Muscat: An Indian expatriate bid adieu to the Sultanate of Oman after completing 50 golden years of his life’s journey. Ashok Sabharwal worked for 53 years in a country which became his second home.
Choking with emotion, Ashok said Oman is an extraordinary country, where I worked in an exceptional organisation for 53 years along with thousands of others, and shared heartfelt emotions and limitless memories with them.
“This is how I would like to summarise my journey with Oman and the A&A Group,” Sabharwal said.
Going down memory lane, Ashok said,“Where do I begin talking about this journey? From the time when there was no runway at the airport or the fact that there was just one concrete road in Muscat? Or, when I was struck by malaria within a few days of my landing in the country?
“This dilemma apart, the fact remains that there was no direct flight to Oman. I took an Air India flight from Bombay to Dubai and came to Muscat via Dubai on a Gulf Aviation flight which later became Gulf Air. “During my initial years, there was a nagging upheaval in my mind -- where have I come and for what? I was on the verge of quitting but then God helped me and I decided to stay which turned out to be a monumental transformation not just for me but for Oman as well.
“As there were limited shops in Oman, we used to go to Dubai for shopping every three months and our vacations used to be every six months.”
“With the coming to power of Late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said bin Taimour, a paradigm shift occurred in the country. Under his leadership, I saw Oman grow from an infant to a young, mature man with a global vision. We at the AA group drew inspiration from Late His Majesty’s leadership and grew from just being a standard catering company to a world-class facility management company with global expertise and experience.”
“I am glad the country is in the able hands of His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik who has shown exceptional leadership qualities during a difficult period particularly during the recent Covid-19 pandemic, which affected the lives and livelihoods of many. It’s HM’s vision and decisions that have helped Oman sail out of this adversity and the country is now ready to take on countless challenges and future possibilities.
“The beauty of Oman is that right from the top leadership to the common citizen, you can spot humility, humbleness and genuine hospitality. Being in the hospitality sector myself for over 50 years, I can safely say that Omanis are the most accepting and kind people I have ever seen. And, I have seen and been to various countries around the world but the feelings of love and respect that I have got in Oman are unrivalled,” he added.
“53 years, in one company, this landmark couldn’t have been achieved without the support of my peers and team. These include all former colleagues and friends who have been a part of my past, present and will remain in my future. You can never reach success without the right work-life balance and thanks to everyone for I have been able to survive, strive and thrive for 53 years.”
“I have been a part of the AA group for 5 decades and Muscat for me will always be my home, not a place where I just worked. If India is my heart, Muscat is my soul. It is an emotional goodbye for me but like all stories come to an end, mine must also end here, but you all have many chapters to write so give it your all and give it your best,” he concluded.