Guddubhai-Barefoot Capitalist


The story of Guddubhai, aka Muhammad Rafiq Theim (44), is a textbook case of ‘barefoot capitalism’. The youngest of five sons of a small Bikaner oil miller, the man  known as the King of the Guar Trade and synonymous with daily average trade of 8,700 tonnes of guar seed and 1,800 tonnes of guar gum”, didn’t attend college, barely speaks English and started his business career with a tea stall. He failed, started an auto rickshaw repair shop, failed again. Getting into commodity trading in mid-1990s was a desperate career switch.

Guar was perhaps a natural first choice as a trader. Rajasthan, India’s biggest guar-producing state, has a long history of guar business. Guddubhai was good at understanding market moods.

Guddubhai’s big break came when NCDEX launched futures trading in guar in 2004, and the global demand for guar, especially from the hydrocarbon business, exploded. By 2007, a close circle of people knowledgeable in commodity trades had christened him, ‘The King of Guar’.  Read more of this post

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