Melwin Joy
AUTHOR

Melwin Joy

All stories by: Melwin Joy
C.P Salih – AASA’s Own Messiah

Mohamed Salih C.P is a pioneer extraordinaire with the mind of a futurist. He is the Chairman and Managing Director of AASA group of companies, which he founded three decades ago. From a very humble beginning, today the group with its corporate office located in the emirate of Sharjah has expanded to all the other six emirates of UAE handling various business verticals.

The dreams of his business empire as seen today was seeded by Salih through the contracting company which grew to human resource placements, infrastructure development, interior designing, marine services, shipping and ICT divisions. AASA group directly employs five thousand various nationalities, the majority from Indian sub-continent in general and particularly from Kerala and much more indirectly through its associates. It is to be noted that 95% of his employees are Malayalis.

C P Salih was born in Valapad village in Thrissur district. The home he grew up, along with his 10 siblings, was a huge one. He was born into a prominent aristocratic family which was well known in Thrissur district. From a very young age, he was influenced by his father, C.P Mohamed the then headman of Chandana Parambil family, who was an agriculturist and wellknown philanthropist of those time.

His compassion towards the poor admired Salih while growing up. Salih recalls how the water well from his house used to be a source of drinking water for people in 11 nearby panchayats.

Today, he still continues to keep it that way. Salih’s family was known for helping all in need. Salih did his schooling from Valapad Government Vocational Higher Secondary School. At those days, not everyone had the luxury of carrying a tiffin box to lunch. Most of his friends were not used to having a three times meal. Salih remembers how two or more friends used to share his lunch. None of them ate a stomach full, but they also felt content. Sharing is the single most joy in this man’s life. One of the most fulfilling moments of his life also came from that school, when after many years, Salih returned to his school to take part in an event where he gave free insurance to all the 70 students in Upper Primary level. Education was a luxury that most of the underprivileged students in the school couldn’t afford.

Tragedy struck at the age of 20 when Salih lost both his parents in a gap of 15 days. His mother was the first to pass away. Salih had just returned from Madras after his college and started a Travel agency in the city.

Loss of his parents was a huge blow for Salih. So much, that he couldn’t even find his heart anything, which he wanted to do very much. It was then his elder brother suggested him to go to the gulf. Salih took his advice and left the country. He never left for the gulf to make money but Salih just wanted to get over the grief of his loss.

In Dubai, he straightaway found a small job with a little pay. Salih was very happy with this as that kept him occupied. However, soon after he got in as an apprentice in the airport. Though the job had no pay he was very excited about his new role.

He worked hard and performed well. He even considered taking this job as a permanent one when the opportunity comes his way. But it was not to be so. However, the exposure he got from the airlines led him to the cargo business. It was at this time when a friend of his approached him asking his assistance to complete an ongoing construction project. Salih was known for his friendliness with the locals there. His friend reckoned that Salih could do justice to the project even though he had no previous experience since he was in such good terms with most people there. So Salih gave it a try. Salih never had to look back after that. And in this way, in 1995, AASA Group was born.

AASA Group is a United Arab Emiratesbased company which offers integrated construction solutions and related services.

The activity of the company covers all areas of construction, including the pre and post phases. Construction is the core business of AASA Group. Subsidiaries contribute to this core business, making it possible to offer a broad range of products and services. This structure allows AASA to effectively manage and fulfill construction projects, starting from the initial idea, through design, engineering, construction, and maintenance.

The company’s expertise spans a diverse range of industrial services, including Scaffolding, Steel Erection, Fabrication, Civil, Mechanical, Electrical Engineering and Manpower Support. Their foundation for the future is based on our unrelenting success within these growing industries.

AASA is an ISO certified company, setting sustainable business goals driven by the highest quality system, so that to provide its workmen safe, healthy and natural environment to work in while observing the rules of the land. Today, AASA Group is recognized as a leader in the industry, for its strength in traditional and advanced methods and for its creative, fresh approach to cutting edge technologies and delivery systems.

AASA Group has been approved as main contractors for different Government and Semi-Government entities including Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), Federal Electricity and Water Authority (FEWA), ADDC, ADWEA, ENEC, Ministry of Finance, ADFC, Nakheel, Ministry of Personal Affairs, UAE Military General Headquarters, Ajman Municipality, Dubai World Central, as well as offshore Oil and Gas platforms.

Some of the major projects of the group are Mall of Emirates, Dubai airport, and Armani Hotel balcony—in the Burj Khalifa.

Later in life when Salih C.P weaved a successful business story miles away in the Arabian Heartland, the calling of motherland reverberated in him which made him follow his father’s footsteps in philanthropy. Thus, C.P Mohamed Memorial Charitable Trust was formed in Kerala, India.

Salih C.P with his charitable inclination journeyed through the philanthropic route to offer his helping hand to the poor and needy through the various organizations and associations apart from his own trust.

Some of the major initiatives taken up by Salih C.P include the act of quenching the thirst of ten or more Panchayats in and around Valapad by supplying hundred thousand liters of pure drinking water on daily basis from the well of his own home, overseen by his wife Rahna Seethi who is his active supporter in his charity initiative. He won the hearts of all when 18 financially backward families were gifted with new homes, designed built and transferred to them under the housing project of a trust of his. This project was a first of its kind to be housed in multi-storey apartments.

“AMMAKKORU KAVIL KANJI” is a monthly pension plan for mothers in need, initiated by ORUMA; Salih is an active participant in this program apart from its coordinator T.N Prathapan MLA and Cine actor Sri Mohanlal. This initiative is focused on helping those in old age homes, where they find it really hard to provide meals to those living there.

Another milestone of C.P.Mohamed Memorial trust was its tenthanniversary celebrations during which Salih C.P declared a pension scheme of rupees thousand to be paid to two hundred less fortunate people irrespective of any caste or creed, but just by humanity. The honorable chief minister of Kerala Sri Ommen Chandy inaugurated this function.

Coinciding with the trust anniversary celebrations, Salih also initiated financial assistance for educating the downtrodden of the society in and around Valapad.

Education initiative does not stop there. Salih manages two schools namely Kunjamavan Memorial School (now C P MOHAMED MEMORIAL SCHOOL) which is more than hundred years in existence and C P Mohamed Memorial School which is above seventy-five years. These schools were founded by his father Mr. C P Mohamed and still the legacy is taken forward by Salih just as a service to educating the people of his coastal village without considering any monetary benefits.

“VAYANA KALARI” associated with Valapad Government School to promote reading habits among students is an expression of gratitude by Mr. Salih as an alumni of the school. In his quest to offer medical support to the needy, Salih proposed and initiated complete financial support for heart patients diagnosed for surgery. Again the Chief Minister of Kerala Sri Ommen Chandy recommended these patients and the scheme was named “With an Open Heart”.

Salih once reached out to a 25-year-old girl, Mini, who was struggling for her life, unable to breath. She hails from the same village as Salih. Her father, Madhavan could not afford the rupees 3000 per day to keep her breathing. Salih was quick to act and took over her medical expense. Unfortunately, Mini isn’t amongst us today. This was equally heartbreaking for Salih. He knew a person’s life is all in the hands of the almighty, and there is only so much a man can do. But this incident only made him try harder to do his part.

Today, Salih closely monitors where all his money can save a life. He still believes that there is no other happiness in the world like sharing. Valapad Govt. Hospital had a dream, to reach the ailing at times of emergency. The doctors at a social function shared this dream with Mr. Salih and then it was the “Dream comes true” for the hospital and the society. Valapad Govt. Hospital was gifted with an ambulance by Mr. Salih which has been in service now for more than a decade.
“Like Father Like Son” Salih follows his father’s footsteps to maintain commitment and dedication to the bottom lines of the society by giving back to the society a percentage of revenue he earns through his business to improve the lives of the impoverished. In the Malayalam month of Karkkidakam when the monsoon strike hard, the family still continues the age-old practice of offering food to the poor which is continued for a known period of more than hundred years, started by his great grandfathers. The business in particular and the society, in general, has bestowed gratitude in the bunch to Salih which has given him more responsibilities back to the society.

Some of those recognitions are PAZHASSI RAJA AWARD for PRAVASSI PRATHIBHA from the President of India in 2010, Fourth KSBEA Best Overseas Entrepreneur from Dr Rashid Al Leem at Sharjah Chamber of Commerce 2015, TSGA (Triprayar Sports and Games Association) Permanent Executive Member, KFA (Kerala Football Association) Thrissur District President since June 28th 2015, Life Member Indian Association Ajman, Advisory Committee Convener of Ernakulam Pravassi Welfare Association, Executive Member of OFWA, Executive Member of Valappad Association.

NO! The word does not exist in the dictionary of Salih thus, he remains a beacon of light for the unlighted, never getting tired of offering his support physical, financial, mental and moral for the upliftment of the society in which he is an integral part off.

Salih C.P is blessed with a happy family, the better half Rahna Seethi (daughter of politician and social worker late V.K Seethi) who is a great support and inspiration for his charity initiatives, the couple is blessed with four children. Dr. Hilas C.P, the eldest is Junior Doctor at Jubilee Mission Hospital Thrissur, Anhar C.P , is a Law student National Law University, the third child, Sanjeed C.P , is an Engineering student at CUSAT, and Sahal C.P , is an Engineering Student at CUSAT Salih says there as so many who has believed in him and supported him throughout his professional career. They all know who they are, and how much they mean to him. He says without their support and the blessings of Almighty he couldn’t have made it where he is now.

However, he believes that the best is yet to come. Salih C P frequents between India and UAE regularly apart from his business trips to Europe and other countries, continues new initiatives in Business as well as in philanthropy. The MD and Chairman of AASA group, with an experience of two decades, also has a word of advice for new entrepreneurs and future business leaders. He says that honesty and dedication goes a long way. He says that one should always finish his assignments within the allocated time, no matter what. And if one has the will, then the almighty will definitely take him all the way to success.

Melwin Joy
AUTHOR

Melwin Joy

All stories by: Melwin Joy