P V Abdul Wahab – Family Patriarch, Business Magnate, Philanthropist, Social Entrepreneur, astute politician – a checkered life history that shows him donning very many hats with consummate ease and admirable flair.
Wahab learnt to take life head-on very early in life. His Father, Mr. P.V. Alavikutty was a man for foresight and his visionary approach to life made him appreciate the value of Education in no small measure. He went so far as to visualize a future College Professor in young Wahab, who, on the contrary, fancied himself as becoming an Automobile Engineer. On the Social front, Wahab embraced the legacy of his father and had become an active student leader of the Indian Union Muslim League. Life appeared to be evolving as per a predictable pattern until the untimely demise of his Father drastically changed the world around the Eighteen-year-old. But then, he would have hardly known that Providence had laid much more ambitious plans in store for the future.
When the responsibility of the entire family was thrust upon the young shoulders, Livelihood ranked higher than education. It was not long before Wahab also left the Kerala shores in 1974, Dubai bound, just like many fortune seekers of that era. As the saying goes, fortune favours the brave. To his surprise, Wahab’s dreams materialized in a unique way, making him a booming global entrepreneur, and widening the horizons of his family’s dream. Never to be found short in perseverance and the propensity to take calculated risks, he nurtured the idea of entrepreneurship in UAE that culminated in the founding of Bridgeway Group, a multimillion-dollar turnover network with diverse business verticals operating in India and the Middle East.
Looking back, life seems to have come a full circle for Wahab. Destiny has brought for him whatever his father had dreamed about and he himself had longed for, in a much larger measure. To be fair, Wahab stayed always close to his homeland and harnessed every opportunity that he came across for the development of his state and its people. As the Chairman of Malabar Airport Development Committee (MADAC), he pioneered the concept of setting up Calicut International Airport through crowdfunding. He also joined hands with Mobil Oil Corporation, USA, one of the top-ranking Fortune 500 companies to set up a purpose-built Seaport near Calicut. The Tea & Rubber plantations, shopping malls & Residential apartment complexes, front-ranking Car dealerships, etc. have left a lasting imprint in the investment landscape of South India.
The flourishing business ventures enabled Wahab to realize what his father would have been most happy about – Quality Schools and an Aided College that set industry benchmarks in education. Not to rest on his laurels, he has worked diligently and meticulously for the betterment of society in the areas of skill development, vocational education, women’s empowerment, tribal welfare, minorities’ development, Orphan care, etc. As the Chairman of Jan Shikshan Sansthan (JSS), Malappuram, Wahab continues to expand the frontiers of Social Entrepreneurship. As a befitting recognition, JSS bagged in 2016 the Confucius Prize instituted by UNESCO for its grassroots initiatives in educational and social empowerment.
Mr. Wahab, as the Chairman of JSS Malappuram unit, bagged prestigious awards for achievements in the field of Literacy and Lifelong Education - 'Saakshar Bharat' award instituted by National Literacy Mission Authority in 2014 from Sri. Pranab Mukherjee, Hon. President of India and Tagore Literacy award instituted by Indian Adult Education Association of the Central Govt in the year 2018 from Shri. Venkaiah Naidu, Hon. Vice President of India.
As a thrice elected Member of Indian Parliament (Rajya Sabha) and as the National Treasurer of Indian Union Muslim League, Wahab has cultivated a pan-Indian presence over the years as a public figure and as a charismatic leader of repute.