Featured Profiles

Making Waves In UAE Real Estate

Porush Jhunjhunwala is the Founder and CEO of Banke International Properties, a leading real estate agency in UAE and a successful entrepreneur. Jhunjhunwala is a market inspiration, who offers entrepreneurs valuable advice for starting their own business and is often a regular invitee at industry events and conferences. His work is deeply embedded in strong work culture, increasing diversity and inclusion, as well as excellent client servicing. Jhunjhunwala has a vision for his company where employees can enjoy their job, work professionally, and have a great inclusive culture. One of the most important values he believes in is that he loves to see people succeed and help them in their journey.


Jhunjhunwala was born and raised in the metropolitan city of Mumbai in India. Living in a tight-knit family, he was ingrained with his parents’ values such as honesty, loyalty, and integrity that has served him well while establishing his Real Estate Empire in the UAE.  


Reminiscing his childhood, he says, “I come from a city in India where students face tremendous competition from school to employment.” However, this pressure gave young Jhunjhunwala an advantage over the others. To excel in this competitive environment, his parents instilled in him a strong sense of discipline that he still holds dear to his heart. 


He recalled, “As a child, I remember I had a set timetable that I religiously followed. Even during the weekend, I was up by 6:30 am. But now, looking back, I realize that this discipline to do tasks as per a set schedule has definitely helped me in the long run.” 


Due to his extroverted nature and inherent ability to instantly connect with others, he decided to take the sales route and earned his MBA from the University of Mumbai. He was soon offered a management trainee position at the electronic giant Videocon in Aurangabad, India. He transitioned from managing the supply chain to being adept at hardcore sales.


Given his promising potential, Jhunjhunwala was soon shifted back to Maharashtra to handle their Mumbai branch. Not long thereafter, Videocon offered him a lucrative proposition to move base to Dubai and run operations for the Middle East and Africa. In 2005, he shifted to Dubai with his wife; however, he adds, “I was based here, but technically I was always travelling, three weeks a month.”


At the time, his wife was working for a leading Real Estate Company in Dubai as their Human Resource Manager. Jhunjhunwala recalled, “one day, while conversing with my wife, she said, ‘you are doing very well for yourself, but what you currently make in a year, the average employee in the company where I’m working makes in a month.’ I was aghast and said I was doing this to secure a good career in the long run. She remarked, ‘Irrespective of career, I’m just giving you feedback as a Human Resources Manager, that there’s incredible opportunity in the real estate industry.”


That was the turning point for Jhunjhunwala’s career; given the Real Estate Boom during 2006 and his wife’s conviction, he soon entered the industry. However, he once again found himself as a beginner in the industry and had to start from scratch. When he first started, he says, “When I started meeting clients, structuring grueling transactions and selling properties, I got more confident and realized this was my passion.”


With his zeal and unrelenting work ethic, he climbed the ladder to success one step at a time. In 2007, just a year later, he secured the position of Head of Commercial. However, in 2008, due to the Global Financial Crisis, Jhunjhunwala experienced one of the most challenging times in the industry. He says, “But again, we were holding on because we knew that this was just a phase and I believed in the vision of the leaders of the UAE and I knew the potential the region possessed.” 


After seven years of experience in the Real Estate sector, Jhunjhunwala decided to take the plunge. He says, “I had reached the peak of my career, achieved multiple accolades along the way and knew it was time to start a new chapter. I was 35 at that point, and I realized that I wanted to create something of my own to add value to others.” With his entrepreneurial zeal at the forefront, he decided to follow his passion and established Banke International Properties in 2013. 


With Jhunjhunwala’s mantra to always emphasize building relationships, he created his company by establishing a good rapport with the developers, clients and his staff. Due to this, he secured many good projects during the company’s initial phase that helped him establish Banke International as one of the fastest-growing real estate companies in the UAE. 


By building his company solely on his values, Jhunjhunwala laid the groundwork to slowly but steadily build a great company. In the first 3 years, he had less than 20 team members that have gradually transitioned to more than 150 and counting. 


His company, Banke International, is a full-service boutique real estate brokerage firm that believes in the magic of limitless dreams. The company has a vision of tremendous growth in the Middle East and Asia using intelligent technology, engaging talent and offering exceptional real estate value to all its customers. Their philosophy is to ensure an insightful approach to the real estate sector with an ambitious outlook and exceptional customer service. 


Offering insight on the boutique brokerage model, Jhunjhunwala says, “It’s a unique concept; instead of having client meetings at Starbucks, our clients can visit us at any retail outlet and discuss real estate opportunities. We are opening more pockets like these to service clients across UAE to enhance the customer experience.”


Due to their tremendous success in Dubai, the company has expanded to Abu Dhabi and will open shortly in other emirates of the UAE. The company has since received numerous prestigious awards from Top Developers and are constantly listed among the Top Brokers in the UAE. But Jhunjhunwala says his most significant achievement has to be not laying off a single team member during this pandemic.


He says, “The pandemic severely impacted us, but I have to say we are immensely blessed since we didn’t lay off a single member of our team. It’s not over yet, but initially, things were quite challenging. To combat this predicament, all senior managers got together and devised strategies to handle the situation efficiently.”


During that time, Jhunjhunwala also made it his responsibility to look after his employee’s mental health. He says, “We made certain to get on a zoom call with all employees on a daily basis to not discuss work but rather to ask them how they were dealing with the pandemic and how they were coping. We made sure to let them know that they could reach us at any time if they required our help.” 


Jhunjhunwala took this downtime to perfect Banke International’s tech processes and built their own CRM team. He says, “It took us six months to organize and store all our client database in-house and its definitely a significant step for us that will help us optimize our processes further.” 


He also took the opportunity to spend time with his family, his two children and his wife, who works as the Head of Operations in his company. He affectionately adds, “Since I don’t think I could find a better fit for the job, than my talented wife.” 

The company has already created waves in the real estate industry in UAE, and Jhunjhunwala intends to grow it more with each passing day. In conclusion, he reveals his secrets to success; he says, “Firstly, planning is essential, but the execution is key. Always see-through the seamless implementation of every plan. Secondly, build strong relationships with your employees, clients and suppliers. Everything in business revolves around networking and establishing a good rapport with your clients. Thirdly, always put yourselves in the customer’s shoes; it is guaranteed to take your customer experience to the next level. And lastly, there are no shortcuts in life, so be consistent every day and put in the work. It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It’s what we do consistently.”