People are the greatest source of inspirations, at times ordinary and at times extra-ordinary. They are always around us but only, if we can pick up or learn from them. Observing people has always remained a great way of learning that most enjoy. One such person is the Founder and Chairman of Descon Engineering Group, Abdul Razak Dawood.
Abdul Razak Dawood graduated (MBA) from Columbia University, USA. He arrived back in Pakistan in October 1968 after 18 years. He got married within 3 weeks and moved to Lawrencepur, district Attock with all his dreams, passion and commitment. He simply fell in love with the place. He loved the community life, loved the people and loved the opportunities. It was simply magnificent for him.
Not because it was easy, infact, it was challenging. He was welcomed by a strike letter on his first day on his desk. He struggled to set things straight over the months. He introduced a new brand for ladies called ‘Layla’, which was rejected by big brands.
Abdul Razak Dawood decided to run a TV commercial and bang, it was a hit. Next, he advertised Layla for PKR 80,000/- budget over 4 months despite the strong resistance from his father. The results changed the world and the next time around it was his father who urged to raise the budget for advertisement.
The Descon Group is the largest construction and engineering company in Pakistan positioning itself rapidly in the global markets. In less than 3 decades, Abdul Razak Dawood transformed DESCON from a 1977 start up with 4 engineers to more than 1600 engineers and professionals (employee strength reaching 40,000) globally competitive engineering company based out of Pakistan.
Abdul Razak Dawood has also served as the Federal Minister for Commerce, Industries and Production for four years. He is the Chairman Pakistan Business Council and Managing Director of Descon Engineering Limited and six other private companies. His former corporate positions included, CEO Dawood Hercules Chemicals and Managing Director Lawrencepur Woolen & Textile.
He has been on the board of various corporate giants such as ICI Pakistan, KSB Pumps, United Refrigeration Ltd, PIA, & State Bank of Pakistan. He taught at Department of Business Administration, University of Punjab and is the Member Syndicate, the University of Punjab as well as member Senate, University of Punjab.
Abdul Razak Dawood has been an active philanthropist and at present he is the Rector, Lahore University of Management Sciences to which his family has donated generously, Vice Chairman, board of Governors National Management Foundation. He is Member Board of Directors, Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, Trustee CARE Foundation and Member Board of Directors NUML College.
Abdul Razak Dawood has no doubt transformed his thought leadership into action leadership and has institutionalized it to a greater extent producing stream of future leaders. There is a lot one can learn from him and his experiences.