Life is not as straight or simple as it seems to be! It’s full of ups and downs, challenges, losses, wins and everything in between. What we are today is a result of what we have been through and how we have faced life. A fighting spirit, determination to overcome adversities and resilient character define Tariq Chauhan, CEO, EFS Facilities Services Group (EFS), Dubai.
A Tale of Two Cities
Tariq’s life revolves around two cities that aptly symbolizes his life too. One is Mumbai, the financial capital of India and the proverbial city of dreams where people come to live their dreams. He led an illustrious career in banking at Bank of Oman, Indo Suez and few other multinational institutions while in Mumbai. The other city is Dubai, the land which truly and eventually responded to his journey of perseverance, persuasion, and determination to succeed against odds. He moved to Dubai in 1994 and at the age of 30 he became a CEO and at 32 he gained repute as an entrepreneur earning over a million USD a year leaving a visible mark on the industry, community, and stakeholders that he worked with.
Life Must Go On
Tariq has survived two bankruptcies and had near zero bank balances, but his resilience helped to always build on his failures. In 2013 he had to manage yet another crisis when he had to undergo a cancer malignancy, which made him realize that surprises and crises are there to stay in life so he must ensure that he retains a positive mindset at all times.
He considers his highest point personally to be the reward of the greatest gift of life –his wife and two daughters. Professionally, one of his greatest successes has been building and leading an organization like EFS towards a sustainable living wherein everyone is a part of a community and the leadership style across is “leadership through impact” where everyone is making a difference in the lives of the blue collared workforce.
For Tariq, money or recognition was never the criteria of success and motivation but the impact he can create because of the sense of support from his family and the belongingness that reflects from a large multi-cultural workforce. He says,” I have found my good in others good and driven inclusivity of stakeholders in my work.”
His Passion, His Company
EFS is a regional leader in delivering integrated facilities management services across the Middle East, Africa, South Asia and Turkey. Its Vision is to be the preferred partner of choice and the Mission stands to ensure superior service delivery by engaging stakeholders to take ownership and build a sustainable enterprise. It works with its clients to gain a detailed understanding of their needs, challenges, short and long-term objectives. Based on the shared insight, it develops and builds bespoke win-win integrated FM operating strategies with strong business continuity, reduced life-cycle costs and increased longevity of assets.
EFS has been providing quality services for over eighteen years now to some of the biggest regional names including leading multinationals in the region with its network of 26 operating companies in 21 countries.
Since 2009, EFS has achieved sustained growth, year on year in double digits and crossing the US$ 1Billion in contracts. Tariq feels a sense of success as EFS is recognized among the most Sustainable brands in the FM space having being ranked by FORBES among the “Top 50 Private Companies in the UAE” and awards such as “Sheikh Khalifa Excellence Award”, Taqdeer Award”,” Best FM Company for the years 2012, 2013, 2017 & 2018. On his personal domain, he has been acknowledged by FORBES consistently amongst the Top 10 CEOs over the past five years.
A Leader with a Holistic Approach
Tariq has been in leadership roles for more than two decades and is an advocate of the holistic impact that a leader can make. “I believe in helping people build and retain hopes and provide them with a platform of growth and opportunities to create a meaningful impact”, says Tariq. At EFS, the core values of the organization are embedded in every EFSian and every employee is moulded to identify his or her inner potential and together take the company a step ahead of the curve. Various activities like Straight Outta CEOs Kitchen and Breakfast with CEO are opportunities that help him to connect on a personal front with each and every employee. Talent development programs are other vital means of creating a sense of independence among employees where the Rising Stars Program and Young Leaders Program encourage each EFSian to be an Employee of Choice. His company thrives strongly on the People First Philosophy and takes pride in making People its identity as a prospective Employee Of Choice rather than an Employer Of Choice.
Being a successful entrepreneur puts him in a position where he can nurture the young and aspiring. “I believe the five pillars of successful entrepreneurship are an effective strategy for critical alignment of goals, nuanced ability to manage people, defining an efficient and relevant operational structure, embedding commercial prudence in mainstream operational processes and most importantly, based on fundamental principles of risk management the gumption for calculated risk management based complemented by out of the box thinking.”
Life with Motive
Tariq’s life story is full of thought-provoking instances and introspection. He has excelled throughout his career despite certain setbacks. But he saw to it that he always looked forward to achieving higher and higher and never settled for a mediocre or less challenging job than former. He says, “I never lost an opportunity to learn from difficult times and continue applying those learnings when confronted with problems and was never unnerved by crises. I always learned the art of making a positive impact on others in whatever interface I have with people and profession I’d choose or work in”. He now has set his goals on making EFS as a public listed entity in the London Stock Exchange and hopes to make it the greatest home-grown multinational enterprise. He also wants to setup an NGO for blue-collar workforce focused on the Middle East and complete his book based on his experience and insights for Common Good.