Mahendra K Asher and Dubai have grown together for more than four and a half decade. While he has grown into the eminent personality that he is today, Dubai has developed into an economic magnet for the world.
The Journey Begins
Born in 1943 in Mumbai, India, Mahendra, a Sydenham College of Commerce & Economics graduate, arrived in Dubai in the year 1971 with a mission to take his competency to the next level. And Dubai responded to his dreams with opportunities one after the other. His ﬁrst job, in Dubai, was as a Chartered Accountant with the Al Mulla Contracting Company. He then ventured into banking by joining the Commercial Bank of Dubai as an Internal Auditor and soon rose to the ranks of In-Charge of the Credit Department courtesy his hard work, dedication and exemplary performance. He then took up an opportunity in investment banking at Merrill Lynch International & Co., New York and migrated to the US. He trained for six months at the Headquarters of Merrill Lynch in New York, the USA, and passed the qualifying examinations to become an Investment Advisor duly registered with the US Trade and Exchange Regulatory Agencies.
The Turning Point
Mahendra had applied for the United States Visa for higher studies. But Life and Dubai had other plans. Recalling the time he says “My stay in Dubai proved more than satisfactory owing to the work and a good rapport with the locals and I kept postponing the impending visit to America, even after being repeatedly called. Finally, I was told if I didn’t go till the end of the year (1978), my green card status would be revoked. So I resigned from the Bank, and moved to New York and joined Merrill Lynch International and Co.” A ﬁve- year stint there evoked the question on why not start practicing in Dubai? His inner voice found an echo in his wife Bharati who concurred with his feeling of Dubai becoming a part of their life.
So ﬁnally, with the establishment of Mahendra Asher & Co. their fates were sealed together with him ﬁnding his home in Dubai, where his heart was. The company is a partnership ﬁrm where Mahendra is the Senior Partner and is joined by CA Ratnakar Shetty, an alumnus of Sydenham College, as the Partner.Ratnakar, B.Com., (Hons.), of Mumbai University, Silver Medalist in Final CA, was taken up to be groomed as a future Partner .After coming to Dubai, he qualiﬁed as a C.F.A. and was absorbed as a Partner, in 1994, as a part of the Firm’s succession planning. The partnership ﬁrm of Mahendra Asher & Co. was set up in Dubai as a full- ﬂedged audit and accountancy ﬁrm offering auditing, business consultancy and advisory services, apart from a range of other value additions in corporate ﬁnance.
A Fulﬁlling Life
Mahendra is a motivated person leading a team of immensely able and qualiﬁed chartered accountants and supporting staff. He is passionate about doing something good for self, family, ofﬁce colleagues and society at large, and most important, carrying the Flag of India with pride, in a foreign country.
Describing a memorable moment in his life he recalls it to be the one during his stint as the Chairman of Gujarati Sahitya Mandal (“the Mandal”), at the College. His article, on the life and works of the President of India, was on wall paper. It was the Silver Jubilee of the Mandal, and Golden Jubilee of the College (1963-1964). The article was read by the President of India, Hon Shri Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, who appreciated the article.
His contributions to the Society in Dubai are numerous and include:-
- Elected Member of the Auditors’ Group in Dubai Chamber of Commerce &
- Appointed Member Legal and Accountancy Advisory Board, Department of Economic Development, Government of Dubai.
- Founder and Past Chairman, The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, Dubai
- Founder Member/Secretary and Vice-Chairman of The Overseas Indians Economic Forum- UAE.
- Managing Committee Member and Hon Treasurer of The Indian High School, Dubai.
- Life Member of India Club,
His Pride, the Firm
Mahendra Asher & Co., the Firm, has been in service for more than forty years now and offers a wide range of services ranging from accounting, company formation and corporate services, audit and assurance, management consultancy, tax advisory services to business advisory. It is associated with JHI, the global association of of audit ﬁrms providing continued professional development programs and networking opportunities to its members.
Bringing the Workforce Together
The company started with just three core individuals, including the founders and presently, has grown into a mid-size well-established Firm in Dubai. It enjoys an excellent reputation in the professional and banking sector. Mahendra believes in management by exception and providing guidance, inspiration and opportunities to the members of the team to grow to their maximum potential capabilities.
Lessons for a Life-time
Mahendra Asher’s life is an epitome of the lesson that he has learnt in his life “Hard-work always pays”. His love for life, UAE and his work intact, he advises the young to “Keep faith in yourself, your people, and your destiny.”