Dubai Resident's Journey: Car Washer to Multi-Millionaire
Vignesh Vijaykumar, an Indian expat in Dubai, has captured the imagination with his remarkable rags-to-riches story. Starting as a teenager washing cars, he now boasts an impressive collection of 14 luxury cars, including a Ferrari, Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Range Rover, and more.
From Car Washer to Millionaire: The Inspiring Journey of Vignesh Vijaykumar
In addition to his lavish Jumeirah villa, Mr. Vijaykumar owns a luxury yacht, 68 horses, and multiple farms worldwide. As the founder and CEO of the Wealth-i group of companies, he oversees a diversified portfolio spanning real estate, hospitality, e-payment, car rental, human resources, and legal and business consultancy, employing over 700 individuals. His journey from earning Dh3,500 as a receptionist in 2005 to becoming a multi-millionaire is a narrative fit for a Bollywood blockbuster.
Humble Beginnings and a Drive for Success
Reflecting on his entrepreneurial journey, Vignesh Vijaykumar recalled how it all began with a modest investment of Dh100. The married father of two started washing cars part-time to make ends meet as a teenager burdened with his father's debts. Although Dubai was not initially on his radar while pursuing his undergraduate degree in Kerala, circumstances compelled him to take up a job in the city to support his family and help his father recover from significant losses. Realizing that his nine-to-five job was insufficient, he explored alternative avenues, ultimately seizing the opportunity to wash cars and earn extra income.
A Determined Work Ethic and the Road to Success
With the desire to clear his debts and pursue his dreams of owning cars, Vignesh Vijaykumar devised a plan. By offering monthly deals to wash just 14 cars each week, he could earn up to an additional Dh2,000. Rising at 4 am daily, he dedicated the early hours to washing cars in Dubai's Deira neighborhood. Armed with three clean towels and a finishing touch of car polish, he delivered exceptional service, impressing his customers and earning their generous payments. Even while living in cramped quarters with seven others and sharing a single bathroom with 14 individuals, Mr. Vijaykumar remained focused on his aspirations.
Dreaming Big and Building an Empire
Vignesh Vijaykumar drew inspiration from Dubai Ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, who taught him that dreams have no limits. Motivated by this philosophy, he pursued additional jobs alongside his car washing gig, steadily increasing his monthly income to around Dh9,000. In 2008, he embarked on a visa-renewal business, which rapidly flourished, processing 600 visas per month. Encouraged by his success, he left his full-time job and invested in a contracting business through a friend. By 2011, he had established a one-stop-shop for investors and businessmen. Within two years, his fortunes dramatically turned, leading to recognition as an upcoming Indian businessman by the Indian Association of Dubai. Mr. Vijaykumar's accomplishments include winning the Golden Achievement Awards by Dubai Chamber of Commerce in 2020 and the Youth Business Icon Award in 2022.
Triumphs, Setbacks, and the Importance of Honesty
While Vignesh Vijaykumar experienced tremendous success with his business empire encompassing immigration consultancy, public relations, HR, and the green economy, he also encountered challenges and significant financial losses. However, he remains grateful for the valuable relationships he forged and the lessons learned. He believes that honesty is the greatest wealth and that it paves the way for solutions even during challenging times. In an effort to repay his customers, Mr. Vijaykumar had to sell off all his assets. Yet, he remains optimistic and emphasizes the abundance of opportunities always present, urging others to stay vigilant and seize them.