SRINAGAR, Mar 6: From an orange seller on railway platforms to the “Oxygen Man of India,” Pyare Zia Khan has come a long way to carve out a niche for himself in the country. Today, his enterprise, Ashmee Group of Companies has an annual turnover of Rs. 600 crore, and he aims to take it to Rs. 1,000 crore by next financial year.
His journey is an inspiration for many, and his philanthropic work during the pandemic has earned him the title of the “Oxygen Man of India.”
In an interview with the Kashmir Despatch, Pyare Zia Khan shared his journey from a humble beginning to becoming a self-made billionaire. He said, “I would sell oranges for three years at railway stations in Nagpur. And then I rented an auto-rickshaw and drove it for another three years. Following that, my mother sold her jewelry and gave me Rs. 12,000 to buy my own auto-rickshaw. But I always wanted to do something better and never lost hope.”
Mr. Khan’s first break came when he bought a truck on a bank loan of Rs. 11 lakhs. He faced several challenges in getting the loan as he was living in a slum, but his persistence paid off. Today, he owns 500 trucks and has offices in several countries, including Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh.
Apart from entrepreneurship, Mr. Khan is also involved in various philanthropic activities. He is the chairman of Hazrat Baba Tajidun Trust, which is a religious trust based in Nagpur. He is also a member of the National Road Safety Council.
During the pandemic, when India was suffering from a shortage of oxygen, Mr. Khan procured 400 MT of medical liquid oxygen and supplied it to government hospitals in and around Nagpur. He spent Rs. 85 lakh on the endeavor, even though the administration offered to pay him for the transportation. He refused to accept payment, citing that it was his duty-bound ‘zakat’ during the holy month of Ramzan.
In his interview, Mr. Khan said, “The expenditure on oxygen was my service to humanity in the time of crisis. Even when I had to pay three times more to hire two cryogenic gas tankers from Bengaluru, I didn’t bargain and paid the amount readily. I paid Rs. 14 lakh more than the market price for the tankers.”
His philanthropic work has earned him widespread appreciation, and many have called him the “Oxygen Man of India.” When asked about the title, Mr. Khan said, “It’s a great honor, but I don’t want to be known as the Oxygen Man. I want to be known as someone who has contributed to society.”
Mr. Khan’s vision goes beyond business and philanthropy. He intends to invest Rs. 100 crore in Jammu and Kashmir and create more opportunities for the youth in the UT. He believes that there is immense talent in JK that needs to be nurtured.
In his words, “I have seen the potential in Jammu and Kashmir, and I want to create more opportunities for the youth there. I believe that they can achieve great things if given the right platform and support.”
Mr. Khan’s journey is an inspiration for many, and his philanthropic work during the pandemic has earned him the respect and admiration of people across the country. His commitment to society is commendable, and he is truly a role model for aspiring entrepreneurs and philanthropists alike.
As Mr. Khan’s companies continue to grow, and his philanthropic work expands, one thing is clear – he will always remain committed to his values and beliefs. In his own words, “I believe that success is not just about making money. It’s about making a positive impact on society and contributing to the greater good.”