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May 31, 2013

College dropouts still successful entrepreneurs- Mukesh 'Micky' Jagtiani

Mukesh ‘Micky’ Jagtiani is an Indian entrepreneur and business man born on 15 August 1952. He is the proprietor of Landmark retail stores group, based out of Dubai. ‘Micky’ is Mukesh Jagtiani’s nickname. Before relocating to England, Micky had completed his schooling in India and Beirut. In London he joined an accounting school from which he later dropped out. Today his business Landmark Group governs nearly 4.7 Billion dollar sales and consists of 1,300 stores spread across 18 countries. His wife Renuka oversees Landmarks fashion segment, which is called Splash. He has two daughters and one son and is currently residing in Dubai. Today he is one of the richest men on earth not only in terms of money but also in the eternal realms of respect that people hold for him.


Before he became an entrepreneur Micky was a taxi driver in London who was simply trying to make ends meet. His first encounter with retailing was when he had to move to Bahrain to run his family’s business due to the untimely death of his family members. By inheriting only 6,000 dollars and a shop that sold baby products he earned his right to success through his hard work. By self- funding and expanding his business, over the years he diversified his retail into one of the largest retail chains in the Middle East. His retail chain Landmark Group sells commodities that range in fashion, food, furniture, electronics and leisure and he also runs budget hotels in the Gulf. In 2008 he brought six percent stake in Debenhams, which is a UK retailing chain with raving fans and became a member on the Forbes billionaires list.  

In June 2012, as a fashion partner Landmark Group sponsored a phenomenal gig for Madonna in Abu Dubai. His Landmark Group is partnered with a French retailer named Auchan and in India they are seeking out a hypermarket venture. In the next half of the decade Landmark Group plans to open 80 more stores and by 2015 aims to reach the target of 5 Billion dollar sales. Recently he initiated his business into the healthcare sector and opened iCARE which is a healthcare clinic in Dubai.


In 2000, he set up LIFE which is an organization to support poor children in India. LIFE stands for ‘Landmark International Foundation of Empowerment’. LIFE initiates healthcare and developmental programs for children, schools in rural areas, rural hospitals and also support medical camps for slum dwellers and an old age home in Chennai city.

His life and struggles

Micky Jagtiani’s life story is fascinating and inspiring. Many will be fascinated by his bold decisions and be inspired by the manner in which he faced the hardships that life threw at him.

Towards the end of his days, Micky’s father expressed his growing concerns of how would Micky survive alone? And “on what is he going to live on?” His father had some very strong reasons to be concerned. First of all his father was an immigrant who had relocated to Kuwait with his family and had barely managed to gather some funds to send Micky through college and later to an accounting school in London. But Micky was a carefree son who had flunked many exams and finally dropped out of college. At this time Micky was also smoking heavily and drinking. He drove a taxi and cleaned hotel rooms in Earls Court, one of the cheapest areas in London to make ends meet. Finally in 1972, when was running very low on money he returned to his family in the Gulf to help in their business and start fresh but his life was about to get worse. In nearly a year’s period he lost his entire family, his brother succumbed to leukemia, his father was diabetic and passed away soon after and his mother died of cancer the next year. Mickey was just 21 and without a promising future when he faced these difficult experiences and was left all alone to fend for himself. But he did not give up and today he has built an economic empire for himself.

Micky initially wanted to return to India and work for charity and NGO’s to battle the epidemic of poverty in our country. But his burning obligation to complete what his brother started, convinced him to run his brothers retail store in Bahrain. Though he was a victim to self- doubt due his lack of experience in retail, he took a daring step and decided to fill the store up with clothes, bottles, strollers and other gear against the 6,000 dollars that had been left to him. He called the store ‘Babyshop’. He was able to hire only one employee and would clean the store himself. He would have to personally pick up boxes from the port, stack and code inventory along with mopping the place.

After twelve years of struggle he had created six stores and led 400 employees and was on his way to definitive success. He then decided to move to Dubai with his wife and children, which was a very critical decision in his life. It was in Dubai that he started Landmark Groups whose marketing focused on the middle-consumers. This one decision to move to Dubai and start Landmark changed his life completely as Landmark Groups began to spread across numerous countries. Today Landmark is the one of the largest retailing chains in the Middle East.

Micky prefers to live a simple and quiet life. He owns just one car, runs his life with one key and often sleeps on the floor. He claims to be a film buff who watches an ‘inspirational’ movie every night. He believes in Buddhism which is the driving force of his spiritual life. He is not a materialist and loves to do a lot of social work. He says the secret to being peaceful is to eradicate your desires that make you live in a complacent bubble that you are protecting for your own good only and being inconsiderate to others in the process.

In India he supports foundations that are funding the education for more than one lakh children in slums and several orphanages. During his visit to orphanages in India he sleeps on the floor with other children as he believes that it keeps him ‘grounded’ to his roots in his home country. 

Life throws challenges at you in the form of disparities. Many succumb to the hardships of life and others battle their inner conflicts and the evils of the world to create a better tomorrow for themselves and the world.  Micky Jagtiani is the latter. Micky Jagtiani is a man who has struggled and understood what the underprivileged go through, he has worked hard and tried to help those in need rather than spending his fortune in the various materialistic gains in life. Micky Jagtiani is a very human tycoon.   

Tags : Landmark Group, Landmark retail group, Micky Jagtiani, list of indian billionaires, micky jagtiani success story, successful entrepreneurs, college dropouts

About Kanika

I have been writing for almost 3 years now for various clients