Remembering Abdul Razzaq Yaqoob (ARY)
Though it is impossible to capture the immaculate personality of Haji sahab, through this write-up we can only try to gauge the genius of Abdul Razzaq Yaqoob and his untiring efforts in establishing ARY Group into the premium business group that it has become today.
Haji Abdul Razzaq Yaqoob was born on 7th May 1944 in Surat, India. His family braved the hardships of migration and chose to migrate to Pakistan, Karachi specifically, in 1944. In order to pursue his dreams and ambitions to become a successful businessman, ARY left for Dubai in 1969. There, in 1972 he founded ARY Group and opened its first outlet in Fikri market, Deira. Initially, he also imported perfumes, cigarettes and watches as part of his business plan.
Gifted with an acute sense of business and the ability to judge his customer base, Abdul Razzaq Yaqoob initially decided to try his hand in the business of trading precious stones and gems. However, in order to pursue his ambitions, ARY had to start from humble means as well as a very meager amount. Through sheer hard work, dedication, commitment, honesty and practical intelligence, he courted success. It was then that ARY decided to venture into the minting of Bullion Gold Bars, coins and the production as well as designing of ornamental jewelry. Treating every business opportunity with the same formula that comprised of diligence, sheer expertise and commendable work ethic, he soon scaled the heights of gold business. Various gold products such as Rainbow Heart, Clear Gem and Morbe Pearl have been introduced by Abdul Razzaq Yaqoob. The Ranbow Heart jewelry product was the result of his cutting edge brilliance in producing products that were popular in the masses. His creative genius helped establish Rainbow Heart as an ornament that was prized and deeply adored by the public.
With his considerable, commendable success in the field of business, Abdul Razzaq Yaqoob amassed financial resources and wealth. However, he never shied away from philanthropic activities or lending a helping hand not only to members of the Memon community but to each and every poverty-stricken afflicted soul. He served as the first President of the World Memon Organization (WMO) a philanthropic, non-profit organization which catered to helping out impoverished members of the Memon community. On the initiative of late Haji Abdul Latif Jamal and late Haji Abdul Razzak Sorathia, Haji Abdul Razzaq Yaqoob accepted and became a part of the vision to unite the Memon community at a common platform, globally. On 31st March 2002, Haji Abdul Razzaq Yaqoob was named as the first president of the World Memon Organization (WMO). With the mantle of Presidency also came a great amount of responsibilities. Yet, Haji Abdul Razzaq rose to the occasion yet again and delivered in an utmost righteous and appreciable manner. For the sake of the WMO, he funded generously towards the building of generally welfare projects, most notably rehabilitation and educational projects. Never one to forget his own, Haji Abdul Razzaq spent endless amounts of hours holding crucial meetings and attending various fundraisers around the world in order to facilitate and gather funds for the sake of the WMO. He also attended various road shows, exhibitions, gatherings and membership campaigns all for the betterment of his brethren rather than his own personal sake. Foreign dignitaries, Heads of States, diplomats and influential people from all over the globe were approached by Mr. Yaqoob to alleviate the conditions of the poor. His philanthropic activities and welfare ventures were not only for the Memon community, however. The Khwaja Gharib Nawaz Welfare Trust established as a charity organization, has helped tremendous amounts of impoverished people in Pakistan. Be it natural disasters or the operation Zarb-e-Azb against militants that displaced millions, Khwaja Gharib Nawaz Trust has partnered with the Pakistani public in providing relief and rehabilitation to the affected. Not only that, Abdul Razzaq Yaqoob also provided aid in difficult times to stranded Pakistani and Indians in the Gulf to reach to their respective countries.
In 2000, Abdul Razzaq Yaqoob launched the ARY Digital Network, a subsidiary of the ARY Group of companies. The aim was to provide Pakistani public news and entertainment on their television screens. Just like his earlier successful business ventures, his sound business sense outmatched others and ARY Digital Network became popular through ARY Digital, ARY News, ARY Musik and ARY Qtv. The network group has risen to prominence and come a long way in providing news and entertainment to all segments, age groups of the Pakistani population. ARY Films, with its groundbreaking films and quality-oriented content, has resurrected the concept of film entertainment in Pakistan and led to the resurgence of cinema-culture in the country.
Haji Abdul Razzaq Yaqoob has been thoroughly missed this whole year. It is only with his leadership, sense of responsibility and prominent character that ARY Digital Network has remained Pakistan’s premium network. In his eyes, duty towards his fellow members of the society was an obligation on him. A large chunk of his earnings he readily spent for the poor, not only because it alleviated their conditions but due to the fact that he personally felt obliged to provide employment, impart education and administer health to those who could afford neither three. Adorned by the public, admired by his business proteges and thoroughly loved by his colleagues, he departed from this world last year after battling illness. Abdul Razzaq Yaqoob’s tireless efforts and undying contributions towards his fellow countrymen yields fruits every single day as his welfare organizations and relief operations are in full swing. He will always be remembered as a modest, well spoken of, generous person who gave back to his country more than it owed him.