Raymond Lobo - A phenomenal journey from farming to business

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By Dr Eugene Moodubelle

Mumbai, 26 January 2010: As per the directions given by Raymond Lobo, I reached his office on the fourth floor of the posh multi-storey Marathon Max building in Mulund. A stickler to time, Raymond was already in the office and welcomed me with a smile in his cabin.

After few preliminaries, Raymond narrated his phenomenal journey from the farming family background to the establishment of the Raymond and Company that deals with blast cleaning, shot blasting, spray metalizing, epoxy coating, industrial painting and chemical coating.

Raymond was born on 18th February 1948 in a large family of ten children, four boys and six girls. He was the ninth child of late Thomas and Sabina Lobo of Mattar, a part of the Belle Parish. His elder brother, Salvadore Lobo is presently the Bishop of Baraipore near Kolkotta. He had the distinction of presiding over the beatification process of Mother Theresa.

Raymond had his education in Don Bosco Higher Primary School and St. Mary’s High School, Shirva from where he passed the SSLC examination. He went to St. Aloysius College, Mangalore for PUC studies which he completed in 1967.

For two years after the PUC, Raymond did all kinds of farming work at his home at Mattar. Later, like most of the young men from villages, he too migrated to Mumbai for a better future. After staying with relatives for sometime, Raymond shifted to the St. Lawrence Club at Clare Road, Byculla which was his home for five years.

Employment was the chief worry for the young men who came from the native villages and Raymond was not free from the initial anxiety of getting a decent job. As he could not get a job that suited his qualification and liking, Raymond had no other alternative but to join as an apprentice in the Pentagon Machine Tools company at Byculla where he continued for one year.

Fired with ambition and desiring to do his own business, Raymond ventured into manufacturing and servicing of vibrators and servicing of concrete mixers. However, due to lack of financial support and luck, Raymond gave up this enterprise and decided to change his line of job.

From technical field, Raymond jumped into office related work and joined as an accountant in India’s Hobby Centre Private Limited which used to deal with large sophisticated toys such as aero models. Meanwhile, he also completed the Government Commercial Diploma (GCD) course.

With additional qualification, Raymond joined Batliboy and Company where he worked for five years as an accountant. Later, he shifted to Chippendale Private Limited, a furniture Company as an export executive.

That was the time when most of the youngsters aimed at Gulf to make more money. Raymond also joined this brigade and went to Saudi Arabia in 1981 where he joined the Soge International Limited as an insurance officer. After working for two years in this company, Raymond went to Kuwait where he worked in the Kimmco Shareholders’ Association as material controller and worked for four years.

From Kuwait, destiny took Raymond to Muscat where he entered the service in the Sultan’s Special Force as non-commissioned officer from 1989 to 1996.

After fifteen years of working experience in three different Gulf countries, Raymond came back to Mumbai and with sufficient knowledge and funds started his own business firm named Raymond and Company in the field of anti-corrosive treatment of metals in 1997.

His first customer was Premier UNO Plant whose six huge tanks were shot blasted and electro painted by the newly established company of Raymond. Gradually, the reputation of Raymond as an honest and sincere entrepreneur got him additional business with some of the most reputed companies including ONGC, BARC, Crompton, Larsen and Tubro, Jindal Oil and Suzlon. His company’s personnel were called to distant places in India such as Paradeep Port in Orissa, Jamnagar and Silvasa in Gujarat, Rajasthan and other places to do job on the spot.

The normal routine of Raymond on week days is that after attending the office at Mulund from 9AM to 12.30 Noon, he would go home for lunch and thereafter would proceeds to his workshop at Adaveli in Mahpe, New Mumbai where he undertakes spray metalizing work with aluminum, zinc, carbon steel and stainless steel on fabricated items such as fuel tanks, vessels and structures.

Raymond suggested that I should accompany him to the workshop at Mahpe where I can see how the metalizing work is being done. From Mulund we proceeded to Mahpe in Raymond’s Honda City car which he drove himself.  On the way at Airoli we had lunch before reaching the workshop.

The metalizing workshop of Raymond is located in an area of nearly two acres of leasehold land. I was surprised to see verities of plants around his office at Mahpe. There are fruit plants such banana, papaya, pomegranate and butter fruit; different types of flower plants and verities of herbal plants that include garuda pathala, insuline plant, tulsi, aelovera, cinnamon, turmeric, etc. Raymond has a great attachment to the herbal plants as his father, Thomas Lobo used to treat patients with herbal medicines free of charge. Raymond also proudly showed me his vegetable garden and even gave me ladies fingers (bhindi) to be taken home.

The task in the workshop is quite difficult. The workers have to put on protective dress and masks while shot blasting and spray metalizing. Raymond personally supervises the work as he is keen in maintaining the quality of the work and trust of his customers.

Raymond was married in 1975 to Freeda D’Souza of Kundapura and has two daughters. Elder daughter, Rayna is married and settled down at Borivali and the younger, Reshma is also married and stays with her family at Airoli. Tragedy struck in the life of Raymond when his beloved wife Freeda expired in June 2004 and he became lonely. After two years he once again married to Natalia Fernandes of Bellore.

Other than business, Raymond has developed an interest in writing in Konkani. He says that it was his friend Naveen Kulshekar, a renowned Konkani writer who inspired and encouraged him to write articles and stories in the Konkani weekly “Divo”. He has also written a short novel named “Kante-Kunte, Phulam Jhele”, published by Kalasagar Prakashan.

The instinct of social service prompted Raymond to join the Lions Club of Mumbai Lakesite, Mulund in 1998. He became its President in 2006-07. Presently he is the District Chairman and member of the governing council of District No. 323A-2. Under the initiative of Raymond a charitable dispensary was established at Thembi Pada at Bhandup slum area providing medicine to the needy and poor people of the area. For his dedicated and meritorious service in the Lions Club Movement, Raymond has been awarded Melvyn John Fellow (MJF) and Excellence Awards.

Raymond is a member of the Parish Council, Konkani Sabha and Christian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He has trained and given certificates to nearly 150 young men in his field of work with which they could get jobs on oil rigs and platforms.

Raymond is nostalgic about his childhood and life in Mattar and Belle village. He visits his native place occasionally and has great attachment to the soil where he had grown with his parents and brothers and sisters.

When asked about the secret of his success, Raymond said: “ I have come up in life practically from scratch and presently I am the owner of the Raymond and Company. Hard work, commitment, time management and ethical business practices are the chief qualities that helped me to come up in life and become an entrepreneur.”


Comments on this Article
jessy, manipal Mon, February-22-2010, 12:31
dear reymond sir,i personally met you in dubai.you are such gem of a crown. i heard many people are saying,whoever got so much in their life they are very good in their sorroundings.thats true. i was just 2 hours with you and i pound what a simplisity and care for others.really great sir .hats off to you and all very best to great job.jessy dubai.
Francis Noronha, Mumbai Tue, January-26-2010, 9:38
Congratulations to you Mr. Raymond Lobo. You are inspiration to the budding Enterpreneurs.
Simon Dsouza, Shirva/Doha Tue, January-26-2010, 8:58
Well done Raymond. All the Executive Committee members of St. Mary s Old Students Association join me in Congratulating you. We are proud of you.
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