Wed, 09 August 2023
With a career in the Middle East spanning more than 40 years and as Bahrain’s sole recipient of the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award to honour Non-Resident Indians who have made an exceptional and meritorious contribution in their chosen field abroad, K.G. Baburajan is one of the most important Indian citizens in the Kingdom. Currently the Chairman and General Manager of BKG Holding, he sat down with Bahrain This Month to tell his story.
How did you first arrive in the region?
My career in the Middle East began in 1979 when I joined Al-Hoty Stanger in Saudi Arabia, a branch of Stanger, one of the oldest quality control testing and inspection services founded in the UK back in 1840. We set up a facility in Bahrain to work on the construction of the King Fahd Causeway, which was my first major project. I was then asked to join the company’s engineering department of standards, specifically the field of Foundation Design and Piling in Bahrain a couple of years later.
What other projects have you been involved with? Which was the most challenging and why?
I have also been involved in the construction of the Shaikh Khalifa Port, Alba, BAPCO, Bahrain International Airport Terminal modernisation, Almoayyed Tower, Shaikh Isa Bridge, Sitra Bridge and more. I would say the Causeway project was the most challenging one because that was the biggest project in the entire region at the time. Plus, it was at the beginning of my career so I was still constantly learning.
As a proud recipient of the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award, how vital do you see the relationship between Bahrain and India, both on a national level and for the Indian diaspora in Bahrain?
The relationship between the two countries goes back at least 5,000 years, so the connection was there already going back to the trade of spices and grain. In more recent times, because of the British rule in India, Bahrain acted like a link between Britain and India. Indians should be proud to have contributed so much to the development of this part of the world; and we are grateful to the Royal Family for giving us the opportunity for unrestricted professional growth and progress.
What are your social commitments outside of business, particularly in the area of boosting relations?
I believe that God has given me a certain privilege in life. I therefore feel that I should share that with people who are less privileged in all aspects, whether that is education, medical, social or any other way we can help rather than just finance alone. I have built houses for poorer people in Kerala and other parts of the world.
What advice would you give to young engineers who are interested in a career in construction or who have recently graduated, particularly young Indians?
I think the most important thing to remember is that you help to give a professional service to the country, wherever you are working. We should also uphold our tradition and culture of the country, which is India. The most important thing, I would say, is that they should be dedicated and responsible in their profession. Then, naturally, success will come. Never do something just for the sake of doing a job and earning some money. The passion should be there, and Bahrain is one of the best for working and opportunity if you work hard.