is spread far and wide across the world, there are a few towering Non Resident
Indians (NRIs) who outshine others through their unique achievements and perspectives.
One such luminary is Vijay Kumar Berlia, an NRI who is based out of Dubai and
business, charity and life in general.
What prompted you to move out of India and how has the NRI experience been for
|Vijay Kumar Berlia
I firmly believe that geographies should not act as a constraint for those who
seek their karma and fortune outside of their home country. I sensed the
burgeoning opportunities in Dubai and Europe, especially in my chosen career
domains of Chemicals, Plastics, Value Added Trading and Real Estate. The NRI
experience has been extremely positive and thankfully with God’s grace I have
been able to find success.
restrictions on the Indian economy prior to the liberalisation wind of 1991 had
thwarted the growth in India for decades. I am very positive about the India
story today though. In fact, it is the limitations of opportunities on the home
turf in those days which prompted many an enterprising souls to venture big
time in the world out there. It is not necessary that one can serve the
motherland only by remaining inside the country. One should follow their
instincts in the search for self-actualisation.
You have taken semi-retirement from your business related activities, focusing
only on the supervisory and mentoring role. What else occupies you at
I have always believed that a person should follow a path of appropriate age,
and when one gets older spend more time mentoring, coaching and advising and
let the new generation come up.
lucky to have a very supportive family. While I only return to India a few
times a year, I think that India is within me as I possess abiding love for my
I have slowed down on the fast pace that I used to maintain in my heydays, I am
involved in a lot of charitable and social outreach initiatives for India from
my offices in Dubai, which is my home away from home. I love Dubai for its
economic vibrancy, among other things, and I am deeply appreciative of the
space Dubai and Europe has given me to grow.
Do you miss out anything in particular about India?
The food always. One of the daunting
challenges I faced and still feels off shores is the dearth of authentic
vegetarian cuisines. I used to spend a lot of time traveling to Eastern Europe
when I first left India, and often had to survive simply on bread and butter
for days especially during the chaos of the break-up of the Soviet Union.
Today, Indian food, and vegetarian food is widely available and celebrated, and
Dubai, as well as cities such as Hamburg and London have widely embraced the
Indian culture and experience. I am fortunate to be part of their thriving
Tell us something about your family.
My wife is a successful entrepreneur
herself who keeps on shuttling between Dubai and India, where her business
interests are thriving. In fact, both of us are out-and-out high achievers who
inspire each other professionally while complimenting each other personally. I
am regularly in touch with my globetrotting children as well – If not all the time
in person, then over Skype, internet and social media. Since I spend most of my
time in Dubai and Europe they travel frequently here to meet me.
Do you see winds of change in India?
I am an optimist to the core and am
gung-ho about the transformative changes taking place in India in the recent
times. I am very excited to see the new focus on development, and a fast
developing young entrepreneurial culture. I firmly believe that young Indians
are globally competitive and many more can achieve international success if
they are willing to come out of their comfort zones to shine in the world out