Aji George has a plan. The sales director of Wizard Interiors and Design, which he co-founded six years ago in Dubai, employs 52 staff, the majority of whom are Indian.
But the company aims to nearly double its Indian workforce by the end of the year.
Here, he talks about why he primarily hires his fellow countrymen.
You want to employ 100 people from India by the end of the year. Why?
These people are the sole breadwinners for their families. So you give them an opportunity to help them support their loved ones.
What other benefits do you receive by hiring your countrymen?
In India there are certain places where people specialise [in specific trades]. For example, these carpenters who are working with me are basically born carpenters. Their family is involved in it. They come and tell me this is not the way to do it, that is the way to do it.
Do you only employ people from India?
We have a mix but we see to that a maximum number [are] Indians.
About 80 per cent of our workforce is Indian at the moment.
Have you always primarily hired your countrymen?
Initially ... we said OK, let's at least keep a target of at least 10 people in the first year so 10 families in India can survive [as a result of] this company. We reached 10 and the next year we went up to 25. And then, year after year, we kept a target for ourselves. This year our target is actually 100 people, so 100 families get a livelihood from this company.
How do you find your staff?
When I need people I tell [my staff], 'OK, do you have anybody who is interested in coming?' Because they are the best people to talk to. We say, 'OK, we want carpenters,' or 'we want masons,' or 'we want electricians,' or, 'we want painters.' The first way to spread the word is through our people and there are many recruiting companies in India who we send a request to and they get the people ready for us and we go and interview them and bring them here.
Do you ever hire locally?
Last year, we hired five people who we thought were good for us after a company closed down here. There are options available, whichever way is easier and faster for us, we do that.
Is hiring people who have worked abroad a challenge?
It was a bit difficult in the beginning to teach [some employees] that you have to wear shoes, you have to wear a helmet, you have to wear gloves to do those things. [Some were] used to keeping the wood on his leg and cutting it. But I said, 'Not in this part of the world.' Now they are used to it.