Menon’s financial problems completely disappeared after he began carrying an inscription from the Holy Qur’an about 35 years ago
BNC Menon, Founder and Chairman of Sobha Group. – The attached photo
BNC Menon – founder and chairman of Sobha Group – runs a multi-billion dollar real estate and construction empire that stretches across many countries, including the UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar and his native India.
However, Menon has been on edge for three and a half decades.
“My business suffered a major setback and I was struggling to make things right,” the founder and chairman of luxury product development company Sobha Group recalled during an interview with Khaleej Times.
Menon said he was torn between hope and despair when his Omani partner, Suleiman Al-Adawi, handed him an embroidered inscription from the Holy Quran.
“He asked me to put the verse outside my home in Muscat and I did,” Menon said.
The inscription was a verse from Surat Al Imran in the Holy Quran. Its text is: “In yansurkumu llahu fala ghaliba lakum wa-in yakhzulkum faman zaa llazee yansurukum min bah’dihi Wahala llahi falyatawakkalil mu’minoon’.” God trusts the believers).
Suleiman El-Adawy, business partner of BNC Menon, handed him an embroidered inscription from the Holy Quran. – The attached photo
Menon said divine intervention worked wonders for him.
He remembers that within days everything fell into place and all his problems were magically solved.
Since then, “verses” have become a permanent fixture in all Menon homes and offices, including those in the UAE and India.
“I feel protected and comfortable because of it,” said the 72-year-old Hindu intern, who always carries the sacred prayer in his pocket.
Menon said that a verse of the Holy Quran adorns the homes of his daughters and son as well.
In keeping with Islamic faith, all of these murals face the Qibla, which is the direction Muslims turn while praying.
“God has been kind to me,” said the Indian-born Omani businessman of humble origin.
Menon, who belongs to Palakkad in Kerala state, was 10 years old when his father died unexpectedly.
Later, he dropped out of college and ventured into interior design.
On the 26th, he sailed for Oman with only $7 (25.71 dirhams) left after a chance encounter with Al-Adawi, who was then a captain in the Omani army and was visiting India to buy a fishing boat.
Arriving in Oman, Menon borrowed money and started a modest interior and furniture business in Muscat.
The fledgling unit quickly established its reputation in the market as it successfully implemented several mega government projects.
Menon soon earned the title of “Palace Maker” for his deeds in the kings of several Arab countries.
In 1995, Menon and his family were granted Omani citizenship, an honor rarely given to expats.
Around the same time, he launched Sobha Limited in Bengaluru, India.
The company was named after his wife Shoba.
In 2003, Menon expanded his commercial footprint to Dubai.
He concluded that “the emirate’s world-class infrastructure made it a natural choice.”
“The soil of the United Arab Emirates is very beautiful, the roots are planted under your feet. Once you have lived here for five years, you cannot leave this country. The same thing happened with us,” said a father of three.
Currently, his company is building an ambitious $4 billion ($14.69) project called Sobha Hartland, an eight million square foot development near Mohammed bin Rashid City and has already delivered multiple units this year.
Sobha will launch a 200-acre development in Sobha Hartland next year.
Work is also underway on The S Tower, a 60-storey mixed-use tower on Sheikh Zayed Road that will house Sobha’s office by 2024.
Menon’s pioneering journey in the UAE bodes well for the future.
“I have enough projects in the UAE to keep myself busy for another decade. If I were to bet on any country, it would be the UAE. It has a proactive and visionary government. World-class infrastructure and no corruption.” The self-made optimist real estate Kaiser added.