In 1958, Prem Mulani’s grandfather prepared the foundation for his present day insurance business by setting up Balawas Insurance. After his father’s passing, Prem took the reins of the company at only 20 years of age. In Spite of losing key employees and the Swiss insurance company they were representing withdrawing from the Middle East, Prem pushed through signing a contract with Arab Orient.
15 years ago, Prem got the opportunity to start his own insurance broker firm – and Pioneer Insurance Brokers was formed. One year later Prem joined BNI, and has continued what his grandfather’s started in the business.
This year, Prem’s son will be joining him at Pioneer Insurance Brokers, making it four generations in the business. When questioned on how it feels, Prem replies, “It feels great actually because firstly, he is a person whose straight enough, he is keeping me accountable. I’m keeping him accountable.”
One positive of having his son join the business is the new ideas he brings to the table. “In fact, he’s been encouraging me on certain things, which I didn’t take out the time to do,” Prem says “which I’m enjoying and it’s helping me in my business development.”
Initially, when approached by Bijay to become a Director Consultant (DC), Prem was hesitant to step up. Things changed when Madhup took over as the DC of BNI Early Birds and Prem enjoyed the way he did things. This resonated with his personality Prem said, “When Madhup then asked me, why don’t you become a DC. I could see myself doing things the way Madhup did it. And I think that’s what prompted me to say, yes, I don’t mind taking on the role of a DC.”
The first chapter Prem took over was BNI Desert Rainmakers in August 2013. Unfortunately, that chapter had to be closed down, “I developed a reputation as a hatchet man,” Prem adds, “that I closed down chapters, because after that I was assigned to BNI Synergy and all the Synergy people thought that I was being assigned there to close it down.” After changing the foundations of Synergy, it’s become a very consistent chapter.
“Synergy really echoes how I am,” Prem says. “Things are very down to earth, very simple, get the stuff done and there’s a very warm feeling within Synergy.”
A Long Journey
Prem has been one of the longest serving members of BNI UAE, but his journey wasn’t quite so straightforward. He first had the impression that he didn’t need networking. He remembers thinking, “I don’t need to go for any networking. I was born and brought up here and I know everyone I need to know.” When he attended his first meeting, Prem realized the only person he knew at the meeting was the person who invited him. “It was a big moment and my eyes were opened. That’s when, right on the spot I told Bijay, I’m interested.” But, what made him stay so long? “One thing is that the business is a given. Yes, we got to work on it, I’ve done a lot of business over the years. It’s when I started a new company. Lots of members helped me in setting up the new company, the brand name, etc, everything I got done from BNI and I realised one thing, it was because of my fellow members promoting me.” On his advice for anyone who wants to be a DC, Prem signs off, “You have to be completely selfless of just doing things, not for yourself but for the greater good of the chapter.”