Inspiring Change through Compassion
B orn in the Kozhikode District of Kerala State, India, Harris Kovoor’s early life was shaped by the influence of his homemaker mother and retired Indian Army veteran father. Raised in the humble setting of a middleclass family, his mother’s idealistic and loving character left a lasting impression on him. She instilled in him self-confidence, and an appreciation for the value of money from a young age.
Throughout his school days, Harris worked and earned from his mother’s small handicraft shop. His passion for reading and writing led him to write features and articles for regional newspapers and periodicals, opening doors for his future career in journalism. As a freelance journalist, he interviewed renowned personalities from various fields, including diplomats from the United Nations and WHO, politicians, and Supreme Court judges.
Despite facing ups and downs, Harris displayed remarkable resilience and determination in his career. He pursued his education notwithstanding financial challenges, completing graduation, post-graduation, Executive Education in Management from IIM, and obtaining CMA and CPA (USA) from Dubai. All along, he worked part-time or full-time jobs to support his education.
In 2004, Harris commenced his professional career as an assistant Company Secretary at the Thai Group of Companies in Kerala. He later moved to Bal Pharma Limited, Bangalore, in 2008, and in 2014, he migrated to Dubai to work as the finance manager at the Private Office of the Royal Family, Dubai. His professional journey also took him to Qatar, and he now serves as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of a reputed business group in the UAE.
The challenges he faced throughout his life and career provided valuable life lessons, instilling in him immense self-confidence and the ability to learn from life’s realities. Harris strongly believes that life is both a “test” and a blessing, and he credits his mentors and real-life experiences for shaping his vision of life. His philosophy of “Never give up in life” is his guiding mantra, empowering him to overcome obstacles and achieve success.
In addition to his professional achievements, Harris’s deeprooted compassion for others led him to engage in social service from a very young age. He started by assisting underprivileged and needy students, providing them with notebooks, uniforms, and other necessities with the support of local communities and social service organizations. What began as a small initiative and the thought process soon became a full-fledged humanitarian aid program for the poor and needy patients at the nearby government medical college hospital.
His initial thoughts of forming a charitable trust to serve the poor and needy expanded in later stages into a significant mass movement.
Harris’s dedication to ‘startup initiatives’ and his position in serving the UAE Royal Family Office earned him recognition as a ‘Senator’ representing India at the grant assembly of the World Business Angels Investment Forum (WBAF), which is affiliated with the G20 Countries Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion. Mr. Harris is also associated with the “World Economic Forum.”
A multifaceted professional, Harris is a CPA with expertise in corporate finance. His core area of interest lies in finance. He has played pivotal roles in structuring financial products for major public limited companies listed on stock exchanges in India and abroad. As the CFO of the UAE Royal Family Office, he has managed investments from Central and Southern Asia, the EU, and the UK, diversifying across various industries like infrastructure development, oil and gas, energy, fintech, blockchain, and education in the MENA region.
To stand out in a competitive market, Harris emphasizes focusing on customer experience, building a strong brand, leveraging technology, investing in innovation, fostering a positive company culture, and giving back to the community. These strategies have differentiated his business organization from competitors and garnered him a loyal customer base.
Despite his numerous achievements, Harris remains grounded, acknowledging his strengths and weaknesses. His strengths include adaptability, effective communication, critical thinking, continuous learning, leadership, and teamwork. On the other hand, he recognizes the need to improve his focus and prioritize personal well-being to overcome challenges.
The COVID-19 pandemic posed significant challenges to businesses worldwide, including Harris’s. However, his ability to adapt and innovate proved instrumental in thriving during these uncertain times. Embracing remote work, accelerating digital transformation, diversifying revenue streams, enhancing health and safety measures, and staying connected with customers were some strategies Harris and his business organization adopted to turn the pandemic in their favor.
To the Indian youth, Harris sends a powerful message of self-belief, embracing diversity, being agents of change, embodying values, accepting technology responsibly, and never giving up. He urges them to create a brighter future through unity, innovation, and compassion.
With his blend of professionalism, compassion, and philanthropy, Harris Kovoor’s dedication to humanitarian causes, mentorship of young entrepreneurs, and commitment to fostering economic growth make him an inspiration to those around him and beyond.