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'Thousands of jobs await Indians in Gulf’

Sunday, April 04, 2010 09:39:09 PM, IANS

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New Delhi: The Gulf is on the verge of a boom and there will be thousands of jobs for skilled Indians, especially in the petrochemical sector, says Ravi Pillai, managing director of the Saudi Arabia-based Nasser S. Al-Hajri Corporation.

Billions of dollars are being invested in major projects in the Gulf, particularly in Saudi Arabia and the UAE emirate of Abu Dhabi, and nearly 300,000 new jobs will be created in the next five years, said Pillai, who hails from Kollam district of Kerala.

“The Gulf is on the brink of another boom," Pillai told IANS in an interview here, citing new projects that include two $12 billion Jubail Export Refinery and Yanbu Export Refinery projects in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi's new refinery and nuclear power projects.

"Skilled workers from India will get maximum opportunity to work in these projects. I hope among the total workforce more than 60 percent will be Indians," said Pillai, whose company has a 35,000-strong Indian workforce, making it one of the largest employers of Indians in the Gulf.

He was in the capital to receive the Padma Shri award conferred on him by the president of India in the trade and industry category.

Pillai's company is engaged in construction at oil and gas refineries in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain.

"Among our management and engineering personnel are Americans, British, Italians, South Africans, Koreans, Filipinos, and of course, Indians," he said.

"We are also equipped with the services of highly skilled and well experienced supervisory staff."

According to Pillai, the real estate sector in Dubai is also changing, for the better.

"Only Dubai's real estate sector was affected by the recession. Now, there are signs of positive change. The Gulf will remain a dream destination for Indians," Pillai said.

Pillai, who is also head of the R.P. Group of Industries, says it is planning to invest Rs.500 crore in India's power sector.

"My R.P. Group is interested in investing in India's power sector. I have a Rs.500-crore plan for this."

"I have already invested Rs.150 crore to set up a five-star hotel near the scenic Ashtamudi lake (in Kollam). The nature-friendly hotel-cum-resort is surrounded by beautiful backwaters," he said.

Pillai, a Pravasi Bharatiya Samman winner, is also engaged in charities. He has set up the Upasana Hospital and Research Centre in Kollam to give free treatment to the poor.

He is also planning to hold community marriages in Kerala.







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