x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

To earn success, keep at it

Kunal Kapoor, the founder of The Luxury Closet, believes making money is all about timing.

Kunal Kapoor says you can make money doing anything, anywhere, if the timing is right. Jaime Puebla / The National
Kunal Kapoor says you can make money doing anything, anywhere, if the timing is right. Jaime Puebla / The National

Kunal Kapoor is the founder of The Luxury Closet, an online marketplace for second-hand luxury goods he set up in December 2011. The 32-year-old from India moved to the UAE four years ago and is also an avid food and travel enthusiast.

q Describe your financial journey so far

a I’d like to think I am at the beginning of my financial journey. My father would always say: “You slog in your 30s and make money in your 40s. If you haven’t done enough by then, you are already 50, and then it is a bit too late.” I think there’s a lot of common sense in this more balanced approach to earning money that people of my father’s generation had, in the sense that one was expected to work hard and long to become and be successful. Today, most young business owners and entrepreneurs expect meteoric success, and their businesses need to prove they are profitable in the early stages.

Would you call yourself a spender or a saver?

I would say that I am an investor. I don’t spend a lot nor do I save much. Most of what goes out of my pocket has a purpose and that is to bring back more than what went out initially.

What is your philosophy towards money?

In a word: industriousness. I believe it is possible to make money doing anything, anywhere in the world. However, the right timing is key, and that may not always be in your control. Like the adage goes – “being at the right time and at the right place” makes all the difference. So, at times, success may seem a bit arbitrary, like a lottery. But if you really want it, you must keep at it: invest your time wisely, work hard, be honest and success will follow. That’s my mantra. Mind you, it won’t turn you into a millionaire, but you will have more than you need.

Did you make any financial mistakes along the way?

Having my money stolen in a Dubai rent scam would be at the top of this list. I was not alone because as many as 400 other people lost rent money in this scam. My wife and I were among the first to realise it was gone and notified the police, but it was still a bit too late. Lesson for the future: when it comes to financial transactions, do your due diligence before you invest.

How important is money to you?

I would say it is very important. But its importance to me is not necessarily as a personal accumulation of wealth. It is a benchmark for a good quality of living in general. My business, The Luxury Closet, operates in the field of luxury goods; a Hermès handbag costs more than a Coach because it’s worth more and it is a benchmark of excellence. When you’re managing your own business, money becomes also an important metric of your success and the valuation of your business.

Do you plan for the future?

If I were to describe myself, I would say that I am a “live in the moment” kind of person. I am involved and invested in everything I do in my life while I’m doing it. I do have a macro plan for my life, a direction that I’m heading towards, milestones set that I need to reach in five years, and then in the next five years after that, and certain priorities and quests both professionally as well as personally. One such quest was finding the woman of my dreams and marrying her – it happened last year.

What is your idea of financial freedom?

To be able to dine anywhere I please without thinking how much it will cost me. When I am at this stage I will know I have enough financially and will feel truly free.

What do you enjoy spending money on?

Food and travel are at the top of my list. They are both a rich source of unique experiences.