Roadside stall to meeting Obama – Delhi man goes a long way


New Delhi : It’s a rags-to-riches story. Sirajuddin Qureshi, who had an humble beginning running a roadside stall in the capital, rose to such heights that he has been invited to meet US President Barack Obama at an entrepreneurship summit this month.

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Chairman of the Hind Group of Companies and president of the India Islamic Cultural Centre, Qureshi will attend the presidential summit April 26-27 in Washington, an official statement said here Friday.

Born to parents of very modest means, Qureshi attended a neighbourhood madrassa, followed by a municipal government school.

Looking back to those years, Qureshi said: “My father wanted me to go to the best school in the city but he did not have the means to do so.”

Their humble background, however, did not discourage him and he wanted to become an entrepreneur.

“I set up a roadside stall selling odd things in the evening. The little money that I used to earn gave me immense satisfaction and in fact motivated me to pursue studies further,” he said.

He later graduated from Delhi University and then pursued a degree in law. However, instead of a career in law, he decided to venture into business and got his first consignment of meat export to Dubai.

Success followed soon after and Qureshi became the chairman-cum-managing director of the Hind group of industries and established the first meat processing plant near Delhi in 1989.

Happy with the way things have turned out to be, Qureshi now looks forward to the presidential summit in the US and exchange business ideas. He will be one of the 250 other people from places with sizeable Muslim population like Africa, the Middle East, southeast Asia and the US itself.

The summit follows Obama’s Cairo speech in June last year when he promised of such a meeting to deepen ties with business leaders from the Muslim communities across the world and the US.