x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Keep friendship and loans apart

Harish Naidu, the director of D5 Marine Services based out of Mumbai, provides dive services in India and is targeting new business in places such as Fujairah. He discusses his financial journey.

Harish Naidu is the founder and director of D5 Marine Services in Mumbai. Courtesy Harish Naidu
Harish Naidu is the founder and director of D5 Marine Services in Mumbai. Courtesy Harish Naidu

Harish Naidu, 28, had seen the underbelly of some of the Arabian Gulf’s most important infrastructure as a diver for regional oil producers, including Adnoc. After years gaining experience surveying gas pipelines and rigs in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, he started his own company – D5 Marine Services, based out of Mumbai. Now, the director of a company with six people in management, plus a further 30 in diving and support roles, Mr Naidu provides dive services in India and is targeting new business in places such as Fujairah. He discusses his financial journey.

How would you describe your financial journey so far?

Basically I had started earning when I was in my college days in South Africa when I was doing my diving course. So that was the first time I was earning as a part-timer. I used to work in a dive store there that paid 35 rand (Dh12.72) per day. Later on, after completion of my degree I came back to India and I started working in the oil and gas sectors. So the first job I had was with ONGC [Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, based in India], and I was earning a good amount. Currently, I earn about US$10,000 a month.

Are you a spender or a saver?

I’m a good saver as well because I think about the future whenever I spend even a penny from my pocket. I have a couple of pension plans taken out six years ago.

Is money important to you?

In these days financial efforts should be needed. Saving money is really important in everyone’s day to day life.

Have you made any financial mistakes along the way?

A couple of times, because everybody makes mistakes in life. I’ve made a couple of wrong investments here, I’ve learnt a lesson from there. It’s really taught me that you should be really careful before even investing a single penny. I’ve learnt a lesson that when you are in a friendship, you never lend money to anybody because that spoils a relationship because you can never ask for the money back. I had lent $2,500.

Do you plan for the future?

I have a future plan, and whatever capital I have I invest in infrastructure projects. Apart from my current savings made every month, I have investments. Whenever I invest $1, I expect a return of at least $2. Whatever I am doing currently in Singapore, UAE, Qatar and other countries, I am investing a dollar and I am doubling it.

What has been your biggest financial lesson?

To start up my firm, basically it was a plan for my end. At that time I was not having more than $2.5 million. A friend was supporting me. We had a capital of $5m and then we raised the funds.

What do you spend your money on?

I’m fascinated by buying clothes, shoes and my car. My parents gave me the best education. They sent me to three different countries for my degrees. I’ve done my diploma in Australia, degree in South Africa, masters in Singapore. I have to give an even better education than what I got to my kids and the future generation.

ayee@thenational.ae