Kapil Maini, General Manager of Darwish AST Services, talks about his personal and professional growth to a Turnaround Specialist, as he charts his endearing bond with Oman, which he calls home
It was to be a two-year stint; that was in November 2001. But sometime during those two years, Oman became such an important part of his life that Kapil Maini, General Manager of Darwish AST Services, decided to settle down for a long stint with his wife Bhavna and their two daughters.
“It has been a wonderful stint of 16 long years,” states Maini, as he reflects on his personal and professional growth in the country. With a strong support system of friends and the instinctive hospitality and geniality of locals, it was an easy deal, he maintains. Over the years, this bond with the country has strengthened to such an extent that the family pines to return back to Oman, even when vacationing in their hometown in India.
A turnaround specialist by profession, he has been managing Darwish AST Services, which is primarily into interior fit-outs and joinery projects, for the past 4 years. Having initiated a career as a planter before branching into entrepreneurship, Maini has learnt to train his fingers on the pulse of the business industry. However, he does acknowledge that there are challenges on the way. But he is optimistic; for, as he points out, things have looked up in the last couple of months.
He has found his bearing in the complex world of business with his strengths in strategic planning, profit centre management and project management. These were the strengths he employed in turning around the fortunes of a company that was on the verge of shutting down, during his initial stint in Oman, in 2001. Interestingly though, it wasn’t his skill in turnaround management that set him in the complex world of careers…
Recalling his early years, he says, “I have been an entrepreneur for a while, but my career started quite differently…it was nowhere close to the projects that I handle now.” He started as a planter in Assam, India, for Tata Tea, before realising that it was designing that fascinated him. He used local labour to design and craft outdoor furniture with drift wood… dead tree trunks, etc. He soon shifted his career track and learnt that the experience gained as a planter, in a completely labour-intensive sector, did have a bearing on his professional life as a turnaround specialist. “There were times when I managed about 5,000 people on a daily basis; it gave me the actual labour management experience,” he states, pointing out that being away from his home in Delhi, at the young age of 21, also inculcated several other values that moulded his later life, both personally as well as professionally.
He started his own business in India after he married Bhavna in 1990. Together they developed the business, before pressing the brakes for a brief hiatus to Oman. What transpired after that is history; but what has been a fixture for more than a decade and a half since the Mainis made home in Oman is their ever-growing bond with the country. Bhavna credits Oman for providing avenues for charity and nurturing her passion for reading and painting, while helping them follow Art of Living.
Life has indeed been gratifying, as the elder daughter, who married recently, is based in Netherlands, working as an auditor with PWC, while the younger one is into Fashion Communication and is a specialist in Digital Marketing in Delhi. They strongly believe that Oman is one of the best places in the world to build a positive family life, as well as to foster personal growth.
Also check out Oman’s Fitness Guru.