Amber Group formed to do good, says CEO Dushyant Savadia
Indian founder tells of lifting himself from drug addiction, alcoholismWednesday, October 21, 2020
By Kevin Jackson
A dedication to serve people was the inspiration behind Dushyant Savadia's decision to form Amber Group Limited, a global technology specialist firm, five years ago.
Today, there are seven companies within his organisation, a big accomplishment for the Indian businessman who overcame substance abuse to build a successful company.
Savadia came to Jamaica in 2012 after living in the United Kingdom for several years.
“The entire fundamental of the Amber Group was to give back. The company was born out of a noble cause which is to do good,” Savadia explained during a recent Jamaica Observer Business Forum.
“I never wanted to do business, I wanted to serve, wanted to help. I wanted to bring a smile on everyone's face. I wanted to make this country and every country within my reach a stress-free and values country. The only chance I had was to create a vehicle that can fund this insatiable passion that I have,” he added.
Amber Group comprises Amber Connect, Amber Pay, Amber Rewards, Amber Aviation, Amber Aura, Amber Fuels, and Amber Innovations. It has operations in 23 countries, including major markets of India, the United States, and Canada.
Having acquired a personal loan of US$450,000 from a colleague, Savadia started Amber Group in 2015. Its objectives are diverse.
“First, I want Amber to be a platform for individuals who are committed to nation-building. Second, I would like to reverse the trend of Jamaica being a consumer of technology into being a producer of technology. Third, I want to impact consumer lives by providing affordable technologies that will enhance the quality of living for people. And finally, I want to enable businesses to optimise performance and become customer-centric through effective use of technology,” he said.
Addressing the challenges of managing multiple companies Savadia said: “Whether you lead one business or several companies, the challenges remain the same. I think the differentiator is the energy that you bring into the business. I often refer to myself as the 'Chief Enthusiasm Officer' and that's because we manage a purpose-driven business. It's that energy and purpose that get us through the tough days. We also have to remember that companies are not managed by a person, but they are managed by people. Because I firmly believe in this, I have invested in my team, giving them a solid platform and an opportunity to develop personally, professionally, and financially. Providing a work environment full of enthusiasm, purpose, and transparency has created [and attracted] many leaders across all of our companies.”
The road to founder and CEO of Amber was not easy. Savadia admits he was a wayward teen who became rehabilitated and worked as a social worker.
“I was a drug addict, I was an alcoholic and a chain smoker. I was thrown out of my house when I was 19 years old,” he said. “When someone turns to alcohol or drugs, it is usually in search for comfort or an escape. What I have learnt about alcohol is that it provides empty promises of joy and never delivers. My own experience with alcohol turned me into an angry and impatient person and led to poor decisions, many of which I am not proud of. To anyone searching for purpose and joy, my advice is to find ways to rechannel your energy and associate yourself with a higher purpose.”
Prior to starting Amber Group, Savadia worked with the Art of Living Foundation in the United Kingdom.
“I came to Jamaica from the UK as part of my work with the Art of Living Foundation. I was engaged with several inner-city communities and worked directly with inmates in the prisons on stress management and violence-reduction workshops. This early work gave me a lot of exposure, insights, and understanding of the Jamaican culture which resonated with my own values and principles,” he said. “I don't see much difference when it comes to the warm, hospitable nature of Jamaicans when compared to India. Both countries have a lot in common, with deep historical connections and similar struggles and resiliency. So, it did not take me long to adapt to the Jamaican culture. Right from the very beginning I felt an affinity to this island and I am at home here.”
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