Eastern Eye (UK)
MONEY: ASIAN LEADERS DEBATE INHERITANCE
ASIAN TYCOONS WANT CHILDREN TO BE SELF-SUFFICIENT AS THEY DEBATE LEAVING AN INHERITANCE
BRITISH ASIAN tycoons have revealed their thoughts on providing for their children financially following comments by actor Daniel Craig who called inheritance “distasteful”.
In an interview earlier this month, the James Bond star said he will not support his children financially as they should have “their own respect for money and work”. Craig, estimated to have a net worth of nearly £116 million, said: “I don’t want to leave great sums to the next generation. I think inheritance is quite distasteful. My philosophy is: get rid of it or give it away before you go.”
Dawood Pervez is the managing director of Bestway Group, the UK’s largest independent cash and carry. He is the youngest son of Bestway founder Sir Anwar Pervez, whose net worth was estimated at £3.1 billion in 2020. Prior to founding his multibillion-pound enterprise in the 1970s, Sir Anwar worked as a bus driver in Bradford.
Dawood acknowledged he had a “very privileged upbringing”, but said he was brought up to be aware of his privilege and not take it for granted. “I believe that we were very carefully taught the value of money and the importance of sticking to budget,” he told Eastern Eye.
As a teenager and while at university, Dawood worked to earn money rather than rely on his parents. Previous job responsibilities included “stacking milk into cages at the end of production line”, the businessman said. “Even after graduating from Oxford, while studying for my LPA (lasting power of attorney) I spent time working in convenience stores,” he revealed.
Dawood has two children himself and said he consciously tries to instil the same lessons that he was taught by his parents.
“The most important thing is that they receive a great education and are able to stand on their own feet,” he said.
Although Dawood said money can be an enabler, he believes it can also rob people of their ambition, drive and direction.
“Money can also come with great responsibility as it may be that many people depend on how you manage your affairs; for example, that of colleagues and customers of a business,” he said.
Hotelier Koolesh Shah is the founder of London Town Groups, which owns and operates a collection of leading branded four-star boutique hotels in the UK.
Growing up, he was encouraged by his father to “get out and learn from sending me to a Rudolf Steiner school to the streets of Lagos, Nigeria.”
Koolesh said he learned the “gift of the gab” from a young age. “(My father) always pushed me out of my comfort zone, and I felt this was probably one of the most valuable life lessons,” he told Eastern Eye.
As Koolesh’s own children grew up, he also tried to instil the same confidence and motivation into them. “They would probably say I was harsh, but I believe they have to learn for themselves,” the hotelier said. “We handed them all the tools to succeed, education, support and opportunities. I have always conveyed to them that they must never give up, no matter what knock backs they face, the secret is always in resilience.”
His son Nikhil Shah is an award-winning entrepreneur himself. He is the cofounder of S-Cube, a technology provider for the oil and gas industry. Nikhil said he grew up knowing the value of money. “My parents gave me and my sister an insight into setting the foundation for creating our own wealth,” he told Eastern Eye.
Lord Rami Ranger is the founder of leading wholesaler Sun Mark. Although now a successful businessman, he did not grow up with wealth.
One of eight children, he and his family became refugees due to the partition of India. After his father passed away, their mother brought up the children on her own. “Our family motto was one for all and all for one,” the businessman said. “If we had not helped each other, we wouldn’t be where we are today, happily settled in life.”
The life peer now has three children, including daughter Reena Ranger who is a councillor for Three Rivers district council. He said he had helped each of his children financially. Lord Ranger spoke of the importance of schooling, stating it was essential to “educate children as money does not last forever”.
“Once children are educated, then they become self-motivated by watching their peers,” he said.
Reflecting on the upbringing of his children, Koolesh said it was “extremely important” that they earned their own money. “I didn’t grow up with a silver spoon, I was supported and encouraged to enter the wide world by myself, for myself and I have always passed this on to my children,” he said. “It served me well, and I believe my children are now also reaping the benefits.”
Nikhil had no parental help setting up his S-Cube business or attracting venture capital for it. The experience helped him to be self-sufficient, he said. “Now I get access to (my father’s) network to line up follow-on business opportunities that wouldn’t exist otherwise and it all stemmed from the initial success in writing the S-Cube story according to my own vision,” Nikhil explained.
On Craig’s take on inheritance, Lord Ranger admitted that he found his statements “ridiculous.” “Daniel Craig should know that charity begins from home,” he said. “I am not against giving, as giving is good,
and our timely help can transform many lives, but we must never ignore those who care for us and may even look after our nearest and dearest in their time of need.”
Dawood admitted he did not necessarily agree with Craig’s remarks either. He noted that few family dynasties endure – only a few rare families have “built a culture and a way of life that has enabled them to successfully continue for many generations”.
“Surely, that should be our goal,” he said.