A polite and cultured colleague during our CYM days in Barkur, in early 80s, who was studying in local National Junior College, in Science stream was, rather an introvert, but a keen observer and a dedicated member, sincerely carrying out the big or small responsibilities entrusted to him….. After PUC, he completed his graduation i.e. B.Sc. in St. Philomena’s College, Puttur…..Today he is a successful businessman in UAE employing over 55 people in his enterprise….No success came overnight and the sheer hard work, honesty and patience of three decades now paying rich dividends….Yes, we are more than happy and proud to talk and write these few lines about Walter D’Almeida from Halekody, Barkur, a role model to youngsters to make their mark in the business and commercial fields in days and years to come…..
A brief about family and early years of education:
Hailing from the prestigious Almeida clan of Halekody, born on 17th March, 1963, was the youngest son of his proud parents – Anastal and Leo D’Almeida, who were blessed with ten children. His twin sister, Juliet, had to say goodbye to this world at an early age.
Started formal schooling in the neighboring primary School in Halekody up to 5th Standard and continued Higher Elementary education in Maryknoll School, Hosala Barkur. Completed his SSLC as well as PUC from National Junior College, Barkur, in 1979 and 1981 respectively. One has to seek admission either in distant PPC or MGM College Udupi for graduation, parents and elders decided to send young Walty to Puttur as a Hosteller in then famous well known for quality education St. Philomena’s First Grade College, affiliated to Mangalore University. Rightly he passed B.Sc. with flying colors in May, 1984. Later in Mumbai, while serving, Walter also completed his post graduate Diploma in Marketing Management from Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in 1989.
Being a Science graduate, would have crafted his career in any Pharmaceutical / Laboratory / Healthcare or Fertilizers industry in Mumbai, but Walty had some passion for office automation, furnishing and allied fields….It may be his first job in M/s Systematic Enterprises, Mahim in Mumbai in 1985 as Sales representative for a short period but rightly M/s Roneo Vickers Private Ltd as its dynamic Sales Executive for three long years, made him understand this industry better and further his career…..Subsequently, M/s Remington Rand India Limited gave Walty excellent opportunity to lay the right foundation to equip himself with basic understanding of this line of business….While here as Branch in charge at Nagpur, almost three years, he mastered the art of men and material management in one hand and marketing on the other….the experience came in handy later in his own business.
While serving here, he shares an incident, he casually sent an application to a Bahrain based Company and gets a call to attend the interview…neither had Passport nor so serious to move out of Mumbai, gets selected for the prestigious job…..Holding the Offer Letter in hand, applies for passport and with a heavy heart, flies to Bahrain in 1992, to serve for two years for M/s. Mohd Jalal…….as Outdoor marketing Executive….completes one Contract. Here in Bahrain Walty comes in contact with stalwarts in Office automation, furniture and large scale Storage systems…..Gauging the creativity and dedication in the assigned works, one of his friend from Germany invites him to UAE Dubai and propose Walty to start something on his own…..
Year 2002 and the Birth of M/s Regal Furnishings & Storage Systems LLC:
It is said behind every successful man there is a woman, and it’s rightly so in Walter’s life. Married in 1997, within just five years i.e. in 2002, the couple ventures a business in Abu Dhabi. Thelma, a MBA in Finance shoulders all the responsibilities of administration and financial matters, which she continues till now for the last 17 years…… Too often, we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, from our spouse, all of which have the potential to turn a life around…..!
Today they own three Companies, two in Abu Dhabi and one in Dubai and as many as 55 people and their families earning their bread and butter.
Small family happy family:
Walter met his dream girl, the life partner in Thelma from Katapadi, whose family known for high educational standards, in 1996 and got married on 2nd January 1997. They are blessed with one talented son Shannon Bertrand, who is doing his second year in BA (Honors) in Business Management in Middlesex University Dubai Campus. Thelma rightfully the Director - Administration & Finance, in business and handles home affairs at ease in personal life…..Here two worlds of both profession and family life go hand in hand with perfect harmony, as Walty admits it as a special Blessing from heaven….!
Some prestigious Projects in UAE handled by M/s Regal Furnishings and Storage Systems LLC:
- Supply of Museum Storage Shelving to the prestigious LOUVRE Abu Dhabi, ETIHAD Museum,
- Providing Archiving solutions to various Banks in UAE … Eg. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, First Gulf Bank & Union National Bank..etc
- Providing Archiving Solutions to various Government Ministries & Department in UAE .. UAE Armed Forces, ADNOC headquarters building, ZADCO, Finance Department of Abu Dhabi, Ministry of Presidential Affairs..etc.
- Archiving for the Medical Records to various prominent Hospitals in UAE, both government & private. .. Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, NMC healthcare group , etc.
- Supply of Warehouse Racking to ETIHAD AIRWAYS, AMMROC, MUBADALA group etc.
The other side of a successful businessman:
Personally I met Walter couple of times in the past, surprisingly, he never shared a word about his business or social work. Such a humble and down to earth person, hardly talk about himself….A generous donor for charitable activities and ever ready to sponsor Konkani and other cultural activities, both in UAE and at native, always prefers, not to be in the limelight. Many priests and organizers in the Diocese of Udupi, spoke highly about his philanthropic and act of kindness and economic support, not craving for any recognition…..
A proud son of Barkur:
Walty always proudly mentions about his classmates – Vinod Sequeira, another successful business man in Mangalore, Vincent D’Almeida, California USA, Wilfred Sequeira, Mumbai and many others….. who left their special footprints in professional, personal and social career. Yes, theirs is a close knit relationship even today….Their heart beats for native town Barkur and in the forefront to volunteer to support the genuine needs of the CYM and the parish……For him, relation is not collection of people, but it is selection of hearts and does his best and to put in all efforts to hold them for life time….!
A message to youth:
Being in business he has seen the world and Walty wants youth to take up business as challenging career….No hard work goes in vein, honesty is the best policy and patience pay off are the mantras of his success story. He advocates for community co-operation and co-ordination to help and encourage each other….Dream big, work hard and stay humble, one have to learn from him... Start doing or plan it right now, there is no time called opportune, and win life avoiding two things – comparing with others and expecting from others…
Personally, it is our observation, though Walter reached the heights of professional success, he follows a simple life philosophy - minimum requirements and maximum adjustments, always ready to extend a helping hand, if possible….Their life is not about being rich, being popular, being highly educated or being perfect….It’s about being real, humble and kind… The team Barkuronline, wish him and family all success in coming days / years….Let their business prosper, let it provide an opportunity to aspiring youngsters to earn their livelihood, let our society not only benefit but learn a lesson or two to attempt to put in their own business and be in a position to uplift the society as a whole…..
On behalf Team Barkuronline and ICYM Ex Members Association,
P. Archibald Furtado, 10th January, 2019.