is a bit more emotional pressure to handle and sometimes negativity from the office can be carried home. But he also believes that if a family business is managed correctly, it can grow at a very rapid rate”.
Abhinav: “Working with the family is thoroughly enjoyable although we do tend to argue a lot as we all have opinions. But we have the added benefit of bouncing ideas off each other in terms of the different projects we work on”. The only downside, in his opinion, is that they often discuss business at the lunch and dinner table, but it is something they are actively trying to avoid doing.
Photography: Sarfaraz Ali